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Packaging and the try before you buy culture

Packing bench stocked

Macfarlane Packaging’s recent unboxing survey highlighted that a third of packaging still doesn’t contain returns information. So, why is this a big deal if you work in eCommerce? Well, consumers are now increasingly aware of their right to returns and there’s a growing trend towards a try before you buy culture. This means returns are on the rise.

For consumers, try before you buy is a positive trend. In contrast, for e-tailers, the trend is proving disruptive and costly. In fact, consumer returns are costing the UK retailers up to £60bn a year, which poses a big threat.

Therefore, if you work in eCommerce or retail it’s essential to have the right framework in place to effectively manage the challenge returns pose. The right packaging solutions can help play a part in this…

Use returns ready packing materials

If you want to manage the try before you buy culture, using returns ready packaging is a must. Here are some key tips for making your deliveries return ready:

  • Use packaging that can easily be used by customers for returns – things like easy to open boxes and bags are ideal and save customers the hassle of finding something suitable to use
  • Include second seal strip on your packaging – this eliminates the need for tape, and makes it easy for your customers to secure parcels for returns
  • Make sure you’re upfront about your returns policy – including your returns information in your parcel or clearly directing them to returns instructions on your website keeps things transparent and easy for your customers

Manage packaging with just-in-time services to release cash flow

Tying your cash up in lots of stock isn’t ideal at a time when the try before you buy culture is impacting profits. Therefore, managing your packaging stock on a just-in-time basis can help you free up cash flow and protect your interests.

Essentially, packaging providers, like Network Packaging, will stock hold for you and only supply what you need, when you need it rather than sending in bulk orders. This ensures you can keep up with demand whilst limiting your risk. You’ll also release lots of valuable space too, easing storage costs!

Ensure one-time delivery by reducing damages

Damages in transit are one of the biggest expenses you can face as an eCommerce business. They impact your customer loyalty, increase costs and can damage your brand reputation. All of this can ultimately affect your profit margins!

For any goods that are breakable or fragile, using protective packaging like void fill or cushioning is essential. It not only protects the products, but helps you create a better first impression with customers and avoids the cost of replacement products. Click here to read more about the true cost of damages to your business.

Create organised re-pack areas to get goods ready for re-sale

Once consumers have returned goods to you, you need to make sure they’re ready to be sold again. Based on this, it’s important to have a dedicated and organised re-pack area.

For example, if you’re a fashion retailer, you might want an area dedicated to folding and repacking clothes into new garment bags.

Having this operation in a separate area to your general pick and pack will avoid confusion and ensure your supply chain is as efficient as possible too.

We can help get your packaging returns ready

Book an appointment with one of our packaging experts today. Complete our contact form, email us or call 01902 496 666 for help getting returns ready.