Product Packaging – Why is it Important?
No matter what people tell you, looks do matter. Well, at least to a certain extent. This axiom holds true for e-commerce as well. While the product inside is definitely the main star, the packaging around the product also has a role to play. Customers like it when the product packaging is clean, attractive, and secure. Good-quality packaging not only impresses the customers but also enhances brand image and builds a reputation for your company.
Building a name for yourself as well as trust in the eyes of the consumer is a difficult process – one that begins the moment the product is ordered, and continues when it is delivered. The first physical impression your customer has of your product is the packaging. So it is no surprise that if the packaging is shabby or torn, it leaves a bad taste in the customer’s mouth. It might get so bad that some customers might outright refuse to buy your products anymore, simply because of poor packaging.
So now that you know why you need good product packaging, the question remains- how do you do it? Well, fear not- for this article will take you through all the nitty-gritties of product packaging and what makes a certain way of packaging good or bad. Let’s jump right in!
Tips to Ensure Proper Packaging:-
1. Choose the Right Packaging as per the Product
Some major mistakes sellers tend to make is to ship the products in unsuitable packaging. For example, small objects are sometimes placed in oversized parcels leading to jerking around of the object inside and possible damage. The outer package should be selected in tandem as per the requirements of the product itself. For example, a smartphone needs a corrugated box with multiple protective layers, whereas a piece of cloth might need just a simple plastic wrap. Heavier items may need stronger packaging, and fragile items may need extra padding or cushioning.
2. Use Padding Moderately
Padding or cushioning is undoubtedly an important part of proper packaging, as it prevents the product from jerking or bouncing around. At the same time however, it should be kept in mind to use it in moderation, and not overdo it. Overfilling boxes with padding material can put pressure on the product and cause it to crack or get damaged. Some commonly used forms of padding are foam, bubble wrap, and crumpled paper.
3. Use Good Quality Materials
This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many vendors try to get away with sub-standard packaging materials. If you’re looking to save costs, consider buying materials in bulk or tying up with one of your providers.
Your customer is no fool, and bad quality packaging can damage products in transit, causing much more loss than if you had just used good materials from the start. Even worse, it might even damage other products which were otherwise perfectly packed. No matter what, never try to skimp on packaging materials, for it may easily backfire on you. Some factors to keep in mind while selecting packaging materials are:-
- Flexibilty – to absorb shocks and bends
- Tensile Strength – to fit the products and pad them properly
- Compression and barrier properties –to prevent contact and contamination
4. Seal the box properly
Next up, it’s extremely important to ensure that the packages are sealed tight, without allowing air to pass unless the product needs it to do so. Improper seal packaging might lead the product to get damaged. This can occur due to various unfavourable circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions, or rough handling. A proper packaging method needs to seal the box and keep it in place, offering a certain extent of protection and ensuring that the product doesn’t fall off mid-journey.
A widely-used sealing option would be the H-Tape method. It works by sealing the box across the edges and open seams, forming an H-shape. It’s an easy and simple method that offers relatively more protection, thus making it a popular choice.
5. Standardize the Fulfilment Chain
Make sure to design a consistent set of guidelines or procedures to follow during the packaging and shipping process, and perfect it over time. It’s better not to add too many checkpoints or stations in between and reduce shipping times as much as possible, as most customers don’t normally like it when their products are late.
The overall process should be streamlined and easy to follow, and the employees need to be properly trained to execute the orders, and with practice, perform them as efficiently and quickly as possible. Such consistency can be achieved only when there is a clear pathway for the workers to follow, which is why standardization is essential for speeding up the packaging procedure.
6. Don’t Stick to a Single Vendor
It is always wise to have a backup plan in case things go off track. While having a single vendor can definitely be beneficial at times, allowing companies to develop a meaningful relationship and negotiate prices more reasonably, it is also quite risky.
The risk is when the vendor is, for some reason or the other, unable to meet the deadlines for providing packaging materials, or unable to supply the materials at all. Such situations might risk threatening your entire operation. Therefore, having multiple vendors, while cumbersome and more time-consuming, might be a safer alternative.
7. Personalized Packaging
Last, but perhaps the most important point, is how the package is presented to the customer. Maybe you’ve used top-of-the-grade materials and taken all safety precautions, and the product is in perfect condition. The customer is satisfied, but not impressed. This is because the package is all brown and black – just like a million other generic packages.
In order to really impress the customer, it’s advisable to go the extra mile- to decorate the packaging with special materials like cardboard cut-outs or pop-ups, or to write down the customer’s name on the parcel. It might not seem like much, but it really makes a difference in humanising your brand.
To conclude, we’ve come to know why product packaging is important for an e-commerce business – it’s really a part of the overall shipping process and should be done with just as much care and effort as the other parts. A big part of gaining and retaining customers is whether or not their products are packaged safely and correctly, so it’s really a no-brainer why good product packaging is a must. You want your customers to feel not just satisfied, but impressed and delighted when the product is delivered, and as long as you keep the above points in mind, you’ll no doubt be successful in doing so.