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Top 3 Packaging Mistakes to Avoid

In the era of Amazon Prime and Same Day Delivery services, there's nothing quite like the anticipation of expecting a delivery. Unfortunately, there is also nothing quite as disappointing as receiving your product in a bad condition or worse, completely unusable. Most common packaging mistakes are easily remedied by ensuring that your goods are packed safely and securely, but what are these mistakes?

Overpacking

This is perhaps the most famous example of a packaging mistake, with one of the biggest eCommerce companies worldwide, Amazon, typically falling foul of this, as popularised by Twitter hashtags such as #amazonpackaging. Overpacking can refer to anything from metres and metres of paper void fill to a sea of packing peanuts, or even to boxes within boxes within boxes. Not only does this level of overpacking frustrate consumers due to the additional effort of both unpacking and disposing of the excess waste, but it also reflects poorly on the company and their awareness of both the customer experience and the environment.

The packaging that a product is sent in is a customers first impression of the company, and therefore the experience of receiving and opening the product should be as simple and pleasurable as possible. Not only does overpacking negatively impact the customers, but it is also more expensive for the supplier, as it increases material costs, whilst sending larger packages than necessary also increases the cost of transport and delivery.

Overpacking

Photo Credits; Reddit u/Little_Lorelai, Reddit u/jfonzy,  Twitter u/MIrandaJennieJo

How to avoid this:

  • Try to source packing boxes as closely as possible to your common product sizes.
  • Use boxes with variable heights to for your goods more closely.
  • For the best possible customer experience, invest in bespoke packaging both sized and designed specifically for your brand and product.

Under Protecting

Damaged ParcelsNext to overpacking, this may be the second most common mistake to make when sending goods, and is usual made when attempting to avoid the problem of overpacking. By packing a product without enough padding, too tightly to the box, or without any necessary fragile labels, not only will customers be more likely to end up with damaged goods, but the supplier will then be left to either refund or replace them after having already left the customer with a negative receiving experience.

Protecting a package isn’t just about protecting it from the potential for damage in transit, but also protecting the goods inside from animals and the elements to ensure that they are not left with faults due to pest activity or water damage. This is especially important for valuable items such as artwork or electronics. For goods that need to be handle more carefully, it is key to ensure that they are labelled to reflect this so that any handlers along the supply chain are aware and can treat the package more gently.

How to avoid this;

  • Use strong boxes, ideally double walled.
  • Reinforce the sides and corners, especially for fragile items
  • Make sure goods are correctly labelled as ‘Fragile’ or ‘This Way Up’ if necessary


Unreturnable

Unfortunately, no matter how well a product may be packaged, customers can still feel the need to return goods, perhaps due to an accidental purchase or ordering an incorrect size for example. When this occurs, the quickest way to lose a customer’s good will is by making the returns process difficult. A customers experience with a company doesn’t have to end after they have received their first delivery, and to ensure that they come back to order again (or at least don’t view the company negatively), it is important that returning goods is as simple as possible.

Many eCommerce business have begun to send goods with a returns label included and in packaging that can be easily resealed and returned in the same condition that it arrived in. Even if the customer is returning goods due to a fault or damage, a simple and quick process can sometimes be enough to save the company reputation and encourage the customer to come back in the future.

How to avoid this:

  • Use returnable packaging
  • Make your returns policy easy to find
  • Provide multiple options for returns

At the end of the day, mistakes are often seen as being inevitable, but trying to avoid these key three as much as possible will safe guard you against most packaging pitfalls. 

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