In the business world, most companies are aware that it’s much easier to retain customers than to search for new ones. To keep your existing customers, you need to establish loyalty and trust.
Using packing slips effectively may be one of the cheapest and most effective ways to increase customer loyalty. Becoming more creative with your package slip means you can target customers who already buy your products.
What is a packing slip?
A packing slip lists the products included in both domestic and international parcels. The slip is evidence that a product was released and shipped to the customer.
On arrival, it makes it easy for customers to compare the contents of the package with what was ordered. If any items are missing, the customer can immediately contact the seller. Any damaged goods can be identified for insurance purposes.
How does it differ from an invoice?
An invoice is a non-negotiable, mandatory payment document that identifies both buyer and seller and has a unique number.
The invoice lists products purchased and quantity, with prices for individual items and total prices, and includes other information such as the date of purchase, any discounts, and terms of payment.
A packing slip accompanies the shipment, either inside the parcel or in a clear pouch attached to its exterior. The slip states the items, gives their quantity, the date of delivery and other details, such as dimension or weight. It may also be referred to as a waybill or a manifest.
Some of the details on a packing slip are similar to those found on an invoice, but the one should not replace the other because they have different purposes.
The packing slip is sent to the person responsible for receiving items and checking that they are correct and match what was ordered. An invoice is usually sent to the person responsible for payment.
Ways to make your packing slip count
Many packing slips that come from even the most brand-conscious companies can be boring. Your brand voice may be quirky, funny, casual, trendy or anything really but your customers should know it’s yours, and you can extend this to your packing slip.
- The design of your packing slip is a way re-enforce your brand image in the eyes of your customer. Photojojo is a company that makes customers smile with their packing slip which states “OMG …., Your Photojojo goodies are heeere!”
- Another way to personalize your packing slip is to include a thank you note to your customer for making the purchase. Gratitude is a powerful way to let customers know how much you appreciate them.
Erica McCarthy of UKBestEssays has an online business selling baby products. She says “You don’t need to get too fancy. A short hand-written note is enough to make your customers feel that you value them.” All she says is “Thank you so much for your order. I appreciate your business. Here’s 10% off your next order. Coupon code ….”.
- Include a discount offer. For instance, you could offer free shipping, a 10% discount on the next order or a gift card. Packing slips are very lightweight compared to the actual products and sending something like a gift card adds little to package weight.
The idea of doing this cost you little and yet it helps you to maintain an excellent customer relationship. Discounts are known to be a game changer when it comes to impressing customers.
- Use the space to introduce new products to your customers. Including free product samples with the package, a slip is a great way to market upcoming products. They may opt for a new product rather than the one they’re currently using. You can even ask for customer feedback on these new products.
- Use it for cross-selling. Recommend products that complement those they have already purchased.
If a customer already loves one of your products, there’s a good chance they may value other products you sell. Since customers are already receiving a delivery from you, it makes sense to give them the opportunity to try another product in your line.
- Use the space to ask customers to promote your company on social media. Ask your customers to post a photo with your product on your store’s Instagram or Facebook page. The user-generated content can do a great deal for your business by making it popular. You could even add an “as seen on social media” section to your website.
Utilizing a packing slip creatively offers you more opportunities to encourage customer loyalty. You can enhance your brand image, show your appreciation, inform customers about new products and offer discounts. An unboxing moment is a special one for your customers, and if you personalize your package slip, it will not go unnoticed.
Warren is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at Resumes Planet, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.