When it comes to shipping out orders to customers, there are several concerns. First and foremost, you want your shipments to arrive unscathed. Customers that receive damaged goods are bound to be disappointed and even angry. Even if you offer reparations like an exchange or refund, you’re going to lose money on the deal and you could lose loyal customers as well, considering the additional hassle and time involved. But you also want your goods to arrive in a timely manner and you probably want to keep shipping costs low if at all possible so you don’t have to pass the expense along to your customers. Although you will have to rely on your shipping service to some extent to help you meet these many goals, there’s also a lot you can do when packing products for shipment to ensure that your customers are pleased with the quality of goods and services they receive. Here are some guidelines to follow.
- Standard box sizes. If you want to keep shipping costs as low as possible, one good way is to adhere to standard box sizes for the shipping companies you use. UPS, FedEx, and the USPS (amongst other shipping companies) may all have different standards when it comes to sizing and the cost of shipping boxes. You could make life easy by purchasing boxes, envelopes, and other shipping containers directly from them. But you can probably save some money by simply learning the dimensions each company prefers and then ordering plain packaging in bulk.
- Adequate packing supplies. No matter what you’re shipping, you want to make sure it arrives in one piece. And the packing supplies you choose will help to adequately protect any items you ship. You may need bubble wrap, styrofoam, paper, or molded foam, just for example. But before you choose you should consider the cost, the relative cushion provided, and the level of protection required to keep your goods from getting damaged.
- Bundling. You’ll no doubt offer shipping options that allow your customers to pay more or less, depending on how quickly they want to receive their order. Along these lines, you may be able to cut costs by bundling multiple items in one shipment. Offering this option to customers could, however, increase the time needed to pack and ship and order.
- Shipment information. Your packaging should definitely include relevant shipping information, such as the items being sent, a copy of your return policy, and instructions on how to make returns. You could also include a business card and even promotional items like bumper stickers or pens that help to turn your customers into brand ambassadors.
- Biodegradable materials. When it comes to creative packaging ideas, you might want to consider the benefits of using biodegradable boxes, bags, and packing materials. Whether you order custom boxes from a company like Houston Carton or you elect to buy your shipping containers direct from the shipping company you prefer, you can at least use less harmful materials to protect your goods in transit, keeping customers happy and increasing your green cred along the way.