Reducing Returns: How Proper Packaging Can Minimize Product Returns


According to UPS (United Parcel Service), more than 27 million packages are delivered per day, which totals around 25 billion packages delivered per year. UPS also estimates an average of approximately 2 million returns each day. These returns often have to do with the client simply no longer wanting the product but often it is also due to the product arriving damaged.

That’s only with UPS and not including the figures of other shipping companies. As a business, you’re in control of the quality of your products but you’re also in control of the product packaging you choose for said products. There are packaging options available like that offer packaging so reliable that the fear of damage and therefore return is minimized.

This article aims to shed light on the importance of proper packaging, the different packing options available and how proper packaging improves customer satisfaction.

The Importance of Proper Packaging

When it comes to packing a product, it is vital to ensure that the product is packaged as well as possible. Now, this does not mean that you have to over-protect your goods with too much protective material. Popping a small item into a massive box with a lot of bubble wrap and extra sheets of protection is both unnecessary and unsustainable.

As a business, it is therefore important to test your delivery runs by going through a series of your own scheduled deliveries. How can you do this? Simply take a few of your more sensitive products, package them in varying degree of packaging e.g., wrap one of the products excessively with some bubble wrap, the second less so and so that list goes on. Once this is done, ship one item back to yourself, one within the same town and then another across the state. This experiment will give you an apt representation of how the product arrives to its recipient. From there, you can analyze which product did not get damaged and then always use that method of packaging for future orders.

Proper packaging is hugely critical as the package first needs to be collected, placed in a van, driven to the shippers depot, handled by multiple people or run through delivery belts, placed into a large bin, put into a new van and then driven around again before being delivered. A lot of steps and a lot of handling which is why secure packaging is so vital.

Different Packing Options Available

There are a variety of different packaging options out there. It is important that you find the correct wrap, lining, envelope or box to suit your products needs and to follow rules around packaging. There are moving boxes, shipping boxes, heavy duty boxes, corrugated sheets, corrugated mailers and the list goes on and on.

Each delivery service usually has its own preferences listed on its website around the packaging requirements they have. Be sure to look into those and choose the appropriate packaging.

How Packaging Can Improve Customer Satisfaction

Think about it. As a customer, if you’ve been waiting on a package for a few weeks already and then it finally arrives and is completely broken or even just chipped, chances are you won’t be ordering from that store again. By correctly and safely packing products, product returns will automatically decrease.

It must be noted that this does not include customers who are unhappy with the product they’ve received or they’ve ordered a clothing item and it does not look like indicated in the website’s pictures. That’s something different. If you’ve ordered a mattress for example and after a few sleeps you see it’s not comfortable, you can always return it according to the businesses policy. However, if the mattress has arrived and has a big tear in it because the box opened during transit, now that’s something that better packaging could have avoided.

If you want to ensure that your customers likelihood of keeping a product is high then you need to ensure that you deliver that product well and safely.

Final Thoughts

It is clear that with the amount of deliveries occurring on a daily basis, delivery people always do their very best but sometimes do not have the time to ensure that they carefully handle each and every package they deliver. Therefore, take that into consideration and find the best packaging possible to keep your products safe and ensure low product returns.

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