Retail Dive recently reported on how the COVID pandemic contributed to changes in product packaging. Because so many stores were closed, and people were staying at home far more than usual, there was a significant increase in online shopping. While much of this shopping happened at Amazon, there was also a noteworthy increase in customers shopping directly with their favorite brands.
Shipping products to wholesale buyers – in other words, sending products to be sold in stores – generally involves multiple pieces being packed within cardboard shipping boxes. These boxes can easily be palletized for shipping and easy handling. The individual product packaging can feature elements like see through plastic windows that allow customers to see what’s inside the box before buying. Packaging needs to be robust enough to handle the wear and tear inherent in the retail environment, but it can count on the additional protection cardboard shipping boxes provide while in transit.
Shipping products directly to customers is a whole different ballgame. Because both the shipper and the recipient want to keep costs down, there’s a great deal of interest in things like products that ship without any additional packaging, or products that can be shipped in polymailers, envelopes, or other less rigid packaging materials. Because there is not a cardboard shipping box containing these items, it’s important that the product packaging is much more robust and durable than it would be in the wholesale scenario.
Are you a business owner who’s trying to find the best shipping solution for your direct to customer orders? It can be overwhelming to try to find your way through the hundreds of packaging manufacturers and vendors. Determining what’s necessary to protect your products, boost your branding and strengthen your bottom line is a job in and of itself.
Do yourself a favor and drop in your local pack and ship service. Talk with the team there about your business needs and see what they recommend. Get real numbers for the volume of business you’re currently doing, so you can make informed choices.