If you have been an internet user for at least the last five years, it is highly unlikely that you haven’t been tempted into make an online purchase. Advertisements for the online retail giant Amazon are an everyday affair on global media networks and have managed to penetrate the local networks even in developing countries in Asia and Africa. No matter how trivial the product is, there is joy and excitement that comes with awaiting a package you have ordered online for many an avid shopper. Imagine their dismay when their much-awaited package arrives mangled, its contents probably reduced to smithereens!
The point of delivery is a tangible touchpoint your customers have with your brand. The experience at the doorstep sets into motion a series of further experiences as they go about unboxing your product. These tiny experiences either make or break their relationship with your brand. Losing customers because of packaging blunders is not something a newbie entrepreneur can afford. So, here are a bunch of things to keep in mind before sending out your product to your logistics partner.
Getting the dimensions right: Most products that get shipped over long distances tend to be packaged in a box, primarily because they have to conform to the rules of the carriers. If the box is too big, it could get dented. If it is too small, it wouldn’t hold up and could perforate easily and damage the product. The ideal box should leave at least 5 cm between the outer packaging layer and the inner layer, for fillers such as biodegradable packing peanuts, while being neither too large, nor too small.
Weather conditions of the destination matters: It may be hot and sunny where your manufacturing unit is, but it needn’t be the same where you are sending your package to. Seasons vary across the globe, and keeping a tab on the weather conditions of the regions you ship to should be a pre-emptive tactic that your business adopts early on. For example, cardboard boxes without a waterproof film on the outside are at a risk of getting damp and disintegrating, especially during the moisture-laden monsoon months.
Know your product well: How much does the product weigh? Is the product fragile? Is there a risk of spillage? Does it have to be kept upright? If yes, which side is up? If you are able to answer all these questions without hesitation, you know your product well. Keep all these in mind while selecting your packaging material. And remember, use a label to indicate if your product is fragile and also the instructions on how it should be rested. However, keep in mind that labels can be missed, and only sturdy packaging can guarantee an uneventful shipment.
Try not to overpack: An acquaintance of ours once broke a pair of scissors in an attempt to open an ‘impossible-to-open’ package! True that you want to protect your product while it goes from one hand to another until it reaches those of your customer, but making it difficult for them to liberate your product is not going to get you any brownie points. Another example of overpacking is when businesses use an overly large box for a teeny tiny product swimming in an ocean of fillers! Forget the struggle of having to find the product; just imagine all the wastage!
In an age when businesses are trying to bring down their impact on the planet by going eco-friendly, creating more waste to go into landfills is going to result in many raised eyebrows. And the last thing a newbie entrepreneur needs is a public outcry regarding your business’s sustainability. This is the very reason why Amazon launched their frustration-free packaging so that its customers can have an enjoyable unboxing experience along with the reassurance that the materials used are recyclable.
A detail as minor as packaging can affect your business’s overall sales. To guarantee an exceptional experience for your customers, make it a criterion for your business to perfect your product’s packaging.