Exchanging gifts at Christmas is a wonderful tradition, but finding the right present for friends or family can sometimes be a challenge…

January is typically one of the busiest months for returns as customers rush to send back ill-fitted or unwanted gifts after Christmas.

Research by Royal Mail predicted that the number of returns on the first working day of the year (Wednesday, 3rd January) would increase by 80%, with items such as clothing, electrical goods and PC software being among those most frequently returned.

The study also revealed that at least 60% of British customers would not buy again from a company with a difficult returns process, putting additional pressure on retailers to handle the increasing workload quickly and effectively.

So, how can you manage post-Christmas returns while meeting customer expectations? Your packaging is a great place to start!

1. Ensure your packaging can be re-used for returns.
This will save your customers the hassle of finding alternative solutions to send products back, which will have a positive impact on their experience with your brand.

It also helps increase product protection on its way back to you, giving you better control over the packaging used for returns. Adding an extra adhesive strip inside your packaging (that customers can use to reclose the original package), for example, will help prevent parcels from opening in transit (in cases where customers used a weaker tape to secure the mailing bag or box).

Re-using packaging is also environmentally-friendly, as it helps keep it in circulation for longer.

Read our Packaging Tips for an Eco-friendly Business to find out more.

2. Use packaging that saves time.
Preparing each order for delivery can be time-consuming… Boxes with a crash-lock base can be put together in seconds and don’t require taping to secure the bottom. They often come with a self-seal strip that can be used to secure the lid, but if you need to use tape, then a manual tape dispenser will ensure the process is as fast and easy as possible.

Consider automating some of your packaging processes if your budget allows it. Automation is a great way to ensure all your parcels are packed to the same high standard in a short time, increasing the speed of your packaging lines.

Read our Short Guide to Packaging Automation for more information.

3. Speak to a packaging expert.
If you experience problems with dispatching orders on time, it may be time to seek professional advice from a packaging expert such as Macfarlane Packaging.

We offer a free, non-obligation, packaging review during which we can help you discover issues in your packaging processes and suggest solutions that are cost-effective and suitable for your products and requirements.

Contact us today.

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