The apparel chain filed for bankruptcy in January and closed its e-commerce site and stores.
Every measure that ensures an item is properly packed helps ensure smooth delivery and customer satisfaction.
Recently, a Dutch bike company has gone viral for shipping their bikes in boxes with images of flat-screen TVs printed on them, to reduce damage during delivery. The idea was that couriers would handle the boxes more carefully if they thought they contained TVs. Is the product packaging really that important? What can you do to reduce product damaging during shipping?
These are two main questions that arise from the insanely clever decision of VanMoof to mask their bikes as flat-screen TVs. According to an interview of the company’s co-founder Taco Carlier with The Independent, they had noticed that their Brooklyn store was full of refurbished bicycles, mostly damaged during shipping. Such had to be resold but at a discount, affecting the company’s returns negatively.
To boost their sales and cut on such costs, they thought of an idea to tame the problem. That’s how the flat-screen TV idea was born. Fortunately, since they began painting the flat-screen on the side of their boxes, the damage has reduced by 70-80%.
The bottom line? Nobody wants to manhandle delicate items. To many, a flat-screen TV is delicate compared to a bicycle. On the contrary, every item is somewhat delicate. It can scratch, dent, or get dirty, if not fully damaged, because of improper packaging. None of your clients want to receive their items in a condition short of what you have described on your online store. How can proper packaging save your products and business reputation?
Importance of Proper Product Packaging
- It preserves the item
Poor packaging is a major reason why items arrive at their shipment destination damaged. Use of the wrong box sizes and improper cushioning exposes the item to unnecessary pressure during handling and ferrying. Those handling can also judge the fragility of an item by how it is packaged. If it doesn’t look fragile, they don’t give it the attention and care it deserves. Such an item is likely to be broken, dented or worn out by the time it reaches the recipient.
- Cuts down on cost
If an item has dents or any sign of wear and tear, many clients will consider such goods damaged and choose to return them to the sender. This costs the seller a lot of money in repairs and replacements. The customer may feel dissatisfied with the quality of service and choose not to deal with the business again. Such a business ends up losing their valuable client. Proper packaging will prevent such incidences and save a business its reputation and other costs.
- Improves delivery time
There is a lot of time wasted during processing of packages that were accidentally opened during delivery process. It can happen with boxes or envelopes made from poor materials. Damaged packaging needs to be checked for any possible missing items, and fixed so it can continue the trip to the receiver. This slows down the shipping process and consumers are likely to get their item late. Worse still, the items might arrive in poor condition. Your customers will not only return the item but will be furious about the seemingly poor service. You can reverse the situation by striving to attain packaging that can guarantee expected delivery time.
- Saves your business reputation
In many cases, most customers do not associate the poor condition of their goods or late arrival with the shipping channels. They consider the supplier negligent and can easily form a negative opinion about that company. Such inconveniences almost always push your customers to give you a poor rating, which is extremely bad for you as an online retailer.
What can you do to reduce product damaging during shipping?
- Use a strong box
Depending on the weight and state of what you are shipping, you need to choose a sturdy box that won’t fail along the way. In this case, one must go for new boxes or gently used to make sure they are still firm.
- Choose an appropriate size of the packaging box
This is one way to reduce the shipping costs and packaging waste. When packing, the goods should occupy almost all the space in the box except that meant for cushioning. This depends on the item too. If packing clothes, for instance, you don’t need cushioning. In this case, you can have them fill your box completely.
- Position your goods properly
You could try different ways of arranging the goods inside your box. However, make sure each item faces the required direction. For instance, if packing fragile goods that should remain upright, their face should occupy the bigger side of your box. Otherwise, it will be difficult to keep such items upright when shipping.
- Beware of goods that require cushioning materials
If you want to ensure effective packaging, choose a cushioning that suits the kind of goods you are using. When wrapping fragile items that are large, choose bubble wrap. Make sure the item doesn’t have sharp points. Styrofoam peanuts can work well for almost any kind of material. A high-performance cushioning can help you protect your items and save on shipping fees too. This is because you can actually choose a smaller packaging box if you are efficient in cushioning.
- Use a tape suitable for shipping
A good tape for shipping is water-activated and pressure-sensitive. A heavy-duty nylon tape could be a proper choice in this case. Run it across the box and along the side seams at least three times. This way, you make sure the items packed do not easily push the box open. Large materials with a lot of weight may call for copious rounds of tape.
- Include clear labeling of the destination address