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Why you need to think about your packaging

The most widely used packaging among online shops are cardboard boxes and shipping bags. These are handy and cheap solutions, but are they really? It’s sometimes better to spend some extra money on your packaging, so trucks or ships can be filled more efficiently, while a correctly adjusted packaging can also save you money in the long run. We give you 7 tips to pack your shipments.

Packaging has lots of features most retailers don’t pay real attention to. They only see it as a necessary thing to make sure a product gets shipped from a warehouse to the customer. But it’s much more. It’s of course something that should protect the product inside, so you won’t get disappointed customers and unnecessary returns.

But it’s also something that can be a branding tool. If you are just an online retailer that stands out from the rest with low prices, you probably don’t care if your packaging also is or looks cheap. But if you are an online retailer with a luxury store or who sells unique, maybe even hand-made products, you want a packaging that fits this image. Customized packaging costs more than simple brown cardboard boxes, but in the end it’s just another way of marketing, so that’s worth the investment, right?

Test if it fits your shipments
But even if you decide to go for the cheapest packaging possible, this may not be the cheapest option after all. That is, if you don’t test if it fits your shipments beforehand. “It may well be that a box on paper is cheaper than another, but if the box does not fit into the various freight limitations by the carriers or match the level of protection in relation to the product, it will be much more expensive in the long run”, Michael Simonsen says. He is the sales and marketing director of Danish company STOK Emballage. “There are therefore many parameters to it, and packaging must be tested, before you find the cheapest packaging in the long term for your shipments.”

‘Costs lot of money, but customers are more satisfied’
A European online retailer that put some effort in selecting the right packaging, is graphic company Cool Gray. The company has 40,000 shipments per year in Denmark and another 8,000 across Europe. In addition, they send about 7,500 pallets of standard printed matter. They now save money in the long term and have more satisfied customers. “We have three kinds of customized packaging: modular boxes, plan-corrugated sheets as well as cross- corrugated sheets since our products have non-standard measurements. We may use a lot of money on packaging, but in the end our customers are more satisfied and we save money on not having to reproduce anything”, procurement & logistics manager Henrik Lind says.

Packaging of Cool Gray

Here are 7 tips to help online retailers pack their shipments the best way, according to STOK Emballage:

Cut down on the number of packagings
“See if it is possible to use one size of packaging for several products, this lets you cut down on the number of packaging and save money.”

Do not compromise
“Make up your mind, it is more important to save money on one type of packaging instead of finding just the right solution for your shipments.”

Protect your goods
“Find the correct cardboard box in quality and thickness that can protect your goods during transport.”

Fill the box
“Find the correct box stuffing for the task that will keep your items intact during transport, and which is easy to handle for the customer.”

Is there a need for customized packaging?
“Consider whether you need customized boxes for your shipments, so you don’t have to reproduce something due to damaged packaging.”

Optimize packing methods
“Save time in processes and wages by optimizing the packing methods and flow.”

Balance packaging and storage capacity
“Consider how much packaging you actually need in relation to your storage capacity, so you do not unnecessary packaging lying around.”