For consumer-based eCommerce businesses, the customer experience is probably the single most important factor to company success. Customers are a company’s greatest asset, and it’s just good business to satisfy customers. Since packaging and the box in which a product is contained is likely the first tangible interaction a customer will have with the brand, it’s important to get it right. If the initial packaging experience isn’t positive, it may be difficult to retain a customer long term. And, since customer acquisition costs can be some of the highest line items for businesses, eCommerce companies should keep the following packaging considerations in mind in order to make a positive, lasting impression:
Protective Packaging Design: Since the packaging is the first thing customers see when they open their door to accept delivery of a product, consider using the protective outer box as a marketing opportunity. While it’s important to select the right packaging performance characteristics to protect products during shipment, using branded corrugated boxes, tape with your logo imprinted, or even printing inside the box will reinforce the brand experience and result in a more positive experience for the customer.
Sustainability: According to a Nielson global online study, sustainability is a shopping priority for millennials, which is a consumer group most likely to shop online. In fact, 66% of the respondents indicated that they are willing to spend more for products from green companies committed to sustainability. By using eco-friendly packaging made from recycled materials (like Pratt’s 100% recycled corrugated boxes), eCommerce companies can show their commitment to sustainable practices and earn the business of a growing market segment.
Operational Throughput: Product fulfillment costs can rise quickly, especially if you don’t have a plan. Packaging design that reduces labor and increases production through automation is key for company scalability. Implementing automation early in the process is a great way to anticipate future growth and keep fulfillment costs down. Packaging automation equipment to consider includes racking and conveyors, stretch wrappers, carton sealers, labeling machines, digital printers, scanners, case erectors, paper void fill and protective packaging systems.
Packaging Material Cost Reduction: Taking steps to reduce materials that go inside and around the box is not only an effort in sustainability but will also reduce overall packaging costs. Reducing the amount of protective fill by right-sizing the box, as well as reducing tape use on a per package basis is a great start to material cost reduction.
Supply Chain Cost Reduction: It’s important to look at the entire supply chain as a way to optimize ecommerce fulfillment and enhance the overall customer experience. By selecting a packaging company that manages your fulfillment, you can reduce the number of deliveries through a direct ship program, reduce non-inventory warehouse space to store packaging, and reduce overall freight costs by eliminating supply deliveries.
An exceptional customer experience is all in the details, and many eCommerce companies miss an important opportunity to maximize the customer experience through packaging and fulfillment. By implementing a few simple solutions, companies can not only improve their bottom line but also retain a customer for life. What will your business do to own the packaging experience for a better customer?