E-commerce has become a primary way for consumers to shop for goods and services. There is no denying that the glory days of traditional retail is over. People will continue to shop online because it is easy and convenient.
The Trouble with E-Commerce
But, while e-commerce can help increase sales of businesses, it also leads to losses. Customers demand free returns and exchanges. The cost of sending back a product to the warehouse may even turn customers away and not proceed with a purchase.
There is another loss that happens when a product is damaged during transit. The logistics process is still, unfortunately, not perfect. At some point, a package will arrive broken and it will need to be sent back to the seller.
In 2018, the three leading couriers in the United States (U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx) delivered around 13.5 billion packages to consumers across the country. From that number, 11 percent were damaged or never arrived at their destination.
When a package arrives damaged, it hurts the business. The seller is responsible for the problem and, as a result, will be forced to either send a new product or issue a refund.
Moreover, it leaves the customer upset and unsatisfied with the transaction. They may share the experience on social media for other consumers to see or write negative feedback on review sites. Either way, it will end badly for the business.
It is the responsibility of the business to ensure that goods will be protected as much as possible when in transit. That is why packages should always be packed properly.
Businesses can get high-quality kraft paper rolls or poly mailer bags in bulk. The packaging is made from polyethylene which means that it is resistant to moisture. In case of rain and leaks, there is assurance that the material will not get wet nor tear.
There are plenty of factors that need to be considered when packaging an item. The shape, size, weight, and fragility should be taken into account when the product is being prepped for transit.
Amazon, the largest e-commerce platform in the United States, is known for packaging small products in big boxes. It has been a source of confusion among consumers, but there actually is a very good reason for it. Amazon uses a software tool that determines how many packages need to be inside a truck and creates a plan on how to fit all items. If there is still space after all packages have been accounted for, the software selects a bigger box, regardless of the actual size of the item being sent, so things do not move around and break when in transit.
Basically, it is playing an automated and packaging version of “Tetris.”
Not all businesses have similar capacity as Amazon, but it is an important point to think about. Packages can slide around the back of a truck if there is space. The product should be protected from those kinds of movements but, more importantly, the interior of the package should be packed to the brim, too. It will prevent the product from also moving around the box. Covering the item in bubble wrap and packing peanuts will cushion as well as prevent movement that can cause breakage.
Identify Common Causes of Breakage
If it happens too often, it might be worth considering equipping your packages with shock and tilt sensors. The technology can detect and record when an impact occurs which can break the fragile goods inside.
Sometimes, the problem is not the packaging or the process of transporting goods from one place to another. It is how the packages are being handled by the logistics company that is causing products to break.
It serves as visual proof that a mishandling happened. The business can take it up to the shipping carrier and hold them accountable for the damages that products incurred due to negligence, not because of improper packaging.
In addition, the sensors can deter mishandling in the first place. It warns that the package is being monitored and, therefore, prevents anyone from tossing it around.
Purchase Shipping Insurance
Sometimes, no matter what you do, the product arrives damaged or does not arrive at all. Accidents happen.
Most major carriers offer shipping insurance that is affordable. It can assure you that, even if the package is lost or damaged beyond repair, you would not be forced to spend money to refund or send another item to the customer. It is a small investment, but it can give you peace of mind.
E-commerce has been around for a while now, but there are still aspects of it that are yet to be perfected. The delivery is one part of the process that can be improved but, until that happens, the business should do everything it can to ensure that the product arrives at the doorsteps of the customer in perfect condition.