Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) serve as the backbone of any well-structured e-commerce operation. Their importance cannot be overstated. They will keep your entire team aligned and consistent and give clear direction to new employees on the standard processes they should be using in their new role.

SOP’s for an eCommerce business can vary based on the specific nature and size of the business. However, here are some common SOPs that we recommend implementing:

Order Processing:

LINK to:(SOP for Order Receipt). Document contains:
  • Order Receipt
  • Order Monitoring
  • Order Verification
  • Order Acknowledgment
  • Order Processing
  • Order Verification (again)
  • Inventory Management
  • Order Management System
  • Communication and Customer Service
  • Compliance and Quality Assurance
  • Conduct periodic audits or quality checks
  • Continuous Improvement

Other Order Processing customized SOPs to consider:

Order placement: 

Define the process of receiving and acknowledging customer orders.

  • By sales channel D2C

  • By sales channel B2B

  • Distributor

    • Often handled through EDI
  • EDI

    • PO from trading partner
      1. Check inventory
      2. Check pricing
      3. Check MOQ
      4. Check ship window
      5. If approved
        1. Transmit to warehouse
          1. Integrated (Automated via EDI or API)
            1. Warehouse downloads packing slip
            2. Warehouse generates draft ASN
            3. Confirmation of packing geometry
            4. Warehouse downloads labels
            5. Ship date
            6. Final ASN generated by warehouse
          2. Manual portal (Manual by Ops team)
            1. Download PO
            2. Download Packing Slip
            3. Send packing slip to warehouse
              1. Send ship window
              2. Vendor guide requirements
              3. Third party shipping account if needed
              4. Packing geometry confirmed with warehouse
              5. Draft ASN created
                1. GS-128 labels download (if needed)
                2. Transmit to warehouse
                3. Tracking received from warehouse
                4. Final ASN created
                5. Send Invoice

Order fulfillment:

Outline the steps to pick, pack, and ship orders accurately.

Packing SOP (link) – list contains:

  • Packaging Materials and Equipment:
  • Packaging Process
  • Storage and Staging
  • Safety Considerations
  • Compliance
  • Continuous Improvement

Shipping Carrier SOP (link) – list contains:

  • Order Processing:
  • Receive Order
  • Packaging
  • Pack Products 
  • Label Package 
  • Shipping
  • Arrange Pickup/Drop-off
  • Tracking and Documentation
  • Quality Control
  • Weigh Packages
  • Review Documentation
  • Post-Shipment
  • Returns and Exchanges
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Compliance.


Delivery FAQ

  • Delivery Days
  • Contact
  • Tracking
  • Carrier Selection



Shipping carrier selection:

LINK to: [Shipping Carrier SOP] list contains:

Determine the criteria for selecting shipping carriers.

  • Geography
  • Price
  • SKU
  • Process for negotiating shipping rates
  • Process for label generation based on carrier selection
  • SOP for lost packages and carrier related delays
  • SOP for claims to the carrier for compensation




Order Confirmation:

LINK TO: [Order confirmation SOP]

  • Determine how customers will receive confirmation their order is received
  • Define processing time
  • Order Received
  • Ready to Ship
  • Sent to Fulfillment
  • Packing
  • Shipping
  • Delivery promise

Tracking information:

LINK TO: [Tracking SOP]

  • Define how tracking information is obtained and shared with customers.
  • Shipping information
  • On time delivery confirmation


E-commerce Fraud:

LINK to: [Fraud SOP]

  • Outlines the standardized procedures and best practices for preventing fraudulent orders and chargebacks.

Chargeback SOP

LINK to: [D2C Chargeback SOP]

LINK to: [B2B Chargeback/Deduction SOP]

  • Outlines the standardized procedures and best practices for responding to fraudulent orders and chargebacks in both D2C and B2B environments.

