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SOPs for ECommerce Warehouse

SOPs for ECommerce Warehouse

SOPs for ECommerce Warehouse Consulting

Customers have strong reasons for preferring eCommerce over physical retail. These include the comfort of searching and placing orders, a wide range of products to choose from, payment flexibility, genuine customer reviews, doorstep delivery, easy returns and refunds, etc. But the all-cool eCommerce is a hotbed of robust business processes working in the background. One such important area in eCommerce is warehouse management.

These warehouses for eCommerce companies are temporary storing spaces but the efficiency and effectiveness with which warehouses are managed affects the flow of inventory in the supply chain before and after the warehouse part. For instance, if reordering is not taking place on time or if goods are not moving out of a warehouse for further distribution and delivery, supply chains go idle and order fulfilment will be affected. We take care of these problems and help online businesses establish robust warehousing facilities with our eCommerce warehouse consulting services.

SOPs for Order Fulfilment

Order fulfilment is the entire process of completing an online order successfully. It is triggered the moment a customer places an order on any eCommerce platform and ends with the product being delivered to the customer with a satisfactory review.

The three standard order fulfilment options are third-party service providers (3PL), merchant fulfilment or in-house fulfilment, and dropshipping (done by manufacturers). The most popular option amongst eCommerce companies is 3PL for the reasons of expertise, economy, and convenience. However, both the eCommerce company and its 3PL partner need to work in coordination because their activities are interconnected. This combined operational framework can be mapped using SOPs to ensure smooth workflow in terms of processing customer orders, inventory management, picking and packaging, labelling, shipment, system updates, etc.

Whether it is in-house fulfilment or 3PL, we will help you map your entire eCommerce order fulfilment process in SOPs. These SOPs will serve as an operational roadmap for your employees and your logistic partners to smoothly carry out the order fulfilment process consistently and with a high level of efficiency.

Layout Designing / Inventory Flow Mapping

The layout of a warehouse plays a decisive role in how inventory moves inside this big place.  In the case of eCommerce fulfilment warehouses, the warehouse layout and inventory flow mapping call for special attention. The reasons for this are a wide variety of goods which need to be stored in these warehouses, different SKUs of products, different nature of products requiring different storage conditions, different packaging requirements and handling parameters, etc. If the space layout and the inventory flow are not planned and implemented as planned, it could result in nothing less than failing to live up to the order fulfilment promises made to customers.

Our expert team of consultants will help you in designing an efficient warehouse layout and inventory flow planning so that your warehouse and your warehouse team are always fit and ready for order fulfilment.

Infra Equipment

The use of right infra equipment is critical to the effective and efficient functioning of an eCommerce warehouse. Right from receiving orders for further processing to handing over to logistic partners, a host of activities need to be carried out. At every step, equipment will be required. These could be digital devices with reliable connectivity, pallet jacks, stackers, dock levellers, truck restraints, yard ramps, utility carts, conveyor belts, packaging tools, handheld scanners, security solutions etc.

Our team will assist you in listing out the required infra equipment for your eCommerce warehouse.

iWMS Validation and Selection

Understand iWMS or Integrated Warehouse Management System as a stand-alone ERP intended for warehouse management. It connects all the important parts of managing a warehouse.

There are various systems in a typical eCommerce warehouse or fulfilment center which run simultaneously and are dependent on one another for achieving high-end efficiency and effectiveness. These systems include supply chain and logistics, inventory management, procurement and reorder, safety and security, etc. For an eCommerce warehouse to function at its optimum levels, all these systems must work in cohesion. An integrated warehouse management system will ensure that all these systems work in perfect harmony. It will play an important role in making your eCommerce fulfilment center highly efficient and effective.

We will help you in selecting and implementing the right integrated warehouse management solution for your eCommerce warehouse operations.

Staff Training

Even the best systems will be of less value if employees are not well-acquainted with the working requirements. In resolving this, the first right thing is to hire the right people. The second is to provide them with the right training.

We follow a systematic and proven process in designing training programs. We conduct a thorough job analysis to understand the gaps, create a training calendar, and examine the actual working procedures in place against the established SOPs i.e. Process Audits.

Inventory Management SOPs

Inventory management in eCommerce plays a vital role in the order fulfilment process. Lack of systematic inventory management hampers the ability of an eCommerce entity to keep its order fulfilment process smooth and consistent which eventually goes on to hurt customer experience and brand loyalty. The efficacy of inventory management is a crucial determinant of success in supply chain management in eCommerce.

Our team will help you in designing and implementing robust SOPs for various activities of inventory management:

  • Demand forecasting
  • Vendor/supplier selection
  • Reorder and Procurement
  • Storage
  • Handling and Packaging
  • Logistics and Delivery
  • Audit and Control
  • SOP-IT integration
  • Inter-departmental coordination

Loss Prevention Management

Fewer things could hurt a warehouse manager as bad as the loss of inventory. It could be caused by a lack of quality testing, handling mistakes by employees, unaccountability due to theft or pilferage, improper storage, improper packaging, etc. Inventory losses are revenue losses. It has a bearing on order fulfilment as goods showing as available on the website might not be in a condition to sell.

To bring down inventory losses to negligible levels, inventory loss prevention must be taken seriously.  Our team will help you create a robust inventory loss prevention mechanism spanning across your entire inventory management system.

Last-Mile Delivery Partners Integration

Towards the end of the rope but the last mile delivery is important for an eCommerce business because it is one of the crucial touchpoints of customer experience. With customers being able to track their orders, they will not appreciate any unreasonable delay in the final delivery especially when their order has efficiently travelled hundreds of miles only to cause disappointment at the last mile.

Our role is not confined to the boundaries of warehouses. We will also help you in defining a robust eCommerce delivery strategy and completing the last-mile delivery partner integration. This involves helping you select the right delivery partner based on strategic, competitive, and qualitative benchmarks.

Process & Inventory Audits

Audits on regular intervals is the diagnosis of the overall health of a company. It is important to check whether your systems and processes are efficient, effective, and performing as planned. In eCommerce warehouse management, these process and inventory auditing is important for the same reasons. Even if you know that everything is going fine, clean audit reports are reassurances. And sometimes this auditing task is outsourced so that routine business operations are not hampered and expert insights could be gained.

Implementation Support

Transformation is never easy. No one promised it would be.

At YRC, we believe that merely providing paper solutions to clients is not sufficient. We take joy and pride in implementation support. We assist our clients in implementing the solutions be it SOPs, layout design, inventory flow, tools and technologies, auditing, or forging ties with eCommerce logistics companies.

Benefits of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

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We work only for Visionaries.


The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.