One of the most important aspects of running an eCommerce business is perhaps in choosing the type of packaging you want to use. Packaging is an important part of shipping, and can also positively or negatively affect your customer’s perception of your business.
Whether your packaging material of choice is bubble wrap, foam sheets or other protective packaging, the right packaging supplies can help your business to save money in the long run. How? Not only does protective packaging reduce losses and refunds, it also protects your brand’s reputation. It’s hard to recover once you have a reputation for shipping damage and potential customers are more likely to buy from your competitors once they find out you have a reputation for sending broken items.
Ensuring the quality of your products upon arrival is crucial to encouraging brand loyalty and repeat purchases. So here are some tips to help you protect your packages, and protect your business!
1. Use boxes that are durable and in good condition
Try to avoid using old boxes that show signs of wear and tear. You might be tempted to reuse an old box to save cost but it is not always the wisest choice. Items might fall apart during transit and no matter how wonderful your product may be, it won’t matter to the consumer if it arrives broken. You lose money every time a customer has to return an item that was damaged during shipping. You’ll also have the hassle of dealing with returns/refunds, not to mention inadvertently creating a negative impression in your customer’s mind. One way to avoid boxes breaking apart is using corrugated boxes, which consist of many layers and are also suitable for fragile items.
2. Use cushioning materials like bubble wrap and packing peanuts
Wrapping materials might cost extra but safe packaging will eventually save you extra time, trouble and money as you avoid dealing with returns and refunds. Cheaper alternatives of protective materials such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, crumpled papers or Styrofoam inserts can help to fill in empty spaces. If using crumpled newspapers as cushioning, be cautious of black inks from the newspapers especially when wrapping a white item. Bear in mind that items wrapped with protective cushions also become bigger in size, so adjust your box size accordingly. It is advisable to have at least 5cm of cushioning between your item and your box.
3. Wrap all items separately
When shipping multiple items in a single package, bear in mind that they could move around and bump into each other during transit. Wrapping and cushioning your items separately, perhaps with corrugated inserts or other divider materials, helps you ensure the items won’t move around so much and if they do, won’t result in damage. Items that could be affected by wet conditions should be placed in a plastic bag within your package.
4. Use the H-tape method
To provide extra protection and ensure all the flaps of the box are sealed, use the letter “H” seal method. The H-tape method essentially means you tape across the box’s centre and edges, forming the letter “H” on the top and bottom of the box. This helps you to avoid unnecessary tape wastage by over taping the box. H-taping helps keep your boxes’ flaps secure during delivery, so your packages don’t open accidentally on their way to your customers. Bear in mind that heavier boxes will need more tape to secure their seams.
5. Pack liquid in an upright position
If you are packing something that contains liquid, always ensure your product and labels are packed in the upright position, and that your bottles or items do not move around in the boxes when shaken. If an item is able to move around in a box when gently shaken, it’s more likely to get jostled and broken during shipping. Ensure the item is tightly sealed to prevent leakage. Use a minimum of three layers of bubble wraps or cushioning for protection. This also helps to stop the item from moving around in the box. Securing the base of the box with extra tape is a secondary option to help keep the box sturdy and extra stable.
6. Use stretchable film
When in doubt, stretchable film is your friend! Using stretchable plastic film to wrap around your boxes keeps your box protected from rain, stains, dirt, scratches and improper handling. Stretch wrap loads tend to be more secure and also typically cost less than alternatives like shrink wrapping or strapping your boxes.
A seamless, stress-free delivery process with the right packaging supplies is important for an eCommerce business. Good packaging not only keeps your product safe during its delivery to your consumer’s doorstep, it also keeps your store’s reputation intact as it prevents your customers from receiving damaged products. Ultimately, you don’t want to create a bad reputation for your business for poor packaging or waste money on refunding your shoppers.
Create a win-win situation for yourself today and increase your business’s positive rating in the long run by using the right packaging for your products. Your shoppers will be grateful for your effort and conscientiousness, which will hopefully lead to increased customer loyalty and increased sales for your business!
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