Custom packaging matters a lot for small businesses. You are building an identity for your brand from the ground up and providing an experience for your customers. For example, have you seen the way Gucci packs its products? The unboxing itself is an unforgettable experience. An essential part of it has to do with the brand name and its status, which we agree with, but the rest forms the unboxing experience and the quality of the packaging.
As a small business, your aim should be just that. Sure there are going to be financial constraints to providing luxe packaging. But here are three ways to ensure you pick a packaging solution that rightly screams your brand's essence and provides a great unboxing experience to your customers.
1. Choose a packaging box that fits your product
Since you are a small business and will rely on third-party shipping/courier services, they would most probably be unaware of the items in the boxes. There's a high chance that the product will be damaged if you don't properly pack and label the boxes.
For example, if you specialize in making custom glass souvenirs for special occasions, your packaging box should be strong and have enough materials for shock absorption. To ensure the careful handling of the courier, ensure to stick the fragile tag at the top.
Here's a chance to bring in your brand experience tactics. Now, you have two different materials going into the product's packaging. You could decorate the boxes or get them printed with your logo that represents your brand. Further, instead of using sponges or other materials that aren't biodegradable, opt for sustainable materials and show your customers that you care about the environment. A touch of sustainability sends out the right message about your brand and the identity it's trying to build.
2. Ship your items in bulk and let your customer know the exact date of delivery
The shipping and fulfillment costs are calculated based on the following factor:
- The speed of the delivery
- The weight and dimensions of the product to be delivered
- The final destination
- The volume of the total products to be delivered
To reduce the fulfillment cost, you can reduce the speed of the delivery and increase the volume shipped at a time. We will tell you how.
The faster you want your products to be delivered (priority shipping), the more charges the shipping companies levy on you. The item's size to be delivered is also proportional to the charges. The bigger the item, the more charges you incur. And now, about the final destination, the longer the distance, the longer the charge. Regarding the volume, if you are a regular customer, the shipping companies give you some concessions on the final amount to be paid.
Now the size and shape of the item are beyond your control, as you can't compromise on the size of the packaging box if you want the item to be delivered safely. The same goes for distance.
So the only two things left are the delivery time and the volume. Let your customer know in advance that the shipping will take some time. It makes sure that you and your customer are on the same page. Now ship your items in bulk. For example, ship your items once it reaches 100 orders or once a week, whichever comes first. You can negotiate with your shipping company to reduce the fulfillment costs when you have the quantity in bulk.
3. Decide between outsourcing or in-house fulfillment
If you are in the initial stages of your business, wherein you get around 100 orders a week, you can do the fulfillment in-house to save some pennies on the fulfillment costs. But if your business has now started providing a steady income and it has become difficult for you to maintain the standard of packing due to the sheer volume of orders, it's time to outsource.
You can outsource to a 3rd party fulfillment company that keeps the inventory, does the packing, and then prepares your orders to be picked up by the shipping companies.