Trying to figure out the best way to approach packaging and shipping for your customers? If so, you’re already ahead of much of the competition. Not enough enterprises carefully consider their logistics the way they should, even though it’s widely understood how important it is. To make sure you’re delivering the best experience to your customers and keeping your own costs as low as possible, we advise following these best practices.
Assess and plan
Before you ship the first item, you need to step back and really look at what you’re trying to do. What sorts of items are you shipping, what sorts of margins to do you need, should you be focusing on shipping that ‘wows’ or shipping that costs the least possible? You also need to weigh and measure whether in-house or third party logistics work better for you – and if it’s the latter, do you want drop shipping, a carefully-managed logistics program, or something else?
Use the right tools for labeling and organizing
Modern logistics is all about using the right technology to get the most efficient, effective result. You should never have to worry about packages that vanish into nothingness, delivery of the wrong item, or any of the other problems that could be averted with a little care and caution. The technology should make it easier for you, easier for the customer, easier for the fulfillment warehouse, and easier for the shipping company.
Focus on transparency
Not literal transparency, although that can certainly be useful with avoiding mistaken delivery of the wrong variant of a product. No, focus on making sure you know where items are, where they’re going, and how they’re getting there, even if you use third parties for your logistics. Similarly, you want to make sure the customer understands that same information – it helps with the customer experience.
Pack safe, not excessive
Nothing short of sealing an item and hiding it in Fort Knox can truly guarantee its safety, but you also don’t want to deal with constant damage to your products. You want to make sure you’re meeting the requirements for packing established by anyone between you and the customer – it helps avoid extra costs, damage from standard handling practices, and other headaches.
All the careful packaging and packing in the world won’t help if you don’t secure your boxes and bags reliably. Don’t use scotch, duct or any other tape – use proper shipping tape. Use nylon-reinforced shipping tape for anything weighty. And don’t be stingy; tape isn’t expensive or difficult to apply, and a few extra strips on each package can save you a lot of losses.
Ship with marketing in mind
With e-commerce, your website is often viewed as your one and only opportunity to wow the customer with branding, but don’t forget the potential of good packaging. If you’re shipping bargain electronics at razor-thin margins, perhaps stick to the cheapest options for safe shipping. But if you’re shipping anything where brand loyalty is worth cultivating, a good branded package goes a long way for selling products online.
Finally, watch carefully for waste and added fees. Once you’ve established your strategy for packaging and shipping, look at what goes right and what goes wrong. Are you triggering unnecessary fees or seeing a particular type of damage in returns and complaints? Observe and adapt.