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Top 5 eCommerce Fulfillment Mistakes Made in Packaging

by Mike DeFabis on 2013-10-23 10:25:00

pretty brown boxIn a blog article I wrote last month about the benefits of kitting & packaging, I received quite a bit of feedback regarding several of the points made in the article. It also made me realize that there are many companies out there who do not utilize their packaging as a tool to help grow their business. To elaborate on the previous blog post, this post will cover 5 things you should avoid doing when packaging your products for direct to consumer shipments.

1. Avoid White Boxes

This point was made in my previous blog, but I thought I would elaborate on this a bit more because it was such a hot button. While white boxes can appear clean and look very nice when the box is packaged they will not look nice once they are shipped. White boxes are generally much more expensive and after the package has made its way through 2 or 3 dirty UPS/FedEx facilities on its way to your customer, it will often not look so nice. While the old brown box may not be what you want, there are many other colors out there that will not show dirt as much as a white box. Avoid using white boxes at all cost because when it ends up at your customer’s door step, it will not present the same image as when it left your distribution center.

2. Styrofoam Peanuts

styrofoam peanuts falling out of box

Have you ever received a package with a bunch of Styrofoam peanuts?  How many days did it take you clean all those up after they got everywhere and stuck to everything?  Styrofoam peanuts are messy, a pain to clean up, are not environmentally friendly and they detract from the image you want to portray to your customers.  On top of that, they also make a huge mess in the warehouse.  Stay away from Styrofoam peanuts!

3. Retail Packaging

retail packaging examplesRetail packaging is not the same as ecommerce packaging. If you are shipping products both to retailers and direct to consumers, you might want to look at different packaging options. For retail packaging, your customers are going to want to see and touch the product. There should be more emphasis on how the product looks on the shelves rather than on the box that is being shipped to the retailer.  For ecommerce packaging, the emphasis is more on keeping the product secure inside the box to ensure that it does not arrive damaged.

4. Polly Bag vs. Box

polly bagsPolly bags can be great. They are easy to brand with your logo or design, less costly than boxes, and you can get them in just about any color imaginable.  If you are shipping smaller products that fit into bags, these can be great. But, be careful. If you have products that have edges or could possibly puncture a polly bag, you might want to avoid using them. A combination of boxes for some products and polly bags for other products could work well if certain products would work better than others.  

5. Box Sizes

multiple boxes in different sizesAvoid boxes that are too big for your product. I would not recommend having an exact box size for every combination of products, but having a few box sizes that can fit several combinations of your products with help. If the box is not an exact fit, use fillers such as paper or tissue. But remember, no Styrofoam peanuts!

For more information on what you should NOT do with your packaging or for creative ideas on what you CAN do with your packaging, please Contact Us Today!

Written by Mike DeFabis, Business Development Manager of Integrated Distribution Services, Inc.

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