Royal Mail offer integrated warehouse solution for online merchants

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Royal Mail have set up a warehousing and fulfillment solution called Warehousing and Royal Mail E-Commerce Engine , which is ideal for sellers who want to source stock but don’t want (or have) sufficient warehouse space.

The solution is similar in some ways to fulfillment by Amazon, but with the difference that there are some minimum quantities. Royal Mail offer a complete solution handling everything from providing a fully transactional website or eBay store, with integrated IT processes across all sales channels through to back-office systems along with managing stock through to despatch.

The Warehousing service and E-Commerce Engine are aimed at businesses with a turnover approaching £500,000 a year, with the E-Commerce Engine allowing them to manage inventory, accounts and logistics across multiple on and off-line sales channels. This means that it is a great solution for eBay sellers who are thinking about expanding into other channels.

The solution can cater for both boxed goods as well as hanging garments or blister packs. It’s possible to use Royal Mail Warehousing for just one line, or for your entire operation. Each item will need a unique identifyer, ideally the EAN number to ensure Royal Mail can identify the correct product for shipping.

Having spoken to a Royal Mail rep the minimums appear to be around 800 shipments a month and the costs although negotiated on an individual basis could work out to as little as a couple of pounds per item. The costs include: Booking in; Storage, Pick, Pack, Packaging Materials and a charge for returns. There is also an minor daily admin charge. Most of the costs are in pence rather than pounds, so typically you’ll pay the normal postage cost plus around as little as £2.00 or less per item on average.

If you’re expanding or looking for additional warehousing for peak selling seasons it’s worth talking to Royal Mail as you’ll not only save on physical storage costs but also on salaries for picking and packing.

6 Responses

  1. Excellent. About time there was something like this available. The biggest problem so many eBay/ecommerce merchants have is trying to do everything themselves (and valuing their time at £0). This should really help people outsource some of the stuff they don’t need to do, so they can concentrate on growing business.

  2. may be a good idea for web based and amazon traders ,though its a potential suicide for ebay traders their DSRs could be totally assassinated

  3. I think £2 an item plus postage is a bit high, full time salary would be way less than that and they could make the tea and sweep up too!

  4. I think the point might be that by using a service like this you don’t have a place to sweep up?

  5. Be careful of fulfilment, we had over 400,000 items of stock in fulfilment storage at Entertainment UK …. Say no more. Fulfilment’s great until something goes wrong.

    Steve – EthicalCompanies.co.uk

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