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A lot of you warehousing veterans have probably seen that title and are scratching your heads.

“Wait, are you telling me my warehouse should be smaller now?”

Well…sort of. In certain cases – not all, but many – a smaller warehouse has actually proven to be more beneficial for ecommerce businesses, or anyone that primarily thrives off mailing orders directly to customers instead of feeding products into a retail environment.

As ecommerce continues to grow in importance and popularity throughout America, and your ecommerce business tries to stay along for the ride, you just might find yourself in need of a change of scenery – and a small warehouse could be just the thing.

 

The Advantages of Smaller Warehouses for Ecommerce

 

Better inventory focus & management

For a lot of businesses, your instinct – understandably so – is to get as much warehouse space as you can so you can stock a whole bunch of items. But this creates two questions: do you really need all that space, and if so, do you really need all those extra items?

A smaller warehouse means you can use your warehouse shelving more efficiently. Things like pallet racking and wire shelving units are always easier for your team to manage if they have less overall inventory to worry about, and keeping a smaller warehouse is a perfect way to help focus on your niche, and only deal in the items your customer base might find useful – or worthy of a purchase, at least.

 

Faster logistics & handling

Similarly, smaller warehouses (particularly in geographic areas that you serve through ecommerce) offer much faster item handling times and easier logistics management. A focused, organized warehouse without a lot of wasted space for unpopular items will always be easier on your staff, and the impact on your time-to-ship will be demonstrable. Similarly, smaller warehouses usually mean smaller, more manageable shipments, which can help reduce item delays and help your supply chain maintain better time and accuracy across each package or shipment.

 

Location, location, location

Speaking of improved supply chains, smaller warehouses tend to let you serve specific geographic locations better. While we’d all like to be Walmart or Amazon, the fact of the matter is they only have gigantic warehouses and shipping hubs due to their size and raw order volume, and even they tend to focus on using geographically-targeted, hyperlocal warehouses to finish their orders. Even if you’re big enough to manage multiple warehouse locations, keeping all of them at a size that’s more manageable will let you better serve your customers and deliveries in a given area. Packages are always handled faster and easier if they have a local hub to ship through, instead of being fed right back to your logistics providers for the long drive to your end customer.

 

Realistic pricing

The idea of realistically serving customers will come back to your pricing too. Larger warehouses, it may go without saying, will come with higher price tags, and that may leave you unable to pass the savings onto your customers. If the simple fact of rent prices is what’s keeping you out of the massive campus warehouse of your dreams, it might actually be more beneficial to your team and your customers to keep it small for the time being. They’ll appreciate the pricing you can offer, and you’ll be able to get them your orders faster than before.

Everyone wins, right?

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