Whether you need to find a small warehouse for rent near me or you have multiple fulfillment centers across the USA, choosing the right warehouse location is essential. These are the top 6 factors for choosing the best warehouse locations for online distribution. After reading this, you’ll know better where to rent or buy warehouse space to improve your order fulfillment, reduce shipping costs, and keep your customers happy.
6 Tips to Choose the Best Fulfillment Warehouse Locations Near You
1. Know where your customers are located
As an online seller, you can sell products virtually anywhere. However, you may have noticed that many of your customers are in a particular region. Therefore, choosing fulfillment center locations near target customers can help lower shipping costs and entice customers with fast delivery.
Looking at customer analytics to spot trends is the first step. You will likely notice hotspots where you seem to get the most orders. For many online sellers, cities like New York, Dallas, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. get many orders since more people live there. However, selling specialty goods like surfboards or fishing gear can affect where orders ship to most.
It’s no surprise that renting warehouse space in big cities is expensive. But you can save money by picking a neighboring town or state where warehouse rentals and commercial warehouses for sale are cheaper. That allows you to take advantage of fast shipping and lower shipping costs by fulfilling orders close to where customers live without tossing hard-earned money out the window on premium real estate.
What happens if your customers are widespread? This is a common problem for many online sellers. Multiple fulfillment centers or one centrally-located distribution center may be the best options in this case.
2. If you have multiple warehouses, think about how location affects sales
Most new online sellers only need one fulfillment center to get started. That can change as your business grows. More SKUs mean more sales, but also more complex distribution. It is where creative thinking comes into play.
If you have a lot of SKUs, you’ll need to allocate inventory in the most effective way possible to increase profit. Start by considering how the customer’s location affects what they buy. For example, winter coats usually sell best in cold regions, so storing them in nearby warehouses makes sense. It will reduce shipping costs, and customers will be thrilled by fast shipping.
3. Consider who you will hire and how much it costs
Hiring good warehouse workers to make running an online business smoothly. Wherever you choose to locate the warehouse, it is the locals that you’ll be hiring for warehouse jobs. Large cities can make hiring warehouse workers easy since you have a vast pool of workers to choose from, but warehouse space in cities can be costly. Renting in low-cost neighborhoods or just outside the target city can save money.
Another factor to consider is the local wage. Big-city workers expect higher pay than workers in other parts of the country. Also, if you will pay the minimum wage, what is the state minimum wage there? These are all factors to consider when choosing warehouse locations.
4. Store slow-moving inventory in central locations
If you have multiple fulfillment centers, it makes sense to have best-selling products in stock at various locations. It allows customers in different regions to get fast, cheap shipping. Meanwhile, slow movers can be allocated to central warehouse locations since there is no need to stock them at every location. Doing so can reduce storage costs and inventory costs substantially.
5. Find out where competitors have warehouses
When thinking about warehouse locations, you can use the position of a competitor’s distribution centers as a guide. For example, big companies like Amazon spend a lot of time and money deciding where to open Amazon warehouse locations to maximize profits. They have done all the legwork by analyzing each Amazon fulfillment center's cost, pros, and cons.
Remember that the best warehouse location for you might not be the same as a vast online retailer like Amazon. While analyzing competitors’ locations might clue you into the most popular areas for fulfillment centers, you shouldn’t base the decision solely on what your competitors are doing.
Sometimes, the opposite is true. Perhaps your biggest competitors have distribution centers in every country except the Pacific North West. But sales numbers show that you receive many orders in that region. Renting or buying a warehouse where your competitors aren’t located may give you a leg up if you can offer faster and cheaper shipping to customers in that region than your competitors can.
6. Consider hiring an online fulfillment center to handle orders for you
If buying or leasing warehouse space is too costly or confusing, all hope is not lost. Third-party fulfillment centers give you access to geographically desirable warehouse locations without tying up all your investment money in overhead.
By hiring an online fulfillment company, you’ll pay a storage fee that is substantially less than renting or buying your warehouse and hiring workers. Most 3PL pick and pack companies only charge for the shelf space you need, resulting in significant savings.
Tired of searching the web for a “warehouse near me”? Try Simpl Fulfillment. We pick and pack orders and get the lowest shipping rates, thanks to our high-volume shipper status, and we have a centrally-located warehouse in Austin, TX.
Questions To Ask When Touring Potential Fulfillment Warehouses
- How much space do you have?
- What is the price per square foot?
- How long is the lease?
- Is the warehouse climate controlled?
- Do you have a loading dock?
- Do you have a freight elevator?
- How many employees do you have on staff?
- What are your hours of operation?
- What is your average order turnaround time?
- Do you offer 24/7 customer support?
- What shipping carriers do you work with?
- Do you offer any discounts for volume orders?
Things To Look For In A Good Fulfillment Warehouse Partner
A good warehouse partner will be able to offer you a variety of services to make your life easier, including:
Order fulfillment: Your warehouse partner should be able to pick, pack, and ship orders quickly and efficiently.
Inventory management: A good warehouse partner will help you track your inventory levels and reorder products when necessary.
Customer service: Your warehouse partner should be able to answer customer questions and resolve any issues.
Discounts: A good warehouse partner will offer discounts on shipping rates and storage fees.
A good warehouse partner will also have a centrally located warehouse so that you can save on shipping costs. Additionally, a good warehouse partner will have a loading dock and freight elevator to make it easy to move inventory in and out of the warehouse. Finally, a good warehouse partner will have 24/7 customer support so that you can always get help when you need it.
Simpl is the best fulfillment warehouse for online distribution because we offer all of these things and more. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Fulfillment Warehouse
Now that you know how to choose the best fulfillment warehouse for your needs, it’s time to use it to your advantage. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your warehouse:
1. Use a centralized location for your warehouse
If you have multiple warehouses, make sure they are all centrally located. This will help you save on shipping costs and ensure that orders are delivered quickly.
2. Get the lowest possible shipping rates for your orders
The closer your warehouse is to your customers, the cheaper it will be to ship orders. Use a fulfillment company like Simpl with high-volume shipper status to get the lowest possible shipping rates.
3. Use automated order fulfillment whenever possible
Automated order fulfillment can help you save time and money. Make sure your warehouse partner offers this service so that you can take advantage of it.
4. Keep your customers happy by offering fast shipping and excellent customer service
Your customers will be more likely to buy from you again if they are happy with their experience. Ensure your warehouse partner offers fast shipping and excellent customer service to satisfy your customers.
5. Use a fulfillment company like Simpl Fulfillment that offers all of these services
Simpl is the best fulfillment company for online distribution because we offer these services and more. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Now that you know how to choose the best fulfillment warehouse for your needs, it’s time to get started. Use these tips to find a good location, get the lowest shipping rates, and keep your customers happy. And be sure to contact us today to learn more about our services. We’re always here to help!
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