As of June 2020, retail sales are down 10 percent for the year, but e-commerce sales were up almost 20 percent. Of course, much of that is due to COVID-19 keeping people home and choosing online shopping rather than visiting a brick-and-mortar store. However, even as shops open up to foot traffic, online shopping isn’t dropping as things go “back to normal,” which is why it may be time to consider whether your product packaging is designed for e-commerce. Our thermoforming and injection molding company is sharing ways you can improve your packaging for online sales.
How Product Packaging Differs for Online Vs In-Person Sales
When you’re designing product packaging for brick and mortar stores, you’re factoring in that it has to survive the shipping process from your warehouse to the destination while also being visible to people browsing, so they can see it in person. Because you’re shipping large quantities to retailers, you have some flexibility in how you ship. This includes choosing your packing material to cushion items, using clear, rigid packaging that is much larger than the item, and using lightweight plastics or even aluminum to reduce weight for the consumer to carry it.
Shipping for e-commerce is much different because while you don’t need to worry about visibility from inside the package or including hanging tabs for display racks, you do need to factor in these issues:
- Excess packaging that can increase shipping costs for consumers and thus, harm sales;
- Durability to ensure it will hold up through shipping practices as well as drop-ship delivery;
- Reducing the weight of the packaging without reducing impact resistance of it’s a product that can be damaged, dented, spilled or broken;
- Marketing and improving your visibility;
Consider, when designing packaging, if it can pass a drop and crush test to make sure it can hold up when retailers ship it out to customers.
How to Improve Packaging for Online Sales
Now that you know what you need to do to improve how you package your product for online sales, here are some tips on how to do it:
Move Away from Glass and Aluminum
While aluminum and glass can be attractive and eye-catching in the store, they are not only unnecessary for online sales, they can get damaged during the shipping process. Glass has the problem of adding excess weight and size in order to protect it while in transit. Instead, stick with impact-resistant materials like high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or high impact polystyrene (HIPS).
Protect While Reducing Costs
If your products are going to Amazon or other large retailers, and they have to add extra packaging and fillers to protect products, you can get charged back for the cost. Chargebacks can take a serious bite out of your profits, so anything you can do to reduce those is beneficial. Again, impact-resistant materials are key as well as including infill cushioning inside the package box can allow you to control the cost.
Boxes and have interior packaging should be shrunk down as much as possible to be as close to the size of the product. This provides structural support to protect the item, but it also helps reduce cost on your end and the consumers because they won’t pay as much in shipping.
Contact Us for Custom Thermoforming
At our plastics manufacturing center, we design and make custom plastics for all types of industries, and this includes packaging. We are dedicated to providing fast lead times, low per-unit costs, and above all, high-quality products to our customers across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.