Technology has been rising at a dramatic rate in recent years, leading to a boom in internet retailing. 2015 saw a record rise in online purchasing with predictions from experts that this will increase by up to 45% during 2016. With a typical e-commerce package being composed of 40% air higher shipping costs now penalise those who package inefficiently with methods including excess cushioning products and extreme box size. Shipping fulfilment is necessary for all home e-commerce businesses, this guide will show how start up e-retailers can deliver their items effectively, reducing the risk of damage while avoiding wasting both packaging and money.

Go lightweight

Packaging 1

Wherever possible, lightweight packaging should be used, not only does this makes the package easier to handle but should decrease the shipping cost. Items like loose-fill chips are extremely lightweight and can be bought in bulk. The chips settle around the product to ensure it cannot move if shaken during transit. Today most wholesale packaging peanuts are 100% biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Though consumers are used to receiving packages with outer and inner compartments, this is more often than not completely unnecessary and burdens the receiver with the task of disposing of the excess materials. Amazon recently came under fire for over-zealously packaging products, which damaged their brand credibility.  Opting for one layer of packaging will set your small business on the right track with your customers, will reduce the shipping cost, and not to mention ease the frustration of your customer.

Beware however as dimensional pricing means that shipping costs are based on the higher of two measurements: package weight or package size. Packaging an unnecessarily large box packed with light weight cushioning may be less economical than a smaller item that weighs more.

Packaging 2

Ask yourself

Eliminating extravagances will help reduce costs and when running a small business the bottom line is always on your periphery. When considering packaging items sell ask yourself “is this necessary?” You may find, things you thought were a must, are not vital. Colour printing can look beautiful but a simple and low cost black and white design can be equally as striking. Consider printing directly onto a box, rather than spending extra on unnecessary labels and ink.

Be sustainable savvy

Packaging 3

Offering environmentally friendly packaging can do wonders for your brand. The eco-friendly trend that has developed in recent years is showing no signs of slowing, and consumers are now looking for their packages to be delivered in sustainable packaging. During a survey of over 500 online shippers, 55% of consumers consider the carbon footprint of their online retailer and 57% state that green packaging is important to them. Choosing to delivery your products in recycled cardboard is also a low-cost method of packaging as recycled goods can be up to 40% cheaper than virgin alternatives.

Free Delivery

Suggesting free shipping may fill you with dread, but offering these deals now may lead to high customer retention and a greater overall spend. A study shows that when consumers were faced with the question of what would make them complete and online purchase, an enormous 80% stated free shipping would persuade them to buy. If free shipping is not something your small business can afford, consider offering incentives for repeat customers, or free shipping on higher priced items.

Packaging 4

Consider the journey

Although saving money is the focus of most small businesses, it’s vital you package your items sufficiently to ensure safe delivery. Damaged products leave unhappy customers, and unhappy customers don’t return. Consider changes such as temperature, environment and handling when packaging your items for delivery. If your products are being sold overseas, invest in industrial wrapping tape rather than household Sellotape. These industry specific tapes are created to endure long distances and changes to temperature without losing their adhesion. 100% recycled double corrugated cardboard can be purchased, ensuring a highly durable material that protects your goods while also safeguarding against handling during transit.

Delivering e-commerce goods comes with many challenges that home businesses face. Following these guidelines and asking yourself vital questions will supply you with the know-how to successfully package your products for maximum impact, safe delivery and satisfied customers. What can you implement to make sure your business is packaging and delivering to the best of its ability in 2016?

The post Five E-commerce Packaging Tips you Can’t Afford to Miss appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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