Choosing packaging for your business means examining a variety of facets of your organization, including the venue in which your products are sold, the type of customer who purchases your items, and the type of products you sell.
As with any important decision, there are mistakes and goofs that you might make when choosing new packaging. Fortunately, most of these mistakes are easy to avoid, as long as you know what to avoid during the design process.
Mistake #1: Using Too Much Packaging
It's essential to choose the right amount of packaging for your shipments, but sending items out with too much packaging can cause just as many problems. If you don't package your items sufficiently, they may break during shipment. While you might enjoy shipping rates that are a few cents cheaper when you use scant packaging, you'll hemorrhage customers if your products arrive broken.
On the other hand, using too much packaging can cause different, yet equally damaging, problems for your business. For example, your extra packaging might constitute just a few extra ounces of material, but you could be looking at some serious extra shipping costs. If you ship items all across the country, those shipping charges could reach into the stratosphere when someone orders a product from the other side of the country.
Furthermore, excess packaging may anger customers when they see the waste of extra materials. UK and American customers of Amazon actually took to social media when the retailer and its affiliates began shipping out tiny items in giant boxes. According to an article published by The Daily Mail in the UK:
"In response, a member of Amazon's customer service team tweeted back: 'I'll be happy to pass this picture along to our Shipping Department for you.' Other shoppers who expressed just how fed-up they were over the huge boxes flagged up that Amazon also stuffs large brown wrapping paper along with the item. The excessive amount of packaging on display goes against the pledge Amazon made in 2008 when it promised to slash the amount of packaging it used."
Responsible packaging doesn't necessarily mean minimalistic packaging that won't protect an item. Ensuring the right amount of packaging might take a little experimentation, so it's important to remember that your business isn't locked into a particular type of packaging forever. Packaging can and should be changed whenever necessary.
Mistake #2: Packaging That Doesn't Take Advantage of Marketing Opportunities
The packaging you use for your products may be what people see sitting on a store shelf, or it might spend time traveling through the mail to recipients across the nation. In both circumstances, your business has an excellent opportunity to advertise products and build brand recognition. There aren't many people who haven't seen the now-iconic Amazon arrow on the side of a box during its transit across the country.
One of the design triumphs of the Amazon arrow is the simplicity of the logo and the recognizable nature of it. The logo even features a hidden meaning, which makes its simplicity and straightforwardness even more valuable to the company. The arrow begins at the letter "A" and swings around to point at the letter "Z" in the middle of the word. This represents the idea that Amazon sells everything from A to Z.
The functionality of your product's packaging is important, but the exterior design is not something to forget. Your package must strike the right balance between functionality and design, which isn't exactly easy to accomplish without a few rounds spent testing your designs.
Mistake #3: No Return Packaging for Internet & Mail Order Businesses
If you own a business where the majority of your sales occur online, you must develop a comprehensive return policy that ensures customers can complete their returns with as little hassle as possible. Return packaging is an important part of that policy.
Some companies choose to require the consumer to find a new box or packaging in which to complete a return shipment and may only include a label for return postage in the initial delivery. However, many consumers feel the easiest way to conduct returns is with the original packaging.
There are several considerations regarding return packaging that impact logistics, and an article from Materials Handling & Logistics explains:
"The obvious benefits are the elimination of disposal costs and the need to repeatedly purchase packaging. There are also operational benefits. Returnable packages can be designed to make products and packages easier to pack, handle, stock, and unpack. They can facilitate the use of automation. Sometimes they can even reduce logistical operation costs since they are designed to optimize transport and storage cube."
These concepts are worth investigating, even if your business isn't yet a large organization with a sales scope that crosses the entire country. Understanding the small details of what creates an efficient approach to logistics can help ensure your business saves money on shipping and also operates in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner.
Let Howard Packaging Help You Choose Packaging for Your Business
Do you need to create new and innovating packaging designs for your business? Is it time to refresh the packaging on your products? Are you launching a new item and need help choosing packaging? Let us help you design the best packaging for your business with sustainable packaging options from Howard Packaging. Request a Free Catalog and Sample Kit Today!