Ecommerce Packaging vs Postal Boxes: what's the difference and why is it so important to online business?
There are four main differences between Ecommerce Packaging and Postal Boxes: speed, efficiency, delivery (or deliverability) and the unboxing experience.
In this post, we address each of these differences and explain why - whether you are a small independent retailer on Etsy or an IR500 giant shipping in high volume at a swift pace - Ecommerce Packaging could be the answer for your business.
Using faster packaging will result in happier customers
It goes without saying that the faster you can dispatch your mailing boxes, the happier your customers will be. Browse through any online review section and the speed of delivery is almost always mentioned.
From the moment a customer makes that final click and has committed to an order, it is a given that they will be anticipating actually getting their hands on their purchase. Everyone agrees that a bit of anticipation is a very good thing, but the key phrase here is 'a bit'; no one wants the inconvenience of having to wait in for the postman every day, only to find out that their order was yet to be dispatched.
Using efficient packaging will save your business time and money
You may think that your cardboard boxes are already doing a good enough job for you. Why therefore, waste precious time and money on specialised mailing boxes?
Even if you already have a system that works well for your business, it would be foolish not to evaluate your packaging strategy periodically; small changes add up to a big difference. Take a look at this example, if you need any more proof.
Take a moment to track how long it takes to pack one order - pick the item, pack it, seal it with tape, stick a label on it - then work out the cost based on the hourly labour rate and multiply that by the number of order per year - that figure may shock you . We've witnessed ecommerce packaging save a business 70% labour costs, and slash returns by 90%.
For smaller businesses, such as Etsy sellers, getting this right could mean the difference between losing an entire afternoon, or spending just half an hour over lunch packing orders. It all depends on how much you value your time.
Going the extra mile with your packaging will improve customer experience and brand loyalty
So said Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, and this is an edict for which we stand. Delivery is one of the last links in the chain between the supplier and the customer, but it is no less vital because of this. We all know how frustrating it can be to arrive home and find that a delivery has been missed, or that the parcel wouldn't fit through the letterbox.
Maybe it did fit through the letterbox, but it's squashed and ripped, or even worse, what's inside is damaged. Perhaps your box has been left with a neighbour, but when you hot foot it round there, they're not in. How wonderful would it be if you could be assured that your goods would fit easily and safely through the standard U.K. letter box?
How happy would it make your customers to find that you had considered the actual delivery of your box packaging so that they don't have to? At Lil Packaging we assist you so that your deliveries can exceed your customers' expectations.
Custom made, printed packaging will always add value and boost brand loyalty
As we've talked about on the blog several times before, unboxing experiences are on the rise; and we believe that it's not just Instagram influencers who should get to enjoy all that unwrapping. The level of attention to packaging customisation and branding demonstrates to your customers how much you believe in the value of your product and in turn, your commitment to them and what they're purchasing.
So, with these four tenets in mind, let's take a look at the options:
Ecommerce Packaging or Standard Postal Boxes. Which is right for your business?
In all fairness, there are many situations where cardboard postal boxes might be the right choice; they are great for smaller businesses where packing time isn't of the essence. Additionally, they are typically free from plastics, 100% biodegradable and easy to customise with stamps and tissue paper: score one for the unboxing experience. We stock a range of corrugated postal boxes for you to choose from, all manufactured from high quality FSC® certified, corrugated kraft cardboard and eco-friendly, plant-based inks.
So, there can be no doubt that standard postal boxes - be they small, flat, large or long - have their place in the packaging world and they certainly fulfil a purpose.
However, they do come with some key limitations.
Usually, they are supplied flat and need assembling; on the one hand this is great when storage space is at a premium, but when putting these cardboard boxes together, there is all too often a requirement for packing tape or labels to help seal them shut.
Postal boxes may also require void fill or some sort of retention material; not only is this wasteful, but it can be incredibly time consuming to sort out. Finally, standard postal boxes are not tamper-proof or tamper evident; they are easy to break into.
Practical and environmentally friendly these boxes may be, but they don't score very highly when we're considering speed, efficiency and delivery. True, they're very reasonably priced, but we feel that eCommerce Packaging that is successful and well thought out can have a huge impact on your business both in terms of its financial growth, scalability and customer base.
Using specialised Ecommerce Packaging such as our own mailbox means that your product will be delivered to the customer safely, securely and with the minimum of effort and risk of returns. Sturdy, strong and plain so as not to attract the wrong kind of attention, they can also come with anti-theft tabs and our letterbox range will fit easily through a standard UK letterbox: tick one for delivery.
The fact that the mailboxes are so easy to assemble with their pop up construction and quick to seal without the need for packing tape means that you can still store them flat, but get them out of your dispatch centre and on their way as efficiently and as speedily as possible: tick two and tick three for ecommerce packaging.
And what about the unboxing experience? Well, the hinged lid significantly contributes to that. And whether you go for internal branding made with our environmentally friendly inks, or our Breezebox featuring cleverly integrated tissue paper, your customer will have an unboxing experience to rival that of even the most popular Instagrammer (#gifted).
Joking aside, it's a proven fact that packaging increases customer loyalty and if it does happen that your product is unwrapped in front of thousands of followers, your packaging branding will help you to get your company's name out to far more people (#BrandingWinsTheInternet). Tick four.