With the digital market in high-octane competition for every brand, and with most digital product platforms having similar offerings within the specific product categories, the price point along with the delivery time becomes an important criterion for the selection of the product by the consumer. And as flash sales become the order of the day, the customer’s distance from the stock point becomes a critical differentiator, and the turnaround time & speed of delivery become key variables.
Micro-Warehouse plays a huge role in reducing this distance between the consumer and the product. Micro- Warehousing, also referred to as Micro-Fulfilment, is a small & automated fulfilment Center near the consumer that can deliver the merchandise to the consumers quickly within a limited geography.
The growth of the e-commerce industry in the business world, its spread across the digital platform and the rising expectation of consumers lead to the rise in demand for such Micro Warehouses. It is a kind of demand-led network innovation impacting every kind of product business with the digital platform.
How Does Micro Warehouse Work?
Traditionally, the concept of Warehouse Management usually focused on physical boundaries. With the rise of E-Commerce the concept of warehousing goes beyond that and shifts towards becoming virtual. Micro Warehousing works as a virtual concept for digital warehouses across several online retailers.
Thus, Micro Warehouse is an advanced warehousing concept that focuses on the space required outside the traditional boundaries of the warehouses. However, for faster and more efficient fulfillment of the customers’ requirements, it initiates the inventory moving closer to the customers. The concept of Micro warehousing has emerged with the rise of e-Commerce.
How is Micro Warehousing beneficial for your business?
With this advanced concept of Micro Warehousing, micro fulfilment is becoming an essential supply chain network asset. It has become an important element of the differentiation strategies by satisfying the end user’s demand for sustainable and quick deliveries of the products. And it is proving to be the most beneficial facility for online e-commerce stores / dark stores /consumer fulfilment for providing flexible, faster (2-hours, 4-Hours etc.), and sustainable deliveries for the citizens. It is highly advantageous for being tech-based, more efficient order picking, and closer to the customer.
The size of micro warehouses varies from very small (200 Sq. Ft or less) to small (500-1000 Sq. Ft), where these might ship just a few hundred to a few thousand orders every week.
Scope of the Micro Warehousing
Being accustomed to same-day delivery in recent days, the expectation for speedy delivery has increased among the consumers for almost all products and brands.
In a 2017 survey by Deloitte, “fast shipping” was defined as 2 days as or less by more than half of shoppers. Only about 35% of the shippers felt 3–4 days shipping was fast, as against 63% in 2015. Thus, in two years, the number of consumers that felt 3-4 days was fast declined by nearly half, and this trend is changing fast. Now 2-hours and 4-hours deliveries are catching fast.
These rising expectations are visible in the shipping and delivery experience. Further, people’s appetite is increasing voraciously for a ‘better way,’ and yesterday’s ‘wow’ is quickly becoming today’s ‘ordinary.
Thus, Micro Warehousing is becoming an essential part of the network solution for the customer fulfilment of every kind of business, be it small, medium, or large-size businesses. The concept of Micro Warehousing started with helping the business of the small and low-investment online retail stores by attaining a huge number of consumers with lesser stocks and speedy delivery of the orders and businesses to gain competitive advantage in their addressable markets. It has also proved to be a big deal for bigger retailers. In addition to the retailers, such a model will be very useful for sellers who experience seasonality in their businesses. They can manufacture and place the merchandise in such fulfilment centers before the season opens up. Similarly, the model is likely to be a speed enabler in other businesses, including B2C, D2C and B2B.
Micro warehouses would also minimize the environmental impact of order fulfillment and promote integration with sustainable mobility solutions.
Where do you find these Micro Warehouses?
With 1500+ curated warehouses in its network across 300 cities and towns in India, Warehousity is setting the pace for being a reliable & sustainable provider for such fully functional Micro Warehouses and the operations and full-stack of Technology. Through Warehousity – Supply Chain Control Tower, you get real-time details of operations, inventory, replenishment etc. from these miniature Distribution Centers.