How is an eCommerce warehouse different from a standard warehouse?

The term eCommerce warehouse is interchangeable with the more industry correct “fulfilment center”. The term generally arises from lack of awareness, but as eCommerce is the main driver for the need for fulfilment it’s easy to see how this term has arisen.

Is a fulfilment centre different from a warehouse?

The simple answer to this question would be yes. While most people are familiar with what is meant by the term warehouse, where they can store large quantities of goods for an extended period of time if needed, they may not be aware of how or why a fulfilment center is vastly different. Although an eCommerce fulfilment warehouse (or fulfilment center) is usually similar in terms of storage capacity, the difference is that a fulfilment center will provide other services in addition to this. Generally, these services revolve around the following:

All of the above are services that a fulfilment center or company should be able to provide. Each of these services can encompass many different aspects and almost every business’s needs will vary depending on the goods and services that they provide. 

A sign of a good fulfilment company is to take the time to fully understand what these needs are and ensure that they can “fulfil” them completely. At UFS this is exactly what we try to do. 

Factors that decide what a company’s fulfilment needs are usually centred around their customers. For example, an eCommerce store that provides goods exclusively B2B (Business to Business) will have different needs and requirements compared to stores that provide goods B2C (Business to Consumer). This might seem very obvious but the correct solution in each case is vital to the success of the store and needs to be carefully considered. Something as simple as being able to return items in bulk could be a game-changer for B2B stores.