Think about the last thing you bought online. What did it look like when it arrived at your door? Was it in a box built to fit the item exactly? Was it a piece of clothing stuffed into a flexi-envelope? And what did it look like when you opened it? Was there a note? Was it damaged? Most importantly, did the presentation make you want to buy from this company again?
Wrap & Send surveyed shoppers who make more than $75,000 a year and found that package presentation was extremely important.
Even allowing for the fact that the survey was conducted by a company who sells expertise wrapping and shipping – I believe this is a factor online sellers should be thinking about.
Last week, I received a pair of shorts that had been folded to fit into a small priority mail box. You know, the one that’s about the size of a DVD box set. I didn’t even open it right away because I assumed it was a DVD that I ordered, not my son’s shorts. The item wasn’t damaged and it arrived quickly, which should be all that matters but still. . . The package felt careless and it didn’t give me a good feeling about the seller.
In addition to being an online buyer, I’m also a shipper. I know what a slight change in box can do to shipping costs. Here’s a example of three small Teddy bears. One bear (11 oz) goes in my own box and ships across the country for $3.50. Two bears (1 pound, 3 oz) pushed it up to 9.88 and for that it can go in a flat rate priority box – if I can make them fit. If I add one more little bear, I’m up to $11.00 shipping – again, priority is cheaper than sending it any other way. So it’s fast, but costly and I can’t count on my customers understanding the math.
As a seller, you have to find a way to balance the extra cost of packing and shipping with what you can charge and the good will you get in return. It might be worth giving up $1.00 profit if it means customers are impressed with your packing.
And speaking of eating into the profits:
Free shipping is always a hot topic but luxury buyers want to return the item for free, too. Why are they sending things back? 10% said it was because the item arrived damaged, so our earlier proper packaging discussion will take care of that. Other reasons include, the item didn’t fit and “it wasn’t what I expected.”
Give your packaging some thought today, especially in regard to the holiday season. Anything you can do to make your deliveries a little more merry will be appreciated on the receiving end. And happy customers often turn into returning customers.