The challenges of shipping beauty products and the packaging solutions to solve them
Heading into the festive season, the perfect gift for a loved one could be their favourite beauty product. The chances are, a lot of the courier networks will be shipping beauty products this year…
From cologne to lipstick through to skincare and beauty gadgets, the variety of products sold in the beauty industry is huge. With all sorts of shapes and sizes to contend with, shipping beauty products can be tricky. So, if you’re selling beauty products online, what sort of challenges can you expect when it comes to distribution? What packaging do you need to overcome them?
Our team of experts has looked at the six main challenges we come across when we work with online health & beauty retailers and the packaging solutions you need to overcome them:
Challenge 1: The huge variation across product ranges
If you work for a health & beauty retailer, you’ll know there can be a massive variety of products to pack and dispatch. The differences in size, shape and fragility can mean it’s hard to choose packaging that will cater for all your items.
Using the right amount of packaging is important – too little and something could get damages in transit. Too much, and you could run the risk of displeasing your customers.
In fact, our latest unboxing survey found that 14% of deliveries used too much packaging. In a world of eco-conscious consumers, this isn’t ideal. So, what can you do to overcome this challenge?
Packaging automation is a great option. You can automate almost any packaging process, including boxing and in-box protection, as well as bagging and sealing. Using packaging automation allows you to control the exact amount of packing material that is used for each of your products, whatever their shape and size. Perfect for health & beauty retailers!
Plus, automation can help you reduce packaging waste and improve productivity. It can also help lower your transport costs (imagine all the extra carrots you could buy for Rudolph at this time of year)!
Challenge 2: Pack contamination from liquid products
Shipping liquid items, like expensive fragrance and skincare, can be difficult due to the risk of spillage and breakage. No one wants to receive a damaged, wet parcel, especially if it’s a Christmas gift! In the unfortunate event an item like this does break, it can contaminate an entire pack, which will need to be replaced. The cost of this can be huge!
That’s why carefully choosing the protective packaging you use can help you overcome this. There are lots of different options available…
For very fragile items, Airsac® inflatable packaging provides a high level of protection. It moulds itself round products and can absorb knocks in transit. If you prefer paper-based protection Geami WrapPak® is another great option. It’s 100% recyclable and the unique honeycomb paper lined with tissue provides protection during shipping, as well as a great unboxing experience for the festive season!
Challenge 3: Delicate products that can be damaged easily
During peak, high-volume dispatch can mean inconsistent packing and less care in the courier network. This can result in damage to your parcels. All the beautiful Christmas presents won’t look so cheery! Our unboxing data shows that 9% of packages still arrive damaged. Considering how important the festive season is to customers, is it worth the risk?
Providing clear packing guidelines to your team can help with this. Shadow boards are a tool that you can install on packing benches, that help your team pick the right packaging for the product they’re packing. If you’re palletising any parcels for dispatch, you should also review your stretch wrap. The right stretch film can help to increase strength and load capability, as well as wrap more pallets with less film.
So, whether you’re wrapping palettes or presents this Christmas, make sure it’s done right!
Challenge 4: Making sure returns are safe for resale
Choosing beauty health & beauty products online can be tricky, which means there’s no guarantee that you’ll like a beauty gift you receive (whatever time of year). Returns are commonplace, and where product is unspoilt, it is ideal if it can go on resale.
Is your packaging return-ready? Easy to return packaging is a must for all online retailers, including those who work in health and beauty. Thoughtful packaging that includes a second sealing strip can make it easy for your customers to return unwanted gifts (and make Santa’s life easer)!
Challenge 5: Making the unboxing experience memorable
Did you know that 93% people who received branded packaging from health & beauty companies would buy again because of the unboxing experience?
This shows that health and beauty consumers enjoy unboxing as part of their shopping experience. Custom packaging is a great way to represent your brand, communicate with customers and capture repeat sales. You can also adjust your custom packaging design depending on the season, to make sure you stand out!
Click here to learn more about how to create a memorable unboxing experience.
Challenge 6: International shipping restrictions
Many of us who have loved ones who live far away in other countries. Connecting with them by sending presents through the post at Christmas is common, but it comes with challenges.
If you’re shipping beauty products outside the UK, there could be restriction on international shipping for a number of items. These restrictions can be hard to navigate, and include chemical items, fragrances, and aerosols. Restrictions can vary from country to country, so check the regulations for the country you’re shipping to. Without the right packaging and labelling, your parcel might not arrive.
Our team can provide advise on international shipping for you and help you design packaging solutions that meet international criteria.
If you need packaging solutions for the festive season or packaging support any time of year, speak to the Macfarlane Packaging team. We can make sure you’re on the packaging nice list this Christmas!