If you have an eCommerce business, then you probably already know that using good shipping practices is critical to your success. After all, your customers cannot visit you in a brick-and-mortar location. They shop for products on your website and then rely on you to use the right packaging to get their chosen items to them in one piece.
Unfortunately, packaging remains an afterthought for many businesses. This may include new businesses that are just getting off the ground as well as those that have been around for several years. If you’re new to shipping, then chances are good that you are not aware of all of the pitfalls that are an inherent part of the process. If you’ve been in business for a while, then it may be time to ask yourself how well your shipping and packaging are really serving your needs and those of your customers.
What Happens When Your Packaging Isn’t Quite Right
Is any sturdy box that you happen to have on hand appropriate for shipping your products? Can you just slap a new label on the original packaging that you received from the vendor and call it good?
You can, but it’s probably not a good idea. When you use packaging that is not quite good enough then:
- You’ll probably spend more in shipping costs
- Your customers are more likely to receive broken products
- You are missing out on an opportunity to communicate your brand’s message to your customers
- You risk driving dissatisfied customers to your competition
Many entrepreneurs have little idea just how important their packaging is. This is why they tend to make costly mistakes that could stall the growth of their company or even prevent the venture from succeeding.
If you want to avoid these pitfalls, keep reading, then call Mid-Atlantic Packaging to learn even more. Our packaging and design experts are standing by to help provide your business with common-sense solutions.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that businesses make when they are shipping packaging.
1. Excessive or Inadequate Packaging
When you are shipping packaging, you want each one to sit squarely in the Goldilocks zone. This means that you don’t use excessive packaging, and neither do you use inadequate packaging.
Why is excessive packaging a problem? Usually, it’s because the boxes in which you are shipping your items are too big. Larger boxes usually mean increased shipping costs, something that your company probably would prefer to avoid.
However, you want to be certain that you don’t go the opposite direction and provide inadequate packaging. Are your products small, delicate, detailed, or even potentially hazardous? If so, then it’s critical that you choose the right amount of packaging. Don’t try to squeeze too many products in one small box and make sure that you are using the right amount and type of padding material.
2. Skimping on Packaging Quality
Whether your business is new or has been operating for a few years, it is always tempting to look for places where costs can be trimmed. This is a good idea, but only if the cuts are sensible ones.
Packaging is not an area in which it pays to choose inferior materials. It may look as though you are going to save a lot of money initially, but those savings will quickly evaporate as customers start to receive items that are damaged or destroyed.
Your customers are going to want to return those items, and word may spread that your shipping practices leave something to be desired.
Believe it or not, all cardboard is not the same. Choosing a sub-par cardboard box may save you money upfront, but it will cost you more down the road. If you have questions about how sturdy and reliable different packaging options are, then call Mid-Atlantic Packaging. Our representatives are here to help you make sensible, budget-friendly decisions related to all of your packaging needs.
3. Boxes That Are the Wrong Size
If your company sells just one product, then you may be able to get away with a single size of shipping box. What if your company sells two products, one that is quite large and one that is small? You would definitely need at least two different packaging options.
Companies that sell a wide variety of products make a wise choice when they select a broad range of packaging options. A one-size-fits-all philosophy certainly does not make sense in the world of shipping. Why spend all of the money to ship a tiny item in a huge box? Plus, there’s nothing to be gained by trying to cram several bulkier items into a too-small box. Scratches, dents, dings, and breakage are certain to ensue.
It may cost you more money to select a variety of boxes, bags, envelopes, and other packaging materials, but this is an approach that serves your best interests over the long term. If you need assistance choosing a selection of packaging products for your business, just contact Mid-Atlantic Packaging for guidance and advice.
4. Using Packaging That’s Impossible to Open
Everyone has been there more than once. You finally get that item you’ve been dreaming about for weeks, but your mood quickly changes from elation to frustration as you do battle with packaging that’s impossible to open.
Don’t leave your customers in a bind. It is possible to ensure that your products are secure during shipping while also minimizing frustration when that item reaches your customer’s hands. Boxes may be secured with glue, tape, or other methods. Perhaps your items might be able to be safely shipped in a courier bag or flyer that has a convenient opening mechanism. Many innovative solutions are available at Mid-Atlantic Packaging, enabling your company to achieve the proper balance between security and ease of opening.
5. Neglecting Branding
Did you know that designing unique packaging for your business can be critical to your success? Branded packaging provides your company with an unbeatable opportunity to make connections with your customers. Even something as simple as adding your company’s name and contact information to packaging can make a significant difference.
Of course, the sky is the limit when it comes to designing branded packaging. Here are just a few examples of the choices that Mid-Atlantic Packaging can offer you:
- A wide variety of font and text options
- The chance to add your company’s logo or some original artwork
- Add your company’s signature colors
- Custom touches like thank you notes, personalized ribbons and enhanced filler options
As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you don’t offer customers a chance to touch and interact with your brand in a tangible way during the shopping experience. Branded packaging makes up for that by offering the public a taste of what your company is all about.
6. Neglecting Options for Return Packaging
You want each of your customers to be delighted with their purchase. Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to expect to hit it out of the park every time. This means that the wise entrepreneur plans for inevitable returns.
Ideally, your customers will find that your return process is smooth, efficient, and easy. You can facilitate this impression by providing packaging that can double as return packaging. For instance, several sealable bags and envelopes have a perforated opening for the customer to use when receiving the item. Also included is an additional sealing flap that can be used to return the product, if necessary. When you make returns fast and easy, you are far more likely to encourage a customer to try your brand again.
7. Not Asking for or Ignoring Customer Feedback
Too many companies make the mistake of not listening to their customers. If you have customers telling you that your boxes, bags, or envelopes are creating problems, hear them out. You may encounter a few people who don’t have a legitimate complaint, but if you keep hearing about the same issues over and over, it’s time to pay attention.
Encourage your customers to get in touch so that you can find out more about their experience. You might ask customers to fill out a survey, giving them a coupon in return. This is a golden opportunity to gain insight into customer experience and look for places in which improvement is needed.
Get Guidance from Mid-Atlantic Packaging
Do you have questions about shipping packaging for your business? Maybe you’re just getting started and don’t know what materials or packaging types are available. On the other hand, you may be looking to fine-tune your packaging so that it saves you time and money. Either way, Mid-Atlantic Packaging is here to help.
Talk to our design experts if you want to create custom-branded packaging for your business.