E-commerce is a dynamic industry which is on the rise. This is hardly surprising as it is an industry in which you can find customers from across the globe.
Many e-commerce businesses, which are set up in a professional manner, find quick growth. As many e-commerce businesses begin within the owner’s home, this quick growth leads to a need for scalable and efficient off-site storage solutions. Storing off-site has many benefits and our storage for e-commerce will be an excellent solution.
The Rise of E-Commerce: A Demand for Greater Storage
The rise of e-commerce has seen the demand rise for high-quality, secure storage. But, what has caused this rapid growth within the e-commerce industry?
Explosive Growth of Online Shopping
E-commerce has seen explosive growth over the last few years. This surge was initially born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. As stores had to close, the only way for people to shop was online. In 2019, e-commerce made up 15% of all retail sales. In 2021, this had risen to 21%. Although there was a dip after everything opened back up, e-commerce is an industry that has plenty of room for growth. In 2022 alone, the UK saw online retail sales hit £106 billion.
With this growth comes the challenge of inventory management as the amount of stock needed increases, along with the possibility of growing product lines to entice customers to keep returning.
The Limitations of On-Site Storage
Many e-commerce businesses begin within the owner’s home. This is a very cheap and easy way to start but many businesses quickly find that they have outgrown the dining room table as their HQ and the garage as their storage facility.
When this happens, you have a decision – buy an on-site storage solution or choose to go off-site.
Buying your own onsite storage can create many challenges such as not allowing your business further room to grow. Buying your own storage will come with high overhead costs and you will not be able to scale up to a different-sized storage solution without having to find a large amount of money or selling your current unit. Without the ability to scale up your storage, your business will be constrained.
Advantages of Off-Site Storage for E-Commerce
Using off-site storage for e-commerce has many advantages and none of the limitations that you find with on-site storage.
Scalability and Flexibility
When you choose off-site storage solutions, you will find an increased amount of flexibility. This allows businesses to upgrade or downgrade their storage for e-commerce based on the demand, including scaling up for a short period of time such as Christmas in order to meet the seasonal demand.
Scalability and flexibility are vital for allowing a business to thrive and, if you choose to go for off-site storage, you must look for storage facilities that cater to this need. Our rental contracts for our storage for e-commerce are all flexible, allowing our business customers’ storage to work with them and their businesses.
If you were to choose to go for on-site storage or a private warehouse, you must factor in the costs of maintaining it. You will be the person in charge of making sure it is maintained to a high standard to keep your stock and/or equipment dry, clean and safe. You will also be in charge of all utility costs and staffing. This will all add up to a lot of money.
Using off-site storage for your e-commerce business will save you both money and time as you will not be in charge of handling all of this.
Within professional storage facilities, there will be enhanced security within and around the storage facility. This will include state-of-the-art alarm systems, CCTV surveillance and some form of controlled access. This all gives business owners peace of mind that their stock will be safe within their storage unit.
Within our own storage for e-commerce, we have high-quality security systems in place. This includes intruder alarms, smoke and fire detectors on each unit and 24/7 CCTV around each of our facilities. We also have a pin-code access system in place in our stores. This allows convenient access for our customers to their storage units whilst keeping everyone else’s units safe and secure.
Efficient Inventory Management
Having a storage space in which you can organise and keep track of all your stock will allow you to be extremely efficient when it comes to your inventory management.
It is very important that you know all of your stock data and off-site storage allows you the space to organise your storage unit how you want to and in the way that works best for your business.
Within our storage units, we are very happy for you to add shelving and/or racks in order to keep your stock organised in a way that allows you and your team to know where everything is, allowing you to keep track, in real-time, of what stock you have.
Better Space Utilisation
Using off-site storage for e-commerce will allow you to better utilise your storage space but it will also allow you to get your home or work space back to normal.
This will allow for a better home life for you and your family. It will also allow you to have a more organised and efficient work space which will allow you to focus on your business.
Disaster Recovery and Redundancy
If the worst was to happen and there was some form of accident at your on-site area, through using off-site storage you will be able to find some peace of mind in the fact that your inventory is safe and secure within your unit. Using off-site storage allows you to have a backup for your inventory.
Off-site storage will allow you to have a solid business continuity plan which means your business will be able to continue operating during or after an unplanned event.
Things to Consider When Choosing Off-Site Storage
Proximity to Business and Distribution Channels
It is important that you consider the location of the off-site storage in relation to your business HQ and your distribution channels. Having it within close proximity to your business will allow you to give each of your customers fast and efficient shipping. It will also save you time and from having excessive transportation costs.
With our storage, we are happy to accept your deliveries and give your orders to couriers who come to pick them up. This gives you more freedom with what location you choose but we still feel it is a good idea to have off-site storage that is in a convenient location for you and your business.
Storage Amenities and Features
It is a good idea to look into what amenities and features are within the storage facility.
Are the unit’s climate controlled?
Is it okay for you to add in shelving or racks?
Are there any bulk storage options available?
What are the hours of operation?
Is there good accessibility?
You must decide what is necessary for your business and ask your questions accordingly.
Contract Flexibility and Terms
You must also think about what type of contract you want. Both short-term and long-term contracts have their own benefits. If you choose a storage facility that offers flexibility with their contracts it is not imperative that you know exact dates but it is good to have a rough idea as this allows you to set goals for your business.
With our storage for e-commerce, all our rental contracts are flexible allowing your storage to grow with your business.
Self Storage for e-commerce
Using off-site storage has many benefits for you and your business. It will allow your business to grow and thrive, whilst remaining cost-effective. It will allow you to have peace of mind that your stock and/or equipment is safe and secure at all times. And it will make inventory management a breeze.
Off-site storage can be pivotal in optimising your business operations, managing costs and ensuring that your business remains viable, no matter what unplanned events occur.
At Cinch Self Storage we have many facilities that could offer you your ideal storage for your e-commerce business. Please head over to our website in order to find your local store.