When it comes to oversized package shipping, insufficient packaging can damage products and reputations — costing more in the long run.
E-commerce is booming. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans spent $211.5 billion on online shopping in the second quarter of 2020, up 31.8% quarter over quarter. Every one of those orders generated a shipment. And because of shelter in place policies, there’s an increased volume in large bulky items being shipped that would normally be purchased in stores.
Packaging Digest finds that, “As much as 11% of unit loads arriving at a distribution center have some level of case damage.” Transport and handling issues are certainly a cause of this, but the root of the problem often lies in insufficient packaging.
Shipping oversize packages is notoriously more expensive than standard parcels, racking up surcharges and additional handling fees, not to mention more labor intensive when it comes to finding the right container and materials.
To save on time and labor costs, you might be tempted to put odd shaped items into outer packages that are too large, and overstuffing with protective materials that add to your budget without providing adequate protection. Even worse, you might skip out on much needed protective packing material because your shipping cost is already so high. However, this haphazard packing can be more expensive in the long run than spending the time and money to develop custom, appropriate protective solutions. Oversized packages are most prone to arriving damaged, adding replacement, rework and re-shipping to your bill and leading to loss of customer loyalty.
The ISTA certified packaging engineers at the Pregis IQ can recommend a perfect custom packaging solution for your business. They carefully assess every aspect of a client’s budget and shipping needs and design packaging that ensures intact deliveries and world-class unboxing experiences. They even test packaging solutions to make sure contents will survive the harshest transit conditions imaginable.
Here’s why this is a good investment:
It may seem like you’re saving money when you send an oversize delivery with standard packaging. But if the merchandise is damaged before reaching the customer, you can hurt your bottom line more than you would if you used custom packaging from the start.
Some of those costs cutting into your profit include:
- Lost worker productivity (production, warehouse and customer service)
- Cost of replacement units
- Time and materials for repackaging
- Return freight
- Insurance penalties
- Return inspection (to confirm damage or prepare for resale)
- Storage or disposal of returned merchandise
The cost for damage is unique to every business. However, an in-house study recently found that the average loss of profit for each damage incident was $56. This can be substantially larger for oversized packages due to the higher value of the merchandise and the costs associated with re-shipping heavier parcels.
The True Cost of Damaged Packages
Shipping damage does more than cut into profit. It can have a negative, yet intangible impact on everyone involved. Some of the ways it can impact your company include:
When a customer receives a damaged package, it sets off a chain reaction. Your customer service reps will have to respond to the displeased customer. The shipping team will have to repackage and send a replacement product. Others will have to inspect the damaged merchandise when it’s returned. All of this could have an effect on morale and the mood at your company.
Loss of Customer Loyalty
No matter how innovative and high-quality your product is, there are, or will be, competitors vying for your customer’s loyalty. Convenience is a larger part of the buying experience than you might care to admit. The displeasure with receiving a damaged item, the hassle of ordering a replacement, and the lost time from waiting for the new order could have a major impact on customer retention and future brand loyalty.
Pregis offers a number of package cushioning solutions that simultaneously protect deliveries and offer unboxing experiences that will help brands stand out to their customers.
The very first impression a customer has of your product is the packaging. If it arrives damaged, and was poorly packed, that will leave a lasting impact on how that customer perceives your company.
This type of experience could also generate bad word of mouth. Once a customer receives the replacement item, a friend or relative may see and be inspired to purchase as well — but from a competitor, if they hear about the damage during shipping.
There’s also the problem of negative reviews. Most e-commerce platforms allow customers to rate and leave reviews of the product and their buying experience, and that includes the delivery or packaging. Even while browsing reviews of five-star products on top e-tailer websites, you will find customers complaining about delivery damage.
More Than Dollars And Cents, Custom Packaging Makes Sense
Sending an oversized item with standard packaging will be cheaper and simpler up front, but in the event of damage during shipment, this decision could be far more expensive than doing it right the first time. Your delivery is truly your customer’s first impression of your company, and we offer a wide-array of specialty and custom options to make your shipments Packaged to Delight.
Want to find out more about our custom packaging for oversized items?