E-commerce companies who handle their own logistics will have noticed that last year (2018) saw companies stretching their offers back and tailoring their offers around Black Friday and Cyber Monday which means that the predicted rush combined with the year-on-year increase in consumer online spending could affect Packing Operations over longer periods of time.
Retailers should by now have put in place the proper planning, due diligence and system testing to ensure that their Packing Operations run efficiently during peak periods to maximise profits.
This blog gives you some tips which will help your business get a bigger slice of the pie and retain long-term customer loyalty with existing and new customers.
Here we go…
1. Re-evaluate your existing packaging
Packing Operations can be slowed down by the need to assemble and seal boxes, one quick solution is to use self-sealing Crash Lock Boxes (pictured above) which do not require taping at the base. Crash Lock Boxes can be slightly more expensive than standard boxes but they can considerably increase packing speeds and be assembled in seconds.
E-commerce companies have in recent years started using retention packaging such as Dynasafe (pictured above) which does not require void fill as a stretchable film holds products into place to considerably speed up packing times, and reduce breakages in transit, especially for cartons which have more than one product inside.
Multiple products in the same packaging have a higher risk of becoming damaged in transit because items not held into place sufficiently can make contact and cause breakages.
Gummed Paper Tape can be a quick way to seal cartons quickly and will also decrease your spend in regards to traditional taping which can be over used, making parcels look messy and unprofessional.
2. Maximise your operational efficiency through bespoke packing benches
Considering that you choose to handle your own logistics it is a good idea to look at the space
available to you, wasted space is wasted money. If you don’t maximise the efficiency of the space in your packaging solution, you are leaving money on the table.
We have had feedback from clients who suffered from an avalanche of returns after Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, so it is a good idea to use an adaptable packing operation which can
facilitate a full capacity scenario, the last thing your business needs is to have operational space clogged up by returnswhich could negatively affect operational capacity in the run up to Christmas.
The company I work for Protega Global have had an influx of enquiries from companies who require bespoke packing benches which are specially designed to formalise an operation and maximise efficiencies during peak times. We suggest that reaching out to experienced packaging consultants such as ourselves who can Design, manufacture and install bespoke systems and benches is a great way to making sure you can take maximum profit from peak.
Planning a strategy to deal with the likely-hood of your business hiring temporary staff in the run up, and during peak is always a must, consider who will be training the new staff and also create some packaging guidelines. When considering Packing Benches and an influx of temporary staff, make access to packing materials available on each bench which will ensure the new members of staff don’t have to wonder about looking for materials. By giving one or two members of more experienced staff the role of replenishing packaging, this will allow temporary staff to pack faster, accurately, and more efficiently.
87% of online shoppers identified shipping speed as a key factor in the decision to shop with an e-commerce brand again.
3. Consider using a range of box sizes and an Eco-friendly choice of material:
Evaluating your products and tailoring a range of boxes which should be applied to them will ensure that your staff will use less Void Fill material and less time filling voids!
Vary-depth boxes can also be useful which can be cut down to size (see images below).
Remember that a Black Friday customer could be buying from your business for the first time so you may want to take on board that future sales growth is seriously impacted by customer perception and the ‘Ethical is Beautiful’ factor, Your packaging choice should always align will the values of your customer if you want them to buy from you again this should be a major consideration.
A new wave of packaging innovations are already in use due to the rise of online shopping and the death of the high street so you may want to explore how the packaging you use can seriously impact brand perception and reduce reputational risk.
Products such as Hexcel Wrap and Gummed Paper Tape represent a step in the right direction for long term sustainability and also long term customer retention.
Black Friday fun facts and interesting info information