This week’s guest blogger is Malu Limpens, Manager Marketing Communications at Ranpak.

It is essential to leave your customers amazed in today’s world of highly competitive online shopping. Customers have high expectations, and they want to be delighted when they receive their products.

Ranpak asked Harris Interactive to conduct research on what would be best packaging practices for the E-Commerce industry. By using these best practices, online businesses can create many loyal customers.

Best practices

1. Use a package that fits the product

Make sure to use the right size box when it is possible: a box that can fit enough protective material but is not too big in relation to the product inside. Shipping small products in large boxes will inconvenience your customers and increase your shipping costs.

2. Use the right amount of packaging material with the right protection

This is particularly critical when it comes to fragile products: for most people in our research it seemed that packaging material is important to them in determining where they purchase their products from. Products which arrive damaged due to poor packaging reduce repurchase intentions significantly.

3. Use packaging material that is easy to recycle

Using recyclable packaging material not only benefits the environment, it also makes your customers feel good about buying your products. 33% of our respondents even indicated to be willing to pay more for environmentally friendly packaging.

4. Choose reusable packaging material

Ensuring that there is an easy way to reuse packaging material will encourage online ordering as well as customer loyalty. Often people indicate they are willing to pay more for packaging that enables them to use it again for returning goods or other purposes.

5. Use paper-based packaging material

People are most concerned with the quality of the packaging, the ability to keep the product protected, and the ease of removing and disposing of the packaging. The advantages of paper-based packaging are that it is flexible and can be used for any product, and it is also more likely to be recycled than other materials. 51% of our respondents preferred paper-based in-the-box packaging.

6. Use consistent packaging materials

By using consistent packaging materials (mono-materials), consumers are able to dispose of everything in the same place, helping to increase the rate of recycling when paper-based materials are used.

7. Exceed customer expectations

Customers know what they have ordered but do not know what kind of packaging to expect. Innovative packaging will create a positive unboxing experience for your customers and can generate positive reviews online and on social media. Make sure to align your packaging to reflect your brand values, or use all of the above tips to maximize your customer’s positive experience.

The full story on these best practices can be read in our white paper, which is available under this link: https://cross-border-magazine.com/7-best-packaging-practices-for-e-commerce-success/

These best practices are based on research by Harris Interactive, a market research company headquartered in Rochester, on behalf of Ranpak. They surveyed over 1,000 online shoppers across Europe and the USA in July 2016. The survey revealed the packaging expectations of these customers, some of their recent experiences and their preferences for packing materials.

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