Many retailers are moving away from traditional storefronts in favor of online sales. With online retail, there is fewer overheads and a wider pool of potential customers. Buyers are moving their shopping habits to the Internet because they want fast, convenient ways to buy the things they need. In this guide, we will go over some warehousing tips for transitioning to online retail so your business can adjust successfully.
Pay Close Attention to Data Early on
When you first make the move into ecommerce, you won’t have a lot of data to work with. In-person sales may be drastically different than online sales, so you will have to make your best guess about inventory levels based the market as a whole. With that in mind, you should pay close attention to the data that’s available to you as soon as you launch your online store. If a certain product is in much higher demand than you anticipated, you can order more of that product so you have it hand.
Your warehouse will be able to provide you with real-time inventory levels that you can compare to your sales data. Over time, you won’t have to focus this information week by week, and you can look at it just a seasonal basis.
Choose the Right Time to Transition
Many of our warehousing tips revolve around timing – the right time to increase your inventory, the right time to scale back, the right time to update software, etc. In this case, we’re referring to the right time to make the transition to online retail. Ideally, you should do this a few months before a high-traffic sales season. The end of the year provides peak sales for most industries because of the holidays, but you may have other high-traffic seasons throughout the year.
The goal here is to get everything set up so you have no kinks to worry about during your high-volume sales. You also want to get the word out about your website a little in advance so people can make plans to shop with you during the season. If you wait too long, people may already have plans to shop at other retailers they’ve known longer and already have a working relationship with.
Ask your 3PL Provider for Warehousing Tips
If you are using a third party logistics provider, ask them for warehousing tips directly. They will have a clear understanding of your industry and their operations, and they can tell you what adjustments to make. Of course, it’s up to the warehouse itself to handle most of the operational adjustments, but you can make changes as a client to improve their productivity. As long as you work together, you should be able to see success in your transition to online retail.
For more information about warehousing, Contact Overflo at 1-800-626-0616