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In recent times, using self storage facilities has become increasingly popular. The SSA (Self Storage Association) estimate that there is around 52 million sq ft of self storage space in the UK.
One of the reasons behind the upsurge in demand for self storage space is the boom of online retail. In 2020 alone, 35,589 new eCommerce businesses were registered in the UK!
Anyone running an online retail business needs to understand the steps to take to look after your stock properly before putting it in a storage unit. After all, your e-commerce business will fail if customers consistently receive your products late or damaged. Online reviews today mean that taking good care to provide an excellent customer experience is more crucial than ever.
Having an eCommerce business may mean that you sell all sorts of products, including clothes, electrical items, furniture, books, household appliances such as dishwashers, and more. Stock like this must be prepared before it goes into storage, and getting this right may be the difference between you running a successful profit-making eCommerce outlet or one that fails early on.
Here, Now Storage offers advice on ways you can prepare stock for storage.
Whereabouts will you store your stock? Prioritising the location is vitally important when you are preparing your stock to go in a self storage unit. You want the storage to be easily accessible and in a location where you won’t have to spend too much money on fuel to get there. At Now Storage, we provide seven days per week access for eCommerce business storage at our 15 locations across England and Wales.
As a responsible business owner, you also need to choose a self storage provider that prioritises security, just like the 24-7 security monitoring we have in place here at Now Storage.
Having trouble shifting stock that is also affecting your ability to replenish your inventory? This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the amount of space you can have available for business stock storage at a storage facility. So, before putting your business stock into a storage unit, run special discount deals and promotions to help you get rid of the stock you no longer need.
Your goods can easily get damaged at any time, especially if they are fragile and are being moved around a lot. Therefore, when preparing to put your e-commerce stock products in boxes for self storage, try to avoid them being damaged in any way. Customers will immediately demand a refund if your products arrive with significant damage. So, check to see if they are all intact prior to putting them in a storage facility.
Certain materials and fabrics are vulnerable to temperature changes while in storage. For example, MDF wood expands and contracts in heat, and this could be problematic if you’re looking to store home furniture products made from MDF for your eCommerce business. So, try to make sure you choose a temperature regulated self storage unit, nothing that is too above or below room temperature.
Making digital spreadsheet copies of your stock inventory is important. You can then back these up and store them on a stick or a cloud. Paperless storage also helps to save the planet.
There are loads of digital tools today to help you manage your inventory. Why not make the most of inventory management software? This will go a long way in helping you keep up to date with what stock is currently stored in your self storage unit, and how you can run things more efficiently.
When you have mountains of stacked boxes containing different items of stock, it can all start to look like much of a muchness, making it hard to determine which one’s which and where things are stored. So, make everything easier by putting labels on your stock. Labelling is a simple yet highly effective way to prepare stock for storage.
You want to try and optimise the space and get the most for your money when you pay to place your stock in a storage unit. Hereby, we suggest creating a floor plan of where your items of stock will go in the unit. To help with your floor plan, make sure you know the size of the self storage unit as well as the size of the stock you are intending on storing.
When creating your floor plan, try to remember to maximise vertical storage. Sometimes it is more space efficient to stack your storage vertically rather than horizontally, particularly if your storage unit is narrow.
Some of the stock items that you are preparing to put into a self storage unit might be significantly heavier than others. If so, it makes sense to place heavier items on the floor, this way heavier items won’t damage lighter ones underneath. It is a common sense storage solution but one many people forget.
Planning makes perfect for ensuring efficient stock management when you run an eCommerce business. Do you offer seasonal product ranges, for times of the year such as the summertime and Christmas? Come up with forecasts to help you work out how much storage space you will need at different times of the year based on data on recent sales figures.
Number crunching and proper strategising may help to put you ahead of your rivals, and e-commerce is a deeply competitive industry in today’s digital world.
On top of being packed away and sealed in boxes securely, your stock needs to be well-protected on the inside. To help with this, you can line storage boxes with things like styrofoam, polystyrene, and bubble wrap.
You don’t necessarily have to use cardboard storage boxes. If you are after something a bit more sturdy, you can get steel storage boxes for stock.
Packaging items correctly is all part and parcel (if you’ll pardon the pun…) of ensuring your eCommerce goods arrive to your customers in tip-top condition.
Here at Now Storage, we have indoor storage and container storage able to store the stock of most retail e-commerce businesses, our containers are up to 320 sq ft in size.
Interested in hiring one of our self storage units to store your stock? Get an online quote or get in touch with us today by calling 0330 0318843 or sending us a message with your query and contact details.