What do you think of when you see a cardboard box? Likely not much. But when you are running an eCommerce site, a cardboard box symbolizes endless possibilities. Packaging is also a necessary, albeit often overlooked, part of the eCommerce process even though the packaging you choose says a lot about your store. It can also affect your bottom line. In fact, a number of these new eCommerce packaging options can actually improve your profit margins.
Going Green with Sustainable Packaging
Cardboard boxes, tape, address labels… all of these supplies can cost a lot of money; and when you add the gas burned during shipping, a lot of CO2 too. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s time to reimagine your packaging options.
Why not take advantage of flexible packaging? Unlike cardboard boxes, which are big and bulky, flexible packaging is slim and lightweight. Flexible packaging can be made from recyclable or compostable materials which have a tiny environmental impact compared to plastic bags and packing peanuts.
Not only is flexible packaging better for the environment, it’s actually cheaper to ship. According to Packaging Digest, ”One truckload of flexible packaging is equivalent to 26 truckloads of glass jars.” Flexible packaging is easier to ship because it is lighter and less-space intensive, which can mean big savings for you.
Finally, sustainable packaging is a point of pride for many eCommerce vendors because it helps showcase their brand as a forward-thinking and responsible business. So, go ahead. Share the good work you are doing with your customers in your FAQ or ‘about us’ sections of your website.
Specialty Packaging for Memorable Merchandise
Let’s say your virtual store is all about personality – shouldn’t your packaging match that personality? After all, you used an eCommerce store builder to create a site with bold colors and charismatic branding. Complete the customer experience with packaging that complements your products.
For example, if you sell custom-made jewelry, it might make sense to send your goods in a decorative box filled with confetti or affixed with a card. This means everything in the mind of a shopper. You’ve turned a simple delivery into a gift, from your heart to theirs.
Of course, this isn’t the only option. Some eCommerce vendors have great success inserting stickers, coupons, freebies and promos into their packaging. The hope here is that the buyer will advertise your store by placing the sticker on their car or computer; or shop with you again as prompted by the coupons and promos.
What can you come up with to improve your customer experience and keep them coming back for more?
Fragile Products: Handle with Care
If you are shipping fragile items, take the utmost care to deliver them without breakage. A broken item can really botch your efforts for sustainability and sink your favorability with the customer. This could result in complaints, negatives reviews and pricey returns.
According to the aforementioned Packaging Daily article, “Returns can cause the most waste and ecological harm.” That’s bad news for you, and bad news for Earth.
If you are sending fragile items through the mail, you may want to explore your options. Start by picking an appropriate outer material, such as a double-wall corrugated box. Next, select a material to wrap around your merchandise to protect it from hard impacts, such as bubble wrap or foam bags. Finally, choose a material to fill the void in the box. This could include packing peanuts, air cushions or scrunched up paper.
Remember, it’s always better to be overly cautious when it comes to fragile items. With these new eCommerce packaging options, you can also improve your bottom line, even while shipping more safely and more securely.