From Online Sale to Your Customer’s Door: A Guide to Packing and Shipping

Customers these days are not just interested in finding the right product at the right price they are also judging your business on how smooth and quick the process is between placing the order and getting the item in their hands.

If you want to grow your online business and enjoy repeat custom in a competitive environment it is essential to get every part of the transaction right.

Here is a look at various aspects that can help you achieve that aim of delivering a great service and product to each customer, including how to choose the right packaging and what to look out for in the shipping process.

Packaging is an opportunity to improve the customer experience

Gone are the days where packaging and shipping were just a means to an end and where little attention was paid to how the item was delivered to the customer, as long as it arrived within the stated timeframe.

Savvy e-commerce exponents quickly realized that presentation, packaging, and shipping are all an integral part of the customer shopping experience and this means that your business has a great opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression.

Impressing your customers and exceeding their expectations is a great way to build an e-commerce business and if you manage to make something as simple as opening the package an event in itself, this is going to have a potentially fundamental impact on the brand experience overall.

Finding your product neatly packed, attractively arranged, and even with a personal note enclosed, are all tactics that have been shown to have a positive impact on customers.

Attention to detail

In much the same way that you would be diligent enough to check out, for any special packaging requirements relating to certain products you are shipping, you should consider the chance you have at this point to stand out from the crowd.

A regular sealed factory bag combined with a standard shipping note and invoice are all highly functional and necessary to a certain extent, but making small adjustments to the way you present the items and the required information can really change the way customers perceive your business.

The key is to view packaging as an extension of your brand and once you have that mindset it will be likely to influence you to try hard to add a few personal touches that help your business to stand out.

Making the right packaging choice

Many of us will have experienced receiving an item that had been packaged in an entirely inappropriate way, either because the box used was wasteful and stuffed with materials to fill the void, or worse, the wrong packaging was used and the item was damaged when it arrived.

Neither scenario makes a good impression with the customer and there is also the issue that spending on the wrong packaging can hurt your bottom line.

Think carefully about how you are going to package and deliver each product in the most efficient and stylish way, working out which packaging material you will need to protect the item during transit.

You want to weigh up these functional requirements in line with finding a solution that presents your items in the best possible way. Even if practicalities dictate that your packaging and materials have to conform more to functionality than style, you can still find ways of personalizing them in some way.

A note inside to the customer thanking them for their business and inviting feedback on Facebook, for example, shows that you care what customers think and that should be reflected in how you have presented the item to them.

Find the right shipping partner

Unless you have your own delivery network the final part of your item’s journey is in the hands of the company you are using for shipping.

It should go without saying that you don’t want all your hard work in terms of presentation and packaging to be undone by a poor shipping experience.

In addition to defining your shipping strategy and whether you are going to include free shipping for orders over a certain value, you might want to try and negotiate a flat-rate shipping deal that keeps it simple and cost-effective, especially if a lot of your products are a similar size and weight.

Getting your packing and shipping options just right shouldn’t be underestimated as a successful e-commerce tactic that can keep your customers happy and drive your business forward.

Sebastian Holloway started running his business from his kitchen table, soon expanding into a small warehouse, and then a larger one! He has had to learn all aspects of running his business, from shipping, packaging, logo design and web design, though is now able to delegate certain tasks!

Photo by Mira Bozhko on Unsplash

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