It’s never been so easy to open an e-commerce store. Thanks to sites like eBay and Amazon, anyone can start selling goods online. The hard part is figuring out what to sell, but once you have this aspect of your business sorted, you are ready to go.
In the beginning, you should have no problem packaging up orders and sending them off to happy customers, but as your business grows, the packing side of the operation is likely to become more complex. Poorly packaged goods that arrive late are a sure-fire way to attract negative feedback. Customer reviews are very important, and the last thing you need are dozens of snarky online reviews slating your company. Here is a quick guide to the main points of e-commerce post and packaging.
Have an Efficient Workflow System in Place
The longer it takes to pick an item, pack it, and dispatch it, the harder your job will be. Try to keep your stock well organized, so you can find items fast. You will need a packaging area where you store boxes, envelopes, flexible packaging materials, tape, and labels. A workbench or table is ideal. Be methodical in your approach. Pick orders in the order they arrive on your system. That way, customers orders won’t be missed out my mistake.
Securely Package Goods
Goods need to be securely packaged, no matter how small or inexpensive they are. Select packaging to suit the item. For example, a delicate electrical component should be securely wrapped in a box or padded envelope and anything breakable should be marked as such. Try not to overuse packaging when it isn’t necessary. Some retailers have a habit of sending tiny items in huge cardboard boxes, which is very wasteful and bad for the environment. Don’t make this mistake.
It’s a good idea to use branded packaging, even from day one. Building a brand is very important for an online retailer, as this is how customers get to know you in a sea of similar retailers. You don’t need to spend a fortune on branded boxes. Create branded address labels and include your brand logo on packing slips. Anything you can do to differentiate yourself from your competitors will help.
Shop Around for Cost-Effective Postal Services
Smaller items and envelopes can be sent through the mail, but larger items will need to be sent via courier. As a small e-commerce trader, you won’t have much clout with courier companies, but this doesn’t stop you from shopping around for the best prices. Speak to individual companies and try to negotiate a decent rate. The more you send, the easier it will be to negotiate a competitive price.
Review your processes every few months. This will help you to spot any inefficiencies. The more streamlined your workflow is, the faster goods can be dispatched. Don’t forget, time is money, and in the early days, every little helps.
Infographic created by GWC Packaging