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Industry Insights 4 min read

Packaging Mistakes that Are Costing You Money

By Rand Whitney January 17, 2018


Packaging Mistakes that Are Costing You Money

Packaging is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind. They think all it does is get a product from Point A to Point B. This is true, but it can do so much more and if your not taking advantage of it, you are missing out. Here are a few ways packaging can add value to your product and brand without adding more cost.

Using generic boxes with no custom branding.

Branded corrugated shipping box

Think of your product as the star of the show, whereas your packaging is just a supporting character. It should enhance your product and brand, while still being functional and practical. One of the packaging mistakes companies make is using generic unbranded boxes. While you might be saving money upfront with cheaper packaging, you are losing out on countless opportunities to increase your brand awareness. Just think about all of the people that could have seen your packaging throughout the supply chain. These missed opportunities are all missed sales.

When generic packaging is used, you are losing an opportunity to increase brand awareness and ultimately loyalty from your customers. Studies show brands impact consumers buying behaviors by creating emotional connections with customers. These connections build trust and loyalty, and in return more sales and brand extension opportunities. Your packaging is an open billboard to promote your brand– USE IT!

Not ISTA certifying your product’s packaging.

Every time you ship your product there is an assumed risk that your product could arrive damaged. We all know how friendly UPS and FedEx are with boxes… But whose fault is it when a damaged product arrives and who actually pays in the end? The answer isn’t always clear, but one thing is for sure, your customer won’t be happy. Sometimes, even with a positive resolution, a customer will not purchase from you again, costing you even more.

To hedge the risk against product damage you need to make sure your product is properly protected. This is done by working with a packaging engineer on a design, and then confirming it protects your product by having it ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) tested. ISTA testing is a series of drops and simulated shipping tests based on your unique product and shipping methods. In reality though, some damages will still happen due to excessive force from the shipper, so then who pays? If this is the case, your ISTA approved reports will help substantiate the shipper is financially responsible.

Ignoring shipping costs.

With giants like Walmart, Target and of course Amazon, the online e-commerce marketplace has morphed into a highly competitive arena all its own. One of the top game plays used to entice customers to buy online is free shipping. According to Walker Sands, 80% of online shoppers are incentivized to make a purchase online if there is free shipping. But, as we know nothing is really free and someone is paying.

Knowing that free shipping has a psychological impact on customer’s decision to purchase, it makes sense why so many retailers use this tactic. One way to offset this is by optimizing your shipping boxes for dimensional weight. With a few simple shipping calculations combined with the expertise of a packaging engineer, you can redesign a shipping box and recoup these lost profits in free shipping.