Optimizing Your eCommerce Shipments: Benefits from Updating Your Packaging Strategy

Eric Pong
fork lift labor warehouse- Floship

With the emergence of the eCommerce industry has come the necessity to bring packaging strategies to a new level.
While there are many similarities between shipping items from a brick-and-mortar store and through an eCommerce site, there are also differences that we will cover here — the foremost reasons why you need a new packaging strategy when shipping eCommerce goods.

Define your own packaging rules

Pulling Boxes In Warehouse
Unlike standard brick-and-mortar stores that package and ship directly from their storefront, eCommerce businesses must choose a different means of getting their products to consumers.
First and foremost, eCommerce stores must have responsive web design that will catalogue their goods effectively. Then their customers can order goods easily, beginning the shipping and packaging process with ease.
There are various themes that are available through platforms such as Shopify that provide merchants the ability to utilize software to create efficient packaging strategies.
When you own an eCommerce store and plan to ship the items via a warehouse, then it is important to understand if there are any flaws in the shipping system, as these issues may cost a substantial amount of money.
Therefore, you may be required to consider changing your packaging rules in order to maximize revenues and save customers costs on deliveries.
For instance, many eCommerce businesses have adopted packaging strategies that allow them to ship multiple items within a single package, and this is done by changing the packaging design.

In fact, it can be well-worth the investment to hire packaging engineers to help develop space-saving, low-cost packaging designs to improve upon pre-existing designs.

There are a couple of common methods of storing and shipping products when you are running an eCommerce business: shipping from a warehouse or shipping directly from the manufacturer.

Product protection

Package Optimization Design
Perhaps the most important aspect of packaging any product is ensuring that it reaches the customer in pristine condition.
All too often in the eCommerce industry, customers will receive a product that is damaged and, therefore, it must be returned, making for an unhappy customer and increasing the costs to the business. Therefore, it is vital to develop packaging strategies to address any  issues that could become present during shipping, which could lead to a product being damaged, even when properly handled by carriers.

There is no doubt that it can be nearly impossible to control what happens to the package as it makes its way through the supply chain.

Yet, there are steps that can be taken to help ensure that items are protected:
One of the best ways to package your eCommerce items is to use a rigid structure that will be less prone to collapse if dropped or mishandled. Heavy-duty packaging can become costly, but the added investment will save you money in the long run because you will avoid unhappy customers receiving broken and otherwise damaged goods.
Another way of ensuring that packages are properly protected is by working closely with carrier companies to develop strategies to keep packages safe. Not only will working with carriers help form a bond between both your business and the carrier, but it will also allow you to analyze the logistics involved in making sure that packages are not damaged during shipping.
Furthermore, working with shipping companies may present opportunities to combine shipments, postal injection for example, which will go a long way in lowering costs. 

New equipment

Equipment is an essential part of the packaging side of any business. When you are developing a strategy for the best means of packing your products, you will want to evaluate the equipment that the company is using to pack the items.
While it used to be that packaging a product took dozens of workers all working together to prep items for shipping, nowadays mechanical means are becoming more and more available for most warehouses to help expedite the process and still allow for proper packaging.
For example there are machines that will apply bands of tape to seal packages and print high-resolution logos on the packages, all in a matter of seconds. An additional advantage to using up-to-date equipment is the ability to reuse components and place items in packages in the most efficient manner.
With smart technologies continually evolving, there is no doubt that packaging machines are going to need to be updated on a regular basis, so it is important to stay up-to-date with the changes in the industry.

Reallocate labor

Shipping Labor
While using state-of-the-art equipment can help to make the packaging process more successful and eliminate the certain duties needed to put products into the packaging, there are other facets that will need to be addressed.
Fortunately, the labor that has been freed up by using packaging equipment can then be utilized in other areas of packaging.
For example, you may want to consider using these employees to help maintain stocking quotas and moving the items from the storage spaces to the packaging equipment. This reallocation of labor can significantly improve the workflow and help ensure that the correct items are being placed in the necessary boxes.
In addition, if your eCommerce company is using an array of equipment for its packaging needs, then these workers can take up positions that have been created by the packaging equipment, such as loading the products into the packages and controlling the quality of the output.

In conclusion

If you own an eCommerce store then utilizing smart packaging strategies can help grow your business and maintain happy customers.

One of the greatest benefits of reformulating a packaging strategy is that you will be able to define your own packaging rules.

By analyzing packaging rules, you may be able to find weaknesses in the process that can be improved upon, which can help increase revenues and customer satisfaction.
For instance, there may be times when multiple items can be fit within the same package, which can greatly decrease the costs related to shipping, understanding how dimensional weight fees affect your products can help here.
Another concern in packaging is the ability of the package to arrive at its destination without being damaged. Therefore, developing packages that are resistant to damage from dropping and mishandling will significantly improve the customer’s experience, and will go a long way in retaining that buyer for their next purchase.
Moreover, investing in new equipment so that the packaging process is expedited, while still retaining a high level of quality, can be financially beneficial, and at the same time allow for a reallocation of labor. This labor can then be used in other areas, such as stocking and moving products from the storage space to the packaging center.
When you operate an eCommerce store, be sure to consider some of these packaging strategies, as they will increase both revenues and customer satisfaction.

Floship Guest Post – About the Author

Beth Lausin Author

This is a guest post by Michelle Deery, a team member of Heroic Search in Tulsa. She specializes in writing about eCommerce. You can follow her on Twitter @MichWriting.

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