Many online retailers have experienced increased demand during the lockdown which also means more stock storage space. Are you a bricks and mortar business that went online during lockdown for additional income? Has it been such a success that you plan on continuing or maybe even extending the lines of goods you sell? Discover all you need to know about running an e-commerce business from your storage unit.
If you answered ‘yes’ to either of those questions, chances are you may need to increase the amount of stock storage as your online demand grows. Regardless of your shop location or size, the product lines you could offer online far outweigh what’s possible in your physical store. For that reason, e-commerce continues to grow with the estimated global sales for 2020 reaching $3.914 trillion (£3.082 trillion).
E-Commerce And The Benefits Of Stock Storage
Whether you’re an existing online retailer, own a brick and mortar shop or you have a stall at an event, stock storage is a big talking point. Surely you can’t keep all your stock in a van, lorry or at home in the garage and garden shed?
Fact is, many big businesses use storage facilities specifically for stock storage purposes as it has several benefits, including:
- Saving space at the office
- Goods are kept out of harm’s way
- Everything stays clean, dry, secure and ready for shipping at a moment’s notice
- Overheads are much lower (rent, maintenance, staffing and rates etc.)
- Renting a storage unit is considerably less than a big distribution centre or warehouse
- Business storage offers flexible rates, terms and conditions with a short notice period
Remember, this refers to non-perishable items as there are some goods you can’t keep in a storage unit, as explained below.
Stock Storage Rules And Regulations
Whilst self storage facilities are generally flexible in accepting various types of goods, there are several banned items across the board. Some of the most common items include the following:
- Flammables and combustibles like petrol, oil, propane, gas and certain chemicals as they accidents could destroy your goods and those around you
- Cans, jars and bottles are usually accepted but not perishable food
- Plants can also attract vermin and, of course, you cannot store pets or other animals
- Hazardous and pressurised materials like chemical substances and aerosols as it could explode
- Illegal goods and weapons (stolen or illegal goods including firearms and other weaponry)
- Some storage facilities don’t allow storing of perfumes and fragrances as they could leak
- Unless you have special insurance, some facilities won’t allow the storage of special goods like jewellery or other valuables
Setting Up Self Storage For E-Commerce
A solution for many Ebay businesses, regardless of size, has been a business storage unit but it doesn’t end there. You need to set up the space properly to maximise the unit to its fullest potential and these simple tips will help.
- Use additional shelving and tall racks to maximise the unit’s height
- Place the more popular or latest items closer to the entrance
- Always put heavier items at the bottom to minimise collapses and possible injury
- If you have loads of stock, invest in inventory management software for easy and accurate stock counts and balancing
- Create a stock storage master list of every item so it’s easier to find
- Leave an aisle in the middle so you have better access to all of your stock
- Clearly label everything on multiple sides especially if you have walkways
Recommended: ‘How To Organise Your Business Storage Unit’
Running An Online Business From Your Storage Units
Running a business from a storage unit is more common at newer facilities in bigger city centres as they have a dedicated reception area with Wi-Fi and other amenities. These will naturally impact the overall cost but even if you can’t run a business from your storage unit, there are several ways it can help.
You can store equipment, stock, tools and even vehicles at a central location without being concerned about warehousing, staff and security. All that’s really required is paying administrative bills and minimal stock storage expenses.
Add a table and chair so you, or a staff member, can pack, unpack, wrap and organise things onsite instead of travelling back-and-forth. Remember to divide your products into separate clear containers or crates and label everything so it’s easy to find what you are looking for.
Stock Storage Insurance
Keeping an accurate inventory is one thing but another important consideration is storage insurance. Not all storage facilities offer insurance so it’s vital to ask all the right question before signing anything. At Space Centre Self Storage, we do provide FREE insurance up to £3000 without charging an upfront deposit.
You can use ours or find your own insurance provider and remember to check the fine print as your normal policy may not be enough to cover your business goods. Also, if you are storing special items, you may need specific item insurance in addition to your general insurance policy.
Insure your items for their full replacement cost and think about what you believe your maximum stock value might be. This includes the value of any equipment or fixtures you are using.
Don’t know how much space you need? Many facilities have a unique way of calculating the required space as you’ll see in our Price & Size Guide.
Affordable Stock Storage Solutions
Finding the right facility for your stock storage needs can be challenging but our staff have the knowledge and experience to help address your most pressing concerns. If you want a quality, affordable and reliable storage facility, we are open for access 24 hours a day with many units on the ground floor providing easy drive-up access.
Space Centre Self Storage offers a wide selection of damp-free, secure and accessible storage units in Gloucester, Bristol, Stroud and Stonehouse. Our prices remain the same for at least 12 months and you can store with us short or long-term without having a minimum rental period. Please visit our website for more information or contact us today on the numbers provided below.