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How to avoid the most common packaging mistakes in ecommerce

Versha Kamwal
July 24, 2021
mins read

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Consumer behaviour has changed drastically in the aftermath of the current pandemic, and customers now prefer to order products online more than ever. Now, it's imperative to solve the biggest ecommerce industry problems with the highest priority as they can impact your brand's image and long-term success. One such problem is packaging, often underrated but can easily lead to huge losses if it goes neglected.

According to research, ecommerce brands that offer premium packaging enjoy customer loyalty and a larger market share. Thus, you should capitalise on the packaging and ensure there are no mistakes made.

In this blog, you’ll learn what is ecommerce packaging and what are the most common packaging mistakes ecommerce brands should avoid.

What is ecommerce packaging?

Packaging is the process of enclosing or protecting customer orders for shipping and delivering them to customers. In simple terms, ecommerce packaging is how you protect your products, establish your brand identity, and control your shipping costs.

Ecommerce packaging can both enhance the customer experience and improve your profitability.

Here are the packaging mistakes you should avoid at any cost!

What are the most common packaging mistakes you should avoid?

1. Neglecting the quality of packaging

Usually, ecommerce sellers take the most cost-effective approach and buy packaging materials in bulk. However, these materials are most likely to be of low quality and can prove to be a costly mistake in the long run. Low-quality packaging materials can get damaged easily in transit and can also damage the product. Moreover, the quality of supplementary packaging items such as tape, foam rollers, and more can result in inadequate protection for your orders. Therefore, it is recommended to use top-quality materials in packaging to reduce the risk of delivering a damaged product to your customer. As this will only ruin the customer experience, force a customer to initiate a returns process and tarnish the brand image.

Packaging material
Packaging material

2. Using too much or too little packaging

50% of online shoppers will switch to another brand if they receive a damaged product. One of the reasons for getting a product damaged in transit is either excess packaging material or too little packaging material used.

Let's take an example, you are shipping orders made of glass. If you use too much fillers (plastic, bubble wrap, air bags, paper, cardboard, and styrofoam), there are high chances of breaking the glass product inside due to increased pressure. In contrast, if you use less cushioning, the items inside will be damaged from the friction caused during transit. Therefore, it’s important to understand the right amount of packaging required for your products for seamless delivery.

Forest essentials use appropriate packaging to secure their products and create a pleasant unboxing experience
Forest essentials uses appropriate packaging to secure their products and create a pleasant unboxing experience

3. Ignoring the branding on packaging

Branding your packaging is a crucial way to spread reach, but many ecommerce brands skip customising their order packaging. Even if you include a simple custom label or branded packaging tape, you can extend your business’ story. Custom packaging can help increase your brand recognition and drive more sales. You can add custom messages like a thank you note, samples, marketing inserts to create a great unboxing experience for your customers.

Pahadi local leverages branded packaging
Pahadi local leverages branded packaging

4. Lacking boxes that are standard in size

Another major packaging mistake is when ecommerce brands use inappropriate sizes of boxes for packaging their products. Some of the brands use too large boxes to protect a small product, making it vulnerable to damage during transportation. This also increases the overall cost of packaging. Moreover, there are times when orders are very hard to open due to extra wrapping. Using too much packaging and sticky tape can make a customer feel frustrated. On the other hand, some use small-sized packaging to cover products, again making it very difficult for customers to open their orders. Thus, it's essential to use the appropriate size of boxes according to the product dimensions.

5. Not leveraging eco-friendly packaging

Many packaging materials are bad for the environment, such as plastic. Given growing consumer awareness and interest in these issues, it is important to leverage eco-friendly packaging whenever possible. You can avoid the mistake of upsetting your customers and causing more waste than is necessary by opting for sustainable packaging options such as organic, biodegradable, and recyclable materials.

100% recyclable packaging by Soul Tree
100% recyclable packaging by Soul Tree

Bottom line

As an ecommerce seller, you must know how important packaging is for providing a superior customer experience. However, quality packaging still remains one of the most underestimated elements of seamless order fulfilment. It is crucial to understand that quality packaging ensures the safe delivery of your products and serves as your customer's first impression of your ecommerce business. If customers receive damaged products or have unpleasant experiences opening their orders, it might result in returns or ruin your brand image.

Moreover, it's best not to neglect returns packaging either. You can include an extra sealable "flap" in shipping bags or envelopes so that returned goods can be sent back in the same envelope easily.

Thus, it's better to refrain from making the most common mistakes and make packaging as convenient for customers as possible.

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