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  May 25th, 2021 | Written by

All you Need to Know about eCommerce Warehousing in 2021

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  • Regardless of the scale of your business, keeping track of inventory is vital.
  • Customers have expectations that are set by your competition.
  • Manage your sales funnel in a way that helps you forecast demand and plan your warehousing and shipping accordingly.

In the last year, we have seen many large and small businesses shift their focus towards the online marketplace. While many are quick to point the finger towards the coronavirus pandemic, in truth, it only accelerated the digitization process. Online sales have been growing for years, and that inventory needs to be stored before it gets sold and shipped. In this article, we will look at the recent trends and cover all you need to know about eCommerce warehousing in 2021.

What is eCommerce warehousing?

Just so we’re on the same page, let’s get a few basics out of the way first. eCommerce warehousing refers to the storage of physical inventory before the stored goods are sold online. Of course, you can find other definitions floating around. What’s important is that it can stand for small, one-person garage businesses as well as large companies. The goods need to be stored safely and securely; that is a given. However, goods also need to be correctly cataloged with accurate arrival dates, quantities, and exact locations within the warehouse. As you can see, regardless of the scale of your business, keeping track of inventory is vital.

Outgrowing your living room

You shouldn’t be ashamed of starting small. Great things often have humble beginnings. Many large online businesses started small and slowly grew into what they are today. After all, eCommerce giant Amazon started from Jeff Bezos’s garage. The online marketplace is constantly growing, and demand shows no signs of slowing down, even after the pandemic is over. Pretty much anyone can open an online store, and micro-fulfillment has become the new industry buzzword.

Starting your new online business from your own home is an excellent way to keep costs down. That’s probably the most common reason people choose to use their garages or living rooms as improvised storage spaces. Sure, it might work for a while, but what happens when you get tired of living in a warehouse? You should have a business plan for when you eventually outgrow the confines of your garage. If things go well, your storage needs will increase beyond what your home can offer. Modern startups are becoming increasingly creative, so there is no shortage of solutions available for you to consider.

Going for an actual warehouse

We’ve already mentioned an increased demand, but demand hasn’t grown just for the number of goods delivered. Customers have expectations that are set by your competition, and it’s up to you to keep up. You will need to ship at record speeds and make sure the goods are delivered undamaged. Changing from storing your inventory in your home’s garage to a dedicated warehouse comes with many benefits. Of course, any small business will still need to keep warehousing costs low. But with all the digital tools available, you shouldn’t have a hard time organizing your inventory. This will allow you to ship faster, saving time, money, and your nerves in the process.

Learn to streamline and outsource

Outsourcing to a third party is often referred to as third-party logistics (3PL). It is a common way to streamline and automate the eCommerce warehousing portion of your business. The good news is that outsourcing can unburden you of more than just warehousing. 3PL can handle inventory management and help with order fulfillment. You can even go as far as to automate inventory restocks and get estimates on future orders by tracking demand.

Tracking and transparent shipping are readily available to customers due to the internet being omnipresent. On the other hand, you can have access to real-time inventory status with just a few clicks. Digitalizing will allow you to sync orders from multiple platforms while avoiding mix-ups. It’s up to you to make the most of these tools and integrate them into your business.

Managing your eCommerce warehousing

Regardless of whether you are a one-person business operated from your home or have multiple employees and partner with a 3PL company, you will need to get involved with managing your eCommerce warehousing. You can start by training the staff that does the warehousing, but also getting acquainted with the digital tools yourself. Manage your sales funnel in a way that helps you forecast demand and plan your warehousing and shipping accordingly.

Always have a plan on how your business will scale and how you will need to adapt. Ensure that the 3PL you have chosen can scale with you and handle an increased volume of operations. Another important issue you mustn’t neglect is handling customer satisfaction and possible complaints. Proper warehouse management should include measures to process returns quickly.

Sometimes it feels like the world is changing faster than we can keep track of it. We’ve given you a rundown of all you need to know about eCommerce warehousing in 2021. Digital tools have allowed us to connect worldwide marketplaces in ways that seemed absurd 20 years ago. You can fulfill orders and ship from the comfort of your home to someone who is on a different continent. And both of you can have real-time information on the transaction and status of the shipment. Small businesses have given large companies a run for their money, and it’s now the giants to have to keep up.


George Brownlee is a freelance writer who mostly covers topics related to how storage and shipping affect both individuals and businesses alike. George comes from a background of working as a manager who specialized in logistics and supply chains. He likes connecting people, places and things and has been collaborating with for the last two years.