We often write about the aesthetics of packaging here on the PSI blog. After all, one of the key goals of product packaging is making a good first impression with consumers. But designing the prettiest packaging in the world won’t do your business any good if it fails to protect your product from damage during shipping.
When you’re moving products from place to place, damage is always a possibility, of course, but how much is too much? Is there an acceptable shipping damage rate for packages?
At PSI, a 0% damage rate is the utopia we strive for.
Achieving this goal isn’t possible for every client, though. If you want perfection, you must be willing to invest in the best possible packaging for your product.
When it comes to designing product packaging, the crux for most of our clients is cost. You want your packaging to look great, sure, and you want it to perform well, but you also need it to be cost-effective. Meeting all these needs often requires a delicate balance. Custom packaging can provide this balance.
When you go custom, you get packaging that fits your product so perfectly that it makes your shipment indestructible (outside of it being lit on fire and run over by a tank, of course).
We understand that custom packaging isn’t ideal for every business. For large e-commerce retailers (such as Amazon) that sell a variety of products in different shapes, sizes, and weights, using several different sizes of corrugated boxes for multiple products and then adding fillers or padders to eliminate extra space is often the best packaging option. But for smaller businesses with less than 10 products, custom packaging can meet the trifecta of benefits: proper protection from shipping damage, great design, and cost-effectiveness.
When determining how much you’re able and willing to invest in product packaging, you must consider the total impact to your business’s bottom line—not just how much the packaging itself costs. Choosing packaging that’s less expensive up front may seem like a good way to save money, but it often doesn’t work that way. If your packaging is not properly protecting your product, it’s likely going to cost you in other ways.
When a customer receives a damaged product, the business must not only eat the cost of that product and its packaging but also the total cost of replacing the product (which is much more than the cost of the replacement product itself). “These claim dollars can really add up,” according to an article published by Packaging Digest. “But they are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the total impact to your company’s bottom line, which includes ‘soft costs’ like your brand image and customer satisfaction.” Other soft costs include rework and repairs, return shipments, and expedited logistics. There’s also the environmental cost: “All those return shipments burn up precious diesel fuel and emit carbon dioxide, not to mention the extra garbage and waste created and energy consumed by having to scrap your product,” according to Packaging Digest.
As you can see, opting for lower up-front packaging expenses doesn’t necessarily save you any money. In many cases, it may lead to greater overall losses, and even less sales, in the long run.
Want to learn more about how custom packaging can save you money by preventing product damage during shipping? Contact us today for a free consultation and packaging analysis.