Are You Packing a Punch? All About eCommerce Packaging for Indian Online Sellers
Ever wonder why Kinder Joy never fails to hook the little kids onto their little treats? Ever seen the joy on the child’s face when he opens a white little egg to find a chocolate and a toy to play with. Well that’s the beauty of packaging for you.
We are no less like kids when we excitedly wait for the brand new product that we had ordered 2 days back from the Ecommerce store. Our whole office ran to open the door when the One Plus One Mobile which one of our colleagues had ordered, arrived.
There are majorly 3 ways in which customers form their opinion about an Ecommerce Brand.
- The Brand’s Website – an user friendly website with attractive themes and layouts.
- Effective and Timely Communications– including confirmation emails, shipment details of orders and regular promotional offers.
- The Package– which arrives at the consumer’s door (which includes product, packaging materials, invoice, and pack slips)
Many organisations believe in spending substantial money for branding, Search Engine Optimizations in order to generate traffic and orders. However many brands falter when it comes to packaging. Few questions have to be self-answered to realise the importance of packaging.
When the packet or box reaches in damaged conditions, then is it just the packet which is damaged?
- Did we just fail to retain an irate customer?
- Is the brand’s image not damaged?
Ever wonder why big brands like Amazon keep separate feedback system especially for packaging?
We all know that packages are not always treated gently while in transit. They are often dropped, kicked, and thrown in delivery trucks. All the efforts & expertise spent in high quality images, attractive & informative web design and professional marketing will be of no use if packaging is poor and it ruins the brand’s reputation.
Ways to pack products for online stores:
There are various ways of packing orders for online store owners mainly as under:
- Corrugated Boxes
- Traditional Paper Envelopes
- Tamper Proof Poly Bags
- Protective or space filling packaging inside mainly bubble wrap
- Sealing Tape- Plain or Printed Tape
How to select the right packing material for your online store?
Selection of the appropriate packing material that suits the products is very important. Neither there is a clear choice of the right or wrong material, nor can we generalise the selection of proper packing material for all online stores. However one should consider following factors before selecting packing material for their products:
- Breakage/Damage Protection of Products:
If your product is likely to be broken or damaged in transit then surely you should consider strong outer layer plus powerful bubble filling inside. While watches, sunglasses etc should be properly bubble wrapped but there is no point in doing so for items like dress materials, sarees etc.
- Theft Protection of Products:
Probability for existence of this factor prevails for most of the shipments. Store owners often receive complaints from customers receiving empty package or missing products.
- Weight of Packing Layer for Shipping Cost:
Courier charges are comparatively high in India. People avoid corrugated boxes since it adds to the overall weight of the shipment. Imagine a 0.45Kg product after packaging becomes a 1 kg then weight slab is changed and additional logistic charges of 40-50 INR are added.
- Presentation of shipment
Shipment is the only non-virtual and physical way by which your customer perceives your organisation. For instance, if the shipment is clumsily stapled and traditionally wrapped with adhesive tape, it will certainly affect negatively even though it reached safe-unopened.
Presentation is undeniably the most important criteria that online store owners should consider while selecting packing material.
- Cost per shipment
With such a large number of sellers and growing competition in E-Commerce, store owners need to operate at thin margin than usual. In such time, store owners have to consider costing for packing per shipment. It has also got wide correlation with value of product.
- Branding preference
Branding and packaging runs on the parallel line for any E-Commerce. Competition is huge and buyers purchases from number of websites, few of them can’t even correlate which product was bought from which portal. It is trending, beneficial and important tool to print logo, name and other important details on the packing materials such as box, poly bags and tapes.
Those cute little bookmarks with each and every book order through Flipkart certainly helps in brand recall for any reader.
It costs nothing much compared to the marketing cost of the product. If you are selling on a marketplace then maybe you can’t use your branded material and you need to use plain material.
- Ease for packing and unpacking products
With growing number of orders, it is important to establish smooth packing system which ensures proper and easy packing. Similarly order should also be packed in such a way so that it gets easy for customer to open the item. No one likes to spend so much time for unwrapping a product.
- Time & Manpower required for packing a product
Packing isn’t the only task for store owners. If the item is promoted on deal then you need to pack 3000-5000 orders in a day. Marketplace comes up with shipping policy of 24 hours/48 hours etc, store owner need to ensure a fast and efficient packing system which requires minimum labour and maximum speed to pack the product. High number of labour for dispatching again adds to packing budget.
Traditional Vs Trending Packaging for E-Commerce :
Packaging for E-Commerce has to be different than usual retail industry. Orders to be delivered from one place to another requires lot more thought process and factor consideration than required for usual packing of orders
Previously, store owners shipped their products in normal paper envelopes wrapped with adhesive tapes to ensure safety. Subsequently, corrugated boxes were adopted which was a 100% safe but a costly option. The cost and weight of each box increased ultimately increasing the shipping charges. With the increase number of tampering in transit and increase number of orders to be packed per day, a matured and secured mechanism was required.
Down the line, all major E-commerce players started using Tamper proof poly bags and distributed the same to their sellers/vendors. It solves almost all problems that companies faced for shipments except breakage protection.
In nut-shell we have listed down the various advantages of “Tamper Proof Poly bags” in the following infographic:
This kind of packing also removes the daily problem of pasting shipping label on packet or putting invoices at the outside by adding a transparent jacket at the outer layer commonly known as POD jacket.
Security Courier Bags are trending and have emerged as a preferred way of packing orders for online store owners. This is mainly the reason why the likes of Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ebay and large number of E-Commerce websites rely on Tamper Proof Courier Bags for secure and attractive delivery of their orders.
For your product packaging to work for your company, it should basically secure the product, must be functionally practical , must mirror your brand image and of course be economical.
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