6 Basic tips to streamline your e-commerce fulfillment

Whether you have three orders or 50 orders a day, you need to streamline your e-commerce fulfillment. Yes, focusing on sales is your number one priority, but don’t forget about what happens after you get those orders.

By not putting any focus on your fulfillment, you risk;

  • Late deliveries & breach of marketplace service level agreements.
  • Out of stock orders where you might need to cancel the order or inform your customer.
  • Wrong SKUs or quantities being sent.
  • Items being lost.

Without a streamlined fulfillment process, you also risk the possibility of wasting time. What should take only two minutes to pick & pack may end up taking five. It doesn’t seem like much if it’s only 10 orders but imagine if you get 100.

Here are some tips to streamline your e-commerce fulfillment at your house, warehouse, or shop.

1. An SKU For Everything

It is common knowledge that every product has a name. But every product should be accompanied by unique Stock Keeping Unit (SKU). In marketplaces especially, it’s common to elongate names of products to be more attractive and SEO friendly. With that said, you might not always remember what product that is. Using SKUs eases the ability to find the right unit to send.

SKUs must be unique and cannot be shared, so even each variation should have their own SKU. Here are some examples;

Atlas WalletAW-1
Jeans / Blue / 32JN-BLUE-32
Allstars / Yellow White Trims / UK 7AS-YWT-7

Some common rules to follow;

  • Do not use special characters such as (),$%^&!@*
  • Should be over 4 characters long and under 32 characters
  • Try to differentiate as much as possible (sequences like 001-1 & 002-1 gets confusing)

2. Barcode & Label Everything

It is a common misconception that barcodes are an official thing. Only GS1 (or GTINs) must be registered so that they can be used through modern trade retail channels. So, if you are only planning on selling on your own online platform, no registration is needed.

As such, make sure your supplier (or yourself) puts a barcode and label on every single item because;

  • It will be easy to organize and look for on the racks.
  • You can reference the label and double check the order before final packing.
  • If your customer disputes the order and say it was a wrong item, you can ask them to take a photo of the barcode to have proof.

If you are using a professional warehouse management system, barcodes can even be serialized to cover different batch dates and suppliers. At the same time, these systems make it easy to have SKUs mapped to a different barcode. That means, your SKU can be #AW-1, but the barcode could be 910921313.

However, if you are only fulfilling directly from a platform, then there is no place for barcodes. As such, we recommend that your barcode should just be your SKU.

As for how the label looks, we suggest having three important elements;

  • Barcode
  • SKU
  • Short Name

Having the barcode allows for scanning (when you one day use a warehouse or fulfillment company). The SKU is for you to be able to read it directly, and the short name is just for reference. Here is an example of a barcode that works.

3. Multi-platform Inventory Sync, Order capturing

Sosial Media Platform of ecommerce fulfillment,flybear. Streamline your e-commerce fulfillment

Once you get to a certain size, invest in a platform that will help you sync your inventory and capture your orders across multiple platforms. This technology will help streamline your e-commerce fulfillment instantly.

I recommend Zetpy if you’re in Malaysia. It is easy to use, friendly and affordable. Use this software to connect your Shopee, Lazada and TikTok shop into one dashboard. That means that each platform will always show the correct amount of inventory you have to sell, and you no longer will have the hassle of going to all platforms to change the stock amount.

Having all your orders in one place also means you can print all your pick list and airway bills without having to go through all your sales channels.

4. Invest In Equipment

Getting the right equipment will streamline your e-commerce fulfillment. You don’t have to get everything all at once, but instead, you can break it up into phases.


Some equipment you can look into to streamline your e-commerce fulfillment are;

  • Thermal Printer
  • Barcode Printer
  • Pick Bins
  • Order Baskets
  • Boltless Rack
  • Order Baskets
  • Packing Tables with CCTV Cameras
  • Picking Trolley
  • Warehouse Management System
  • Barcode Scanners

5. Space Management to streamling your e-commerce fulfillment

Space is the biggest problem I’ve seen in other warehouses. Most companies underestimate the amount of space needed and end up with small inbound and outbound areas, tight walkways in between walls of boxes and an overall mess across the area.

Empty space is a vital component of any warehouse. Simply put, you need a lot of it, especially in your inbounding area. Imagine trying to sort out your latest shipment of 50 carton boxes without spaces to open and lay things out before racking.

In addition, you need to have a good flow with well-marked areas. If you can, have separate entrances for your inbound and outbound area. Do not mix your areas and let it be easily identifiable.

6. Organise The Area

Storage requires extensive labelling. Know exactly where everything is and keep labels in line-of-sight for easy retrieval.

Your picking area should be sparsely organized. You should not keep so many SKUs in one box. If you can, each SKU should have its own space on the rack (with a label of course). Unless you have pick bins, try not to stack. It might look like a waste of space, but you will save time during picking and stock counting.

At your picking area, you also should not keep SKUs (especially bundles) too far away from each other. You don’t want to go back and forth just to retrieve the same combination of items.

Your packing area should also be organised to minimize moments. Keep packing material at arm’s length. Have a space where packers can grab orders without moving too much and have a basket ready for already-packed orders.

Conclusion – Streamline your e-commerce fulfillment

A lot of frustration can come if you don’t streamline your e-commerce fulfillment. The moment you organize your operations is the moment burdens get lifted from your shoulders.

If you need help, let us know. Flybear offers consultation to help make your warehouse more efficient and effective.