Product Management:

LINK to: [Template Master SKU list]

Create a Master SKU List

  • Category
  • SKU name
  • Short SKU
  • B2B ID#
  • Description
  • Manufacturer
  • Warehouses for distribution
  • PMS color
  • HS code
  • Tariff codes
  • Tariff rates
  • UPC/GTIN #
  • Dimensions (cm,in)
  • Master Carton size (cm,in)
      • Units/carton
  • Inner Carton size (cm,in)
      • Units/carton
  • Weight (lbs,g)
      • CBM
      • GW
      • NW
      • CBI
  • Pallet Size
      • Dimensions (cm/in)
      • Weight (lbs, kg)
      • How many cartons/pallet
  • Unit Cost
  • MSRP
  • Materials (BOM)
  • Testing & Certifications
  • Special instructions
  • Carton Markings
    • Master
    • Inner

Product listing: 

  • Establish guidelines for creating and updating product listings.

Product descriptions: 

  • Specify the required information and format for product descriptions.
  • Image guidelines: Define the image requirements, including size, resolution, and file format.

Product categorization: 

  • Establish a system for categorizing products logically.

Countries of distribution:

  • Define where product will be distributed
  • Note import tariff rates/HS code
  • Note certifications needed


Customer Service:

LINK TO: Customer Service Manual (template)

  • Customer inquiries:
    • Outline the process for handling customer inquiries and complaints.
  • Return and refund policies: 
    • Define the guidelines and steps for processing returns and refunds.
  • Communication channels: 
    • Specify the communication channels used to interact with customers.


Inventory Management:

Inventory tracking: 

Procedures for tracking and updating inventory levels.

  • Inventory check:
    • Specify how inventory is checked to ensure availability.
    • Inventory classification,
    • Categorization
    • Stock level monitoring.

Inventory replenishment process

  • Reordering process: 

Define the criteria and process for reordering products when inventory is low.

    • SOP for PO (in WMS)
    • SOP for PO (in Xero)
    • SOP for PO (In Dear)


  • Specify how and when regular inventory audits will be conducted.
  • Cycle Counts (having your warehouse do a physical count)
  • Turn Rate Calculation

🔢 How to Calculate Turn Rate:

Turn Rate = Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) / Average Inventory Value

COGS is the total cost of producing or acquiring goods sold in a defined timeframe. To find the average inventory value, add the beginning and ending inventory values and divide by 2.


Vendor management re: inventory or PO processes


Website Maintenance:

Content updates: 

  • Determine how product information, prices, and other website content are updated.

Technical maintenance: 

  • Establish a plan for regular website backups, software updates, and security checks.

Site performance monitoring: 

  • Specify tools and processes to monitor website performance and uptime.

Marketing and Promotions:

Social media management: 

  • Define guidelines for managing social media accounts and engagement.

Email marketing: 

  • Specify the process for creating and sending marketing emails.

Promotions and discounts: 

  • Establish procedures for setting up and managing promotional campaigns.

Analyzing marketing performance and ROI

  • KPIs for marketing



Analytics and Reporting:

Sales and revenue tracking: 

  • Determine how sales and revenue data are collected and analyzed.

Key performance indicators (KPIs): 

  • Define the important metrics to monitor the performance of the business.

Reporting frequency: 

  • Specify the frequency and format of performance reports.


Financial Tracking:

  • Process for establishing CAC (customer acquisition cost)
  • Cost of Goods Sold


For brands with their own warehouse facility:

Warehouse Operations Recommended Best Practice SOP’s

SOP – Warehouse SOP’s – Guide
SOP – Packing SOP
SOP – Shipping Carrier SOP
SOP – Warehouse Inbound SOP
SOP – Warehouse Inventory Mgt SOP
SOP – Warehouse Pick & Pack SOP
SOP – Warehouse Put Away SOP
SOP – Warehouse SOP for handling returns and refunds:
SOP – Warehouse equipment maintenance SOP
SOP – Warehouse Safety SOP


It’s important to note that SOPs should be documented clearly and regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and reflect any changes in the business processes. Adapt these SOPs to your specific business requirements and continue to refine them as needed.


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