The secret sauce of online success is ecommerce packaging

I was recently intrigued to see a study conducted by packaging company Duo UK. Now while we all know that research can be influenced by the people conducting it and that a packaging company (with whom, incidentally, I have no affiliation) is likely to be prejudiced, I still felt the conclusions agreed with what I’ve observed over the years.

This is that the packaging quality of ecommerce goods has a big impact on the recipients; in fact, its impact is much bigger than any of us would have thought.

For instance, the study reveals that one third of consumers will view a company that uses poor or damaged packaging as unprofessional. This means that poor packaging can undermine all other efforts to build the brand. High quality images, great web design and professional marketing can all be undone by poor wrapping.

The problem is that, typically, packers will be the worst paid and least supervised (somewhere at the back of the warehouse?) people in the organisation. And if you’re small enough to do it yourself, it may well be the job you most dislike and to which you pay the least attention.

Half of the individuals questioned in the research said they would be more likely to return goods if the outer packaging was poor quality or damaged. So skimping in this area is a false economy, as returns are horribly costly for many reasons.

I’m not a great lover of Amazon but like so many people, I am a customer. I can never remember receiving anything from Amazon in anything other than pristine condition. As well as taking huge care itself, Amazon enforces its policies on packaging and delivery with an iron rod for merchants selling through its marketplace. You will know this all too well if you are on the receiving end.

I just end with this thought: Amazon is fanatical about the quality of packaging and delivery. Amazon is the largest ecommerce company in the world. Is that a coincidence?

Chris Barling is co-founder and chairman of ecommerce software and EPOS systems specialist, SellerDeck.

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