The efficient management of an e-commerce also depends on proper warehouse setting: 15 points to maximize professional performance and improve inventory management of your online store.
Every trader of every e-commerce must sooner or later face the harsh realities of inventory management and logistical organization of the online shop: order management, control of safety stock, inventory and re-orders, inventory, loading and stock exhaust, etc …
There is always something to be controlled and do in the management of an e-commerce, so here’s a handy guide points to improve inventory management of your online store.
#01 – Use the data to plan ahead
When it comes to logistics and e-commerce, one of the first need it is always to have in stock the right level of stocks of the products (neither too many nor too few). The only way to do this is to analyze historical data.
There are two basic steps …
- Check the progress of the orders for each product in the last year. Identify the peaks and dips in demand, dividing the figures in daily volumes, monthly and quarterly to determine at what times you’ll need to lift the stocks at the warehouse and when you lower them instead.
- Identify the potential growth in demand of various products by analyzing the performance year on year and trying to “read” the trend dictated by customer demand, for example by correlating the data of your shop with the trend of keyword search volume relative to the single product.
All this is possible to apply it to the entire packaging material and delivery of goods.
#02 – Managing layers of security stocks
Good management e-commerce and inventory also comes from the ability to set the minimum levels of stocks. To succeed in this, ask yourself …
- How long it takes to replace a sub-product basis?
- The existing safety levels can withstand a potential surge in demand?
#03 – Take into consideration the conservation of stocks offsite
When an online store grows can be in a position to have to meet demanding requirements in specific geographic areas. Tighten storage and distribution agreements with several neighboring markets actually difficult to reach can be an excellent solution.
This reduces storage costs and schedules, transportation and delivery, providing a more valuable customer service. A famous example in response to these needs is the service Fulfillment Amazon.
#04 – Organize to better warehouse space
To better organize the warehouse space is necessary to place the most popular products in such a way that you can reach easily: make good use of all available space for storage and place in awkward areas only articles less popular.
#05 – Predicting staffing in chaotic periods
Historically, it is noted that the majority of B2C e-commerce generate on average 40% of total annual sales in the Christmas period. This often results in an enormous amount of work in a more restricted period of time, raising probability of errors and deficiencies in management.
Recruit staff for the warm periods can be the key to overcome the problems.
Attention: As to recruit and train new resources need a certain amount of time, it is advisable to start the search for collaborators few months earlier (for example, in October-November to December-January).
#06 – Use professional software for warehouse management
Thanks to the evolution of technology, are now available for warehouse management programs simple and intuitive that allow you to manage it in real time, reducing errors to a minimum. When choosing software for the stock you must be sure to handle at least …
- Barcodes and readers;
- Product traceability (batches and deadlines or sizes and color management);
- Stocks, stocks and cleanups;
#07 – Stock up immediately when a product runs out
Ideally, you should never get to exhaust an article in danger of losing sales, revenues and maybe a customer. Stock up with timeliness is critical.
But if this happens, consider the …
- Promptly report the depletion of the product to the site and reassure its short term availability;
- Remember to re-open orders and shipments as soon as it becomes available possibly contacting customers who had applied for or which historically had bought several times;
- Review your management policies on emergency stocks for the product.
You may also like to read another article on Tradenligne: How to Increase Your Sales: 13 Simple Tips
#08 – Check the inventory cycle
Proper management of e-commerce warehouse must provide periodic check (weekly or monthly) inventory. This allows you to keep aligned the real situation to that of the management and reduce possible counting errors or potential negativity.
NB: Always assign the same employee can speed up the verification activities.
#09 – Avoid accumulation of inventory in stock
Good management of e-commerce logistics also comes from the ability to avoid excessive accumulation of stocks in stock: These, as well as lead to unnecessary costs, take up space that could be devoted to the most popular products.
To optimize the storage management, it is advised to cyclically check the escort policies of the various items to always have the right amount of merchandise.
#10 – Continuous updating of movements and operations
Often you think that neglecting the recording of a transaction sends it back to save time. It was wrong.
Recording immediately even the most mundane of stock movements helps create the conditions for a more precise management by reducing the possibility of errors and misunderstandings. A practical example? Physical store that also sells online. A customer comes into the store at rush hour to buy five pieces of product Y.
To do before the clerk does not have to download the warehouse to remember it only two hours later. Meanwhile from the online shop is now an order for 3 units Product Y in stock but technically there are only 2 pieces. The saving of a few seconds has generated a cost of online order management and probably an unhappy customer.
#11 – Always keeps informed its customers
Assuming that customers want to be informed about the status of their orders (purchase online on delivery), can help ensure good communication, you need to use systems that provide all data in real time (receiving payment, send merchandise and product delivery). Offering consumers the opportunity to constantly track shipments, it increases the level of loyalty.
#12 – Automate processes for managing e-commerce
The warehouse management, as central, is only part of management activities behind an e-commerce. Choose a comprehensive and integrated management with your e-commerce it allows you not only to improve their logistics management but also to speed up and improve most of the related administrative tasks : billing management, recording fees, the first note management and flows of cash, and business analysis.
#13 – Know the trends and seasonal events
The proper handling e-commerce, it is important to know all the trends and seasonal events that, in some way, can affect the buying habits of the target. Christmas, the beginning of the school year, Valentine’s Day … for example, may create strong surges in demand for specific products and be crucial moments for the business.
#14 – Consider the possibility of selling on Amazon web store
Often people think of opening an online store focusing on the store on the site owned and without considering to open a “branch” on platforms like Amazon or eBay. E-merchants who take the opportunity of being able to sell through these marketplaces have a chance to see significantly increase their turnover and to increase the rotation of products in stock.
#15 – Know how to be precise but at the same time creative
A good warehouse management requires great precision and fastidiousness often. Make sure that each movement of each product is documented, that the loading and unloading areas are always free, that the order of retail products is impeccable and the continuous analysis and optimization is guaranteed is a job that requires a lot of dedication.
But often in times of need that creativity can make a difference. It will be the creativity to solve sudden problems or complex situations of logistics, especially in smaller firms and dynamics where not everything can be planned or managed via protocols.