Market intelligence firm, Nielsen, has said that over two million New Zealanders now shop online. In 2015, it was estimated that 20.6 million items were bought online, generating about $4.7 billion in sales. These numbers continued to rise in 2016, and online sales are already making dents in traditional shopping.

As e-commerce becomes a more important feature of the market, it is radically changing the supply chain. Traditionally, warehouses were only used to ship bulk supplies to brick-and-mortar stores. These stores, however, are seeing their market share drop as online sales increase. This has meant that warehouses are increasingly dealing directly with the customer, sending out many smaller orders, rather than the large bulk orders for shops that they have been more used to.

A More Dynamic Second Life

Warehouses are slow movers. They store items in bulk and ship according to schedules. The flow of the items is measured in weeks and months. This is incompatible with e-commerce. Time in online shopping is measured in “next-day delivery” stamps and speed guarantees. A warehouse must be fast to succeed

No More Giant Boxes

Without a bricks-and-mortar store, products go directly from warehouse to consumer. Single retail units occupy their own shelf space. Cantilever storage racks, used for huge loads just a few years ago, now host single retail units. This means more inventory items for the warehouse to manage. As the chances for errors increases, it is vital to keep up with the latest technologies.

Logistics as a Warehouse Feature

As speed is king, logistics are of paramount importance. How a warehouse manages efficient, fast and cost-effective shipping and handling operations is crucial. Factors such as warehouse design, advanced intake systems and automation all play a role in creating a facility that can dance to the quick beat of e-commerce.

More Challenges in a Changing World

E-commerce opens many doors for warehouses. As storage facilities take on a more dynamic role in the marketplace, opportunities abound. With the right balance of technology, top-notch facilities and innovation, online shopping can be a goldmine for the warehouse industry.

The Shelving Shop Group offers the best shelving and storage solutions for facilities in Australasia and the Pacific. With our specialties in products for storage, display and shop fitting, we offer companies the best options for new or upgraded facilities.