What is a Routing Guide? Best Practices for Creating a Great Routing Guide Summary

If you are an ecommerce brand ready to grow into sales channels beyond direct-to-consumer, you likely have your sights on securing a few retail accounts. Getting your products into retail stores can be a huge step for a growing brand. It means your revenue will increase, but you’ll be responsible for fulfilling a much higher order volume with very detailed specifications.  

Retail fulfillment is intricate, complex and very different than DTC (direct-to-consumer) fulfillment. Sending products to retailers requires a higher level of quality control, timing, accuracy, and attention to detail.  

Once you have successfully secured a retail account with a retail store, next comes a lot of back-and-forth communication about how to get your products to their physical locations. One of the key components of successful retail fulfillment is strict adherence to your retailer’s routing guide. 

What is a Routing Guide?  

As part of your contract with a retailer, they will provide you with a routing guide. This is the retailer’s pre-determined set of rules and regulations that dictate how your products will get to their stores.  

A routing guide will include everything that your retailer needs to receive your products easily and get them into their stores efficiently. Expect to be told everything from how to package and label your products, to the timing and process for loading and unloading them to the retailer’s facility.