Receiving a sale feels like a win. So much so that it’s tempting to speed through or overlook the details of the customer’s journey after they purchase your product. However, packaging and shipping play a key role in saving your company time and money while improving the customer experience (leading to more sales). Whether you feel set in your packaging process, or you have no idea where to begin, below are some tips to make your strategy more cost-efficient and personal.
1. Focus on the Process
The best shipment packaging is the one that meets your company’s needs. You must assess your sales, communicate with warehouses and third-party carriers, and determine what materials you need to keep your products safe. For example, if your product is fragile, it will likely require inner and outer packaging and cushioning material. If it is perishable or prone to exposure damage, the packaging needs to be opaque to avoid light degradation. Test which materials within your budget can offer the protection you need. With that in mind, avoid unnecessary packaging that adds cost, increases waste, and frustrates your customers.
Is your company relatively small, or are you in the process of scaling your reach? Order volume and shipping boundaries will help you determine if you need to outsource the packaging process or if you can complete it efficiently in-house. Whatever your needs, select a designated packaging space that optimizes your workflow, saving you time and money. Even if your business is small-scale, you can benefit from automating some packaging steps. It’s also crucial to keep your packaging equipment in working order by doing routine maintenance.
Sustainable packaging and shipping practices are climbing higher on the priority list for businesses and customers. Most customers are even willing to pay more when they know the packaging is reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable.
In your shipping practices, move away from single-use plastics and other non-recyclable materials. They are unnecessary, and you can find more environmentally friendly alternatives that are still affordable. You can opt for durable, lightweight corrugated paper packaging made from recycled materials to pad products. For interior wrapping, you might select reusable plastics, silicone, or cloth bags. Padded mailing bags also add protection and allow customers to use them again to ship their products.
If sustainability is a part of your brand identity, consider including notes and descriptions of how you source your packaging materials, giving your customers instructions on how to properly dispose of them or give them a second (or third) life.
Safety is an essential part of efficient packaging. You want to ensure the shipping materials don’t expose your customers to harsh chemicals or cause choking hazards for little ones. Additionally, you want your product to get into the right hands. One of the best ways to achieve this is with child-resistant packaging.
Food-grade, BPA-free packaging preserves products and reduces waste. Tamper-evident tabs increase a customer’s sense of security and trust in the product. Child-resistant packaging is a must-have to keep everyone in the customer’s household safe and guarantee the integrity of your products.
4. On Brand
Ideal packaging is functional, sustainable, and on-brand. The unboxing experience is part of your customer’s journey. You’ll want to include logos, color schemes, and patterns that customers expect. Consider this: Which would you be more excited to open? Plain, undecorated stacks of boxes and bubble wrap, or wrappings with custom designs and the brand name you trust displayed clearly? There’s also more to packaging than the materials themselves.
For a personal touch that improves the customer experience, you might include custom notes (make them handwritten to go the extra mile). Depending on what products you ship, you might need to provide instructions within the packaging. You can also include free samples to give customers more bang for their buck and encourage them to make future purchases.
You might feel overwhelmed by all the components that come with establishing an efficient packaging and shipment strategy, especially as your business needs change. However, there are many resources available to secure affordable, durable, and sustainable packaging materials. Many easy-to-implement add-ons will make the unboxing experience an enjoyable part of the customer’s journey. Whatever materials and methods you choose, remember to test your designs. Have your team members open your products to see how functional the packaging is and listen to customer feedback about their experiences and suggestions. You can also gain inspiration and avoid pitfalls by studying your competitors’ techniques.