Shipping is not what it once was - and that's a good thing.
There is no denying that the rise of online business, or e-commerce, has changed the face of shipping. Gone are the days of mail-order catalogs or TV call-in orders when companies could give a vague “4-6 weeks for delivery” and there wasn’t anything customers could do about it - including tracking their packages.
Today, things have changed for the better. We now have (along with package tracking) faster deliveries, a more efficient return process, and more streamlined shipping services, including delivery drones! Your packaging supplier considerations go well beyond the limited options and shipping uncertainties of the past.
How Does Improved Shipping Affect Online Businesses?
Mostly, it means having to adjust your business model. It is necessary to meet the needs of a customer base that has gotten used to two-day delivery, as well as more dynamic and efficient packaging of their products and a simpler return process.
Shipping can make or break a sale in the world of e-commerce, depending on whether or not shipping prices are considered exorbitant. This leads to the true enemy of online retail: shopping cart abandonment. This is when the customer goes so far as to put a product in their cart but leaves the site before completing the purchase.
Shipping can be, and often is, the thing that makes or breaks a sale.
Here it is important to note the many factors that can throw a wrench into the decision for the consumer who already had the item in their cart:
Reviews - Previous, happy customers are a great selling point. Not only do they help when they leave reviews, but any recommendations they give to friends and family can mean more sales for you. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.
Return Policy - After waiting for the product to arrive, a customer may be very frustrated to find they have to return the item. A straightforward return policy that runs smoothly may sway them to buy through your website.
Rewards - Incentives to visit again for another purchase build customer loyalty and influence brand availability when they consider who to buy a certain product from next time. Likewise, a lack of rewards may push them to find an alternative vendor.
Shipping Timeframe - Packaging options and safety are important during a sale. However, the longer the expected wait time for the product from purchase to arrival, the more likely that shopping cart abandonment can occur. Customers may look elsewhere, compare both shipping price and timeframe and decide to go with another merchant.
Site Navigation - The more difficult the site navigation, the less likely the sale will occur. This goes for the checkout process as well. If the customer is having trouble getting to the next step, they may give up in frustration.
Packaging Supplier Considerations
If you intend to sell products from an online store, it is first important to make sure your product packaging is in order. That's CS Packaging comes in, with our entire catalog of 18,000+ high-quality shipping and packaging products to choose from.
We take pride in making sure your packaging is dynamic and distinctive with custom-printed cartons and specially-made packages for specific items, like molded pulp trays for long-necked bottles. We also have superior protective packaging for fragile items.
CS Packaging is your one-stop shop for your shipping product needs.
Once you’ve acquired all the components you need to ship your product, you need to look at all the mitigating factors of your shipping process.
One primary consideration is packaging size. While you do want to be distinctive to your brand, you also want to be efficient about size and use as little of it as possible, as this will offset shipping costs. In short, package for safety and density and avoid unnecessary large packaging.
Another major factor is customer expectation for free shipping and delivery times. Online retailers should have a clear and easy-to-understand shipping policy available on their site that answers customers' questions. This decreases the likelihood of misunderstandings and establishes firm guidelines based on what you can realistically achieve.
Make sure that your products can be tracked in real-time once they have shipped, as this not only lets the customer stay on top of their purchase, but also ensures that you are not liable for any issues or errors that might occur once your product has left your business.
Final Word on Packaging Supplier Considerations
This is just a quick overview of a few of the many considerations that online businesses must keep in mind when shipping products out to customers.
The world of e-commerce has changed the shipping process in so many ways, largely very much for the better. However, these changes have also resulted in an increase in customer expectations. This means that online retailers have to work harder and smarter to be able to meet them.
Luckily, CS Packaging can at least ensure that your packaging supplier considerations are recognized and met with items of superior quality and reliable service so you know you’re sending your products out in the most efficient and top-of-the-line packaging. Trust us to provide your long-term packaging solution.
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(Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in June 2020 and was updated with current information in October 2022.)