Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Padded envelopes vs. boxes: Which is the better choice for your operation?

For e-commerce businesses, packaging is a significant expense. Consequently, the choices you make regarding the materials you use can have a big impact on profitability. Two popular options are padded envelopes and boxes. Which is the better choice for your operation? That depends on a number of factors.

Padded Mailers vs. Boxes: The Advantages and Disadvantages

In order to decide whether you get greater ROI from padded mailers or boxes when it comes to shipping your merchandise, you must first consider the pros and cons of each. From there you can determine which characteristics will have the biggest impact on your shipping process and make your choice.New Call-to-action
However, before you decide which form fits your specific need you must take into account what you are shipping in the first place. If you find that your operation is shipping more textiles, then the option toward mailers is a smart and logical one. If, on the other hand, your operation is shipping breakable merchandise, then the option for box packaging with the proper internal void fill is critical to the customer experience and the likelihood that you may win the next purchase from that customer.

PADDED MAILERS

The advantages of padded mailers include that they are:
  • ✔ Lightweight. This means that generally they cost less to ship.
  • ✔ Inexpensive. Padded mailers tend to be competitively priced.
  • ✔ Produced with built-in item protection. Because they are padded, these mailers may not need any additional structural support.
  • ✔ Speed of packaging – In a business that counts on every second to get as many packages mailed, padded mailers pack out very quickly.
  • ✔ Small. Padded mailers take up less space when they are shipped to you by the manufacturer, which can result in cost savings. Plus, they take up less space in your warehouse or packing station. 
Like all types of packaging materials, padded mailers have disadvantages as well, including that they are:
  • ✔ Susceptible to crushing. While the padding provides a certain level of protection, padded mailers and their contents can be crushed if they wind up under a heavy box or pressed between boxes.
  • ✔ Easily torn or punctured. Padding does not prevent padded mailers from being torn or punctured and having their contents damaged. They also provide little protection from liquids.
  • ✔ Not recyclable. For companies focused on sustainability, that fact that padded mailers can’t be recycled can be an issue.
  • ✔ Unable to accommodate large items. While you can buy fairly large padded envelopes, there are still many types of items that are too large to fit into even the biggest size.
  • ✔ Not designed to handle heavy items. Padded mailers that contain heavy items are prone to tearing.
  • ✔ Best at holding one item at a time. Shipping more than one item in a padded mailer increases the risk that one or both will be damaged.

BOXES

The advantages of boxes include that they are:
  • ✔ Strong. Corrugated cardboard boxes in particular are very sturdy.
  • ✔ Designed to hold heavy items. Especially when sealed with water-activated tape (WAT), boxes can be used to safely ship weighty merchandise, such as automotive aftermarket parts
  • ✔ Reusable and recyclable. Cardboard boxes can be used multiple times and then ultimately recycled.
  • ✔ Available in many sizes. From very small to very large, there is a box to meet most shipping needs.
  • ✔ Ideal for shipments that include multiple items. With the right padding, many items can be shipped in one box.
The disadvantages of boxes include that they:
  • ✔ Typically cost more than padded mailers. Boxes tend to be more expensive.
  • ✔ Typically cost more to ship than padded mailers. This is especially true when dimensional weight pricing is used.
  • ✔ Require padding. To ensure merchandise is protected when you ship it in boxes you must wrap items and fill voids.
  • ✔ Take up more space. Boxes are rigid, bulkier, and harder to store.

Choose Wisely

There are many instances when either a padded mailer or a box will work equally well. However, in others, it clearly makes sense to use one or the other. Taking the time to make these determinations will pay off in the long run. Remember as you do your assessment to consider the cost of handling returns and providing refunds when merchandise is damaged.
In situations that call for a box, WAT is the right choice for sealing the carton. Strong, tamper-resistant, and brandable, it provides the functionality e-commerce retailers need and creates a polished, professional look.
Likewise, in situations where mailers or padded mailers are the right choice, finding a reliable source of well-designed and secure mailers is critical. The rate of use is increasing daily and your operation cannot afford to be slowed or stalled for lack of packaging materials and suppliers.
To learn more about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How to Anticipate Customer Complaints


 

For customers who are lodging complaints with you, this may very well be the moment in time that determines if you will keep or lose that customer. Being able to address concerns quickly, preoperationally and with retention in mind is critical. In order to anticipate your customer’s needs you will need to consider the supply chain you are using. This knowledge will go a long way to anticipating your customer challenges and possibly avoiding the complaint in the first place. Although we strive for excellence no one is perfect, so preparation is key.


Prompt and Complete Problem Resolution
Leads to Loyal Customers

 

As orders increase and things get chaotic as you service your growing customer needs, you may be tempted to put off dealing with customer complaints. Or, you may feel compelled to take shortcuts in handling them so that you can attend to other tasks. Either way, you will likely find yourself wishing you had done a better job of addressing issues as you see once-loyal customers taking their business elsewhere, or even worse, voicing their anger and disappointment on social media.

 

Use the tips below to turn customer complaints into opportunities to impress.

 

⇨  Staff up before the onslaught,  If you've been in business more than 4 years, you know what to expect for peak selling points.  Bring on temporary staff (or permanent staff if you plan to grown next year) in advance of the rush.  Better to have more compliant-resolution bandwidth than you need, than not to have enough.

