The eCommerce industry is becoming more and more popular every day and as a natural by-product, the industry is becoming more and more competitive. The Australian eCommerce market will be valued at $35.2 billion by 2021. For small businesses looking to expand eCommerce offers great potential, particularly with the rapidly increasing use of online shopping.
But, as online shopping becomes saturated with brands, new businesses will need to save money while standing out to customers. While the product itself can draw the customer in, the packaging experience can keep them returning!
So, what should small businesses look for when buying product packaging? We've got some tips to help you save!
What kind of materials should I use for packaging?
Depending on the size of your product Interparcel recommends using either padded postage bags or cardboard boxes that are accepted by all of our couriers. These can be bought cheaply in most local supermarkets, mail shops, or online.
Before considering the customer's experience of your packaging, you need to make sure your product is protected. Test your chosen packaging – is it puncture resistant? Will it be robust enough to withstand handling in transit? Is the product adequately cushioned? Will it be protected in wet weather?
These are all elements you'll have to consider initially to make sure you can get your product safely from A to B. Amelia Boothman, director at the global branding agency, 1HQ said: "Typically, it costs far more to replace damaged goods than pay for adequate protective packaging from the outset. There will be a point when the cost of product damage equates to the cost of protective packaging – this is the 'optimum' packaging specification businesses should work too." So, it's worth a second thought!
To buy in bulk or not to buy in bulk
Even if your small business is just starting, it's always best to buy in bulk. From packing peanuts, bubble-wrap, and boxes, buying in bulk will cut costs so you can save money.
But buying a standard-sized box may still leave unnecessary space that's costing you money when sending. Companies like PackHelp create custom packaging that can be built to fit your product exactly. Packaging that hugs your products saves space when delivering with us and so we can offer you cheaper shipping for the same product!
How can I create a unique unboxing experience for less?
The 'unboxing' experience has become a powerful marketing tool in recent years - as social media influencers often document receiving products from start to finish, providing original packaging is very useful.
Your packaging should be brand-centric. This means the outside packaging needs to reflect what's inside – your brand should be seamless inside and out.
This doesn't always have to be outsourced to a professional packaging company. If you're particularly crafty, you can always design your own stamp or learn how to screenprint at home so you can offer custom hand-made unboxing experiences for your customers.
You could even save money on thank you notes by incorporating it into the printing process. Make the thank you note a part of the outer packaging, placing it on an internally facing fold for that extra finishing touch!
Optimising your packaging strategy as a small business has lots of environmental benefits too. Big brands like McDonald's have vowed to be 100% renewable and recyclable by 2025! With millennials making up 62% of online shoppers and pushing brands to become more environmentally responsible, it's never been more important to consider.
Using 100% raw or recycled materials for your packaging is good but packaging that is eco-friendly AND sustainable is better. You can do this by creating product packaging that can be used again by the recipient – either to return to you, for you to use again or for their shipment. This will increase customer loyalty, as you're making the whole process easy!
Take H&M as a good example. They created an 80% recycled paper bag that transforms into a hanger. They understand that reusability and eco-awareness are important considerations for their customers and do increase their brand loyalty.
Custom shipping options are important too!
The last step you can take to optimise your product experience is by offering shipping options that fit your customer's every need. When using us to ship your products, we pull all your addresses, customs shipping requests, and prices in one place through our shipping manager.
Providing a higher degree of flexibility through our wide range of shipping options is recommended for small businesses because: High shipping costs are the most common reason for cart abandonment, so offering a range of services like Next Day or Economy at discounted prices will prevent this from happening.
It might be that customers need your products urgently. This is true of many clothing brands, so it's good to offer special shipping services like Same Day or Next Day so your customers know you are dedicated to fulfilling their orders no matter the time frame.
Interparcel can optimise your shipments by giving you detailed information about your shipment process through our full tracking services. Using this our customers can send emails to their customers notifying them of delivery times and updates. Our services can provide small businesses with a custom level of service that they can help to build strong relations with customers.
We're always told not to judge a book by its cover, but that's exactly what customers will do! So make sure to spend time on your packaging to create an experience that won't cost a bomb and will let them know exactly what your brand is!