E-commerce fulfillment continues to surpass expectations for consumer preference and sales projections, yet customer feedback indicates there is room for improvement. Many e-retailers fail to consider that packaging can have a positive or negative effect on the customer experience. Everything from the material, color, wording, and design can give retailers a margin above the competition.
Statistics show that claim resolutions for products shipped have risen. The leading complaints are, ‘concealed or invisible damage to product’ and ‘visible damage or loss’. Packaging and shipping offer an opportunity e-retailers to create loyal customers, by exceeding customer expectations and using effective branding strategies.
The following trends and best practices for E-commerce packaging can help ensure your customers will enjoy receiving and opening a package from your business:
- Consumers love eco-friendly packaging that is either sustainable, recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable. It is important to let the consumer know your business has instigated a ‘zero waste’ shipping program that reduces the carbon impact on the environment. Moisture resistant options for earth-friendly packaging are available with excellent crush protection for shipped goods, such as post-consumer waste (PCW) corrugated boxes, Kraft and newsprint paper, and biodegradable cellophane wrap.
- Package inserts are a low-cost way to target loyal customers and can yield high returns, as the cost of delivery is already covered. It is much easier to keep an existing customer than it is to generate new business. If customer retention is a prime objective for your e-commerce business, a packaging insert can be an opportunity to launch a new product, offer additional discounts on future purchases, or to simply include a personalized ‘thank you’ note.
- Packaging design moves the shipping container from a brown box or plain bag to a distinct and specialized branding opportunity. This trend is increasing in popularity with high-end and luxury goods retailers. E-retailers that make the packaging design an extension of their corporate brand, that is incorporating the brand color palette, company logo, and text fonts, create an opportunity for the consumer to value the consumer experience as these containers are more apt to be retained for future uses.
- No-Fuss packaging follows the ‘less is more’ rule, and seek to provide frustration-free, stripped down packaging independent of plastic-welded clamshells or blister packs. Viable alternatives for protective shipping which eliminates the ‘unwrap-rage’ of clamshell packaging includes fiber-based or bamboo trays that are not only sustainable but easier to open.
- Multi-purpose packaging serves the dual role as a shipping container and product storage or presentation medium. This option has traditionally been aimed towards the B2B market rather than B2C, as the shipping package can be immediately converted into retail-ready displays. Yet, as consumers are buying more household dry goods online and in bulk, marketing of the shipping package as a convenient and efficient storage container will appeal to the orderly sensibilities of shoppers.
- Space-efficient packaging has become a notable request from consumers who don’t understand why small items are shipped in oversized boxes and filled with any variety of dunnage materials. Ensuring the shipping container is sized properly for its contents is economically reasonable throughout the logistical chain. Unused or vacuous space within packages contributes to environmental waste, reduces useable cargo space for carriers, and increases shipping costs. Solve this issue and improve your fulfillment costs by increasing the variety of box sizes your company keeps in stock for shipping to reduce the amount of unused space per shipment.
Reducing shipping costs, gaining loyal customers in an increasingly competitive environment, and sustaining a high level of customer satisfaction and review feedback, are just a few areas where any e-commerce business can gain improvements by modifying their e-commerce packaging.
Contact us for quick, convenient, and efficient delivery from fulfillment to the customer as your e-commerce shipping expert.