⇨  Take every complaint seriously. The quickest way to alienate a customer is to make them feel like their problem is not important. From major issues to minor scuffs, every complaint should be treated like a showstopper

⇨  Take action immediately. Even if completely resolving an issue will take time, you should make contact with the customer as soon as possible so they know you have received their complaint and understand their concerns.

⇨  Expedite the shipping of replacement items. You should assume that every item about which you receive a complete is intended to meet a deadline, and you should take steps to ensure it arrives in the shortest time possible.

⇨  Get the necessary information for insurance claims. If an insurance claim will be filed, be sure to record all the details of the incident so you have what you need to get reimbursed.

⇨  Follow up with a survey and coupon. Show your customers that you want to learn from the issue by asking them to complete a survey. And, apologize for the inconvenience by sending them a coupon. The small cost of that gesture can pay off many times over in future purchases.

  

How to Prevent Complaints in the First Place

It costs much less — both in time and money — to prevent problems than to deal with them after they occur. Theft and product damage during shipping are two of the most common issues, and both can be minimized by using packaging best practices.

 

“It costs much less — both in time and money — to prevent problems than to deal with them after they occur.” TWEET THIS

 

This includes packaging the products well, with proper padding. Your operation needs to be well equipped with a complete range of void fill solutions from bubble cushioning to air pillows, from foam padding to padded mailers and if you need alternatives that deliver a more sustainable message, paper solutions should be the lead void fill in your packing station. Shipping them in strong, lightweight corrugated cartons sealed with water-activated tape (WAT). WAT creates a tamper-evident seal that deters theft. Plus, the physical bond produced between the tape and the carton surface holds tight in virtually all environmental conditions so packages don’t come open and spill their contents in transit.

 

Preparation is the Key to Success

 

The e-commerce world is taking an ever-growing share of the traditional retail market. Are you ready to grow? Are your packing stations set up in a way that is both efficient and safe? Do you have all the shipping materials you need, including void fill in easy to use high speed delivery systems, water-activated tape and water activated tape dispensers? If you have questions about our products, please contact us to learn more.

 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

6 Ways to Improve Your Shipping Strategy


There are steps you can take to evaluate and enhance your shipping practices

The explosive growth of e-commerce in recent years is a double-edged sword. While it has created tremendous opportunity for retailers, that opportunity has likely enticed many competitors into the market. Consequently, shipping merchandise effectively and efficiently is more important than ever.

With customers increasingly vocal about their purchase experience, if at any point complaints start to rise or your shipping ROI starts to fall, it’s time to reassess your shipping strategy.

“When complaints rise or shipping ROI falls, it’s time to reassess your shipping strategy. TWEET THIS

6 Ways to Improve Your Shipping Strategy

As everyone responsible for e-commerce business knows, shipping costs play a major role in determining a company’s profitability. If you aren’t getting merchandise to customers on time and undamaged, your financial results will suffer. Every hour spent on inefficient processes or responding to customer complaints about lost or damaged shipments cuts into your bottom line.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to evaluate and enhance your shipping practices. To ensure your shipping processes are optimized and your shipping team is contributing to the company’s overall success, do the following:
  1. Determine your goals and whether you are meeting them. How long should it take to properly pack merchandise? How many times should a box be touched as it moves through your shipping area? How many units should go out the door each day? It’s important to have well-defined goals and to continually assess your efforts in relation to them. Also, if your goals aren’t currently documented, take the time to write them down, discuss them with your team, and post them prominently in your shipping area.
  2. Review your shipping processes. Your standards for how merchandise is wrapped, padded, and secured within a carton have a significant impact both on how long it takes to prepare a package for shipping and the in-transit damage rate. Be sure you are doing all you can to minimize packing time while maximizing the protection of your merchandise.
  3. Assess your packaging materials. Are you using strong, lightweight corrugated cardboard cartons? Are you sealing your cartons with water-activated tape (WAT)? Your shipping team needs the right materials to do their job properly.
  4. Evaluate your shipping company. You should be looking at things like whether your contract should be renegotiated, whether the company’s errors are the cause of an unacceptably high number of customer complaints, and whether using one shipper or multiple shippers is to your advantage.
  5. Review your free shipping policy. Many e-commerce companies today offer free shipping, but it’s costly. If yours does, are you sure it’s a good strategy? Take another look at your books, your competition, and your customers to determine the right tactic going forward. It may be that a free shipping policy is crucial but that you can offset the expense in other ways. 
  6. Inspect your packing station. Taking the approach that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may mean you are missing out on opportunities to improve the way you prepare cartons for shipping, and that can mean you are losing money on every package shipped!

Do Your Shipping Practices Position Your Company to Capitalize on Growth?

Forbes quotes Euromonitor International in saying that e-commerce is on pace to be the world’s largest retail channel by 2021, accounting for 14 percent of retail sales by that time. If your company offers quality merchandise backed by effective shipping practices and support, you are well-positioned to capitalize on this growth. But the time to evaluate and optimize your processes is now so that you stay ahead of the curve. Companies that choose not to act on their product fulfillment issues until “crunch time” will likely pay a hefty price, both financially and in terms of customer loyalty.
If you have questions about how our water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers can play a role in your successful shipping operations, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]