Most e-commerce companies are entering the busiest time of the year (and most profitable).
E-commerce vendors are shipping mass quantities of packages and fulfilling endless online orders this time of the year. From commercialized sales like Cyber Monday to other holiday purchases, consumers are increasing their spending right now.
Be on the lookout for newcomers to the e-commerce market this year. Holiday gifts have transitioned from traditional wrapped boxes to non-traditional items, such as box-subscription services. This is sure to affect packaging companies. Below is our summary of the shipping and fulfillment process for e-commerce businesses.
How It Starts
The shipping process starts before your customer clicks on the buy button. When setting up your e-commerce store there are numerous considerations that will make or break the shipping strategy:
- Shipping rates: How much does it cost you for your packaging plus the cost of shipping?
- Product weights: This will have dramatic impacts on shipping costs
- Should you offer free shipping incentives? How does this affect the cart abandon rate?
- Are you able to ship your products abroad?
- What is the shipping time? Do you offer expedited shipping?
Fulfillment: Creating a Process
Once it’s time to fulfill the order it is important to have a process. According to Entrepreneur.com’s Small Bussiness Encyclopedia, fulfillment is “the process of receiving, packaging and shipping orders for goods.” For an ecommerce company, having a software that integrates the incoming order with the fulfillment process is key. Utilize This controls order numbers, tracking numbers, SKUs, and other product/order features that are critical for order and product management.
Another fulfillment option is to use outsourced fulfilment. Hughes is a number one resource for outsourced fulfillment for companies of all sizes and in many different industries. Partnering with Hughes gives you access to industry insights, expertise, exclusive discounts, technical training, and on-demand maintenance.
Selecting The Right Packaging Products
The number one element of the fulfillment process is choosing the right packaging products. Heightened e-commerce plus unboxing videos (a popular trend where customers record their experience opening an e-commerce package) have increased the importance of having quality packaging with a strong brand identity.
When it comes to the products Hughes has the products you need to package all types of e-commerce products. We also have the knowledge to help you save costs and only the carry the SKUs you need. Learn more about the specific products we carry here.
How to Have Flexibility in Your Packaging Line
Another important consideration for e-commerce companies is creating flexibility with the packaging line. Holiday packaging is a proven way to build brand value and increase sales. For e-commerce businesses this is especially important. Any holiday is an opportunity to provide increased value through packaging. Talk to a Hughes packaging expert today to learn about the possibilities with holiday packaging.
Another reason to have flexibility is for when you expand your product offering. This change can happen quickly and can create new packaging product needs quickly. By streamlining your packaging products and having a well-coordinated packaging process you will save time when adding products to your e-commerce store.
Packaging For Returns
This is an area that may get overlooked in the planning process. The goal is to keep this number down, but proper handling is important too. At least 30% of e-commerce orders are returned which makes it important to have a plan for managing returns. On the bright side, approximately 92 percent of shoppers will shop with the store again if the return process is easy. In other words, just because a customer isn’t happy with one product doesn’t mean they don’t want to be a customer.
Do you have a proper return process in place? Learn more about our return packaging recommendations.
Get Started Now
There’s a lot that goes into the fulfillment of e-commerce orders – and the number of e-commerce orders are only increasing. Talk to a Hughes packaging expert today to improve your packaging process for your e-commerce business.