5 Custom Packaging Tips for Ecommerce Fulfillment

30th Oct, 2020

By Vivek Chandramohan

An age-old business mantra “Customer is the King”, emphasizing the importance of the customer in every aspect of a business. Even in the modern era of online businesses, making the king happier by offering what is best in terms of quality products, fast delivery, special offers, and safe and secure packaging is important. Ecommerce companies and brands always find new ways to make the customer happy no matter what. So the packaging is not only to protect your product during the shipping but also a potential marketing opportunity to connect with the customer even after the wonderful shopping experience. For many such reasons, custom packaging is now becoming a vital part of online businesses to protect the package during shipping and also to provide a memorable unboxing experience to many consumers.

Why Use Custom Packaging?

Before we start discussing key tips on fulfillment-friendly packaging, we should consider a few statistics which emphasizes why D2C brands and online stores should consider custom packaging in the first place:

  • 40% of customers prefer to buy from brands that provide custom packaging
  • More than 70% of customers feel brands which are using custom packaging are more premium
  • 30% reduction in customer retention cost if brands are using custom packaging

Clearly, repeat customers are likely to increase their basket size if they get a sense that your products are nicer, and you are taking an extra step to make their buying experience delightful using custom packaging. In parallel, you need to ensure that i) your partner fulfillment center is well aware and trained on your custom packaging to avoid increasing the shipping costs, ii) there is enough space on the backside of the box for sticking shipping slip along with the airway bill number and iii) packaging material is strong enough to hold items until last-mile delivery is concluded.

How you can get all the benefits of custom packaging without unreasonable costs or fulfillment mishaps:

1. Keep the package small and light

Last-mile delivery is nearly 70% of the fulfillment cost and it could go even higher in the case of reverse logistics. There is no secret that delivery companies’ are charging on the volumetric weight and bigger and heavy packages cost more to deliver. That's why, as much as you possibly can, you should keep your packages small and lightweight. In e-commerce fulfillment, the smallest packaging box could be as small as 15cm*7cm*10cm and you can still make it beautiful with unique custom packaging.

2. Buy packaging materials in bulk

As a part of your custom packaging, whether you are printing a sticker of the logo on the box and mailer envelope or making the custom boxes and custom envelopes, an optimized cost will be achieved when you order the packaging material in bulk. Also, you don’t necessarily have to customize every part of the package. Some materials like void-fill and packing peanuts don't need to be customized. By using some industry-standard materials, you can reduce the overall cost of custom packaging without compromising the experience.

3. Integrate branding and packaging

While creating custom packaging, you should ensure that your company's brand pops up and the company's purpose is communicated clearly. Sometimes brands even create branding handbooks to train their employees, vendors, and partner fulfillment center to ensure smooth operations. All said, none of this matter if the item arrives is broken. So, you must also ensure the packaging material is durable and can last until last-mile delivery is concluded. If your items are fragile, put them in 3 layered corrugated boxes and avoid mailers envelopes. This would reduce the cost of reverse logistics and breakage.

4. Multiple layers of packaging

Packaging is not confined to the outside packaging box. Usually, there are multiple layers: the outer layer, middle layer, and the actual product packaging itself. Most often, brands focus too much on the outer layer and actual product packaging. For the middle layer, brands can use customized bubble wraps to get an extra opportunity for brand recall.

5. Leave space for shipping labels

Although evident, but the truth is, often brands miss leaving a space where their partner fulfillment center can stick the airwaybill number and rest of the packing slip. After discussing the space needed by your partner fulfillment center for shipping labels and bar codes, pass on these specific instructions to your Illustrator artist working on your beautiful design. This extra step will help you not only to get the best design possible but also avoid any hold-ups in the operations.

Bonus Tip: Outsource fulfillment to Depoter.com

Brands are selling on multiple platforms such as Amazon.ae, Noon.com, Carrefour.com, Shopify, Facebook, Instagram, etc. The warehouse management system of Depoter.com not only integrates with multiple platforms, it also consolidates the inventory and provides order management for multiple platforms. This helps brands in listing on multiple platforms without increasing the inventory levels. This order management and e-commerce fulfillment are one of the most important business processes in e-commerce. On top of this, Depoter supports its partner brands in using its custom packaging for different platforms.

Fulfilling orders in-house becomes tedious and difficult once you start shipping more than 50 to 100 per month. Finding a good fulfillment partner such as Depoter.com can make sure that your customers are being treated well, leaving you time to do what your business does best!