The e-commerce marketplace has changed drastically over the last decade. It has seen a steady rise, and its growth has skyrocketed. With most people now staying at home, there has been an increasing dependence on online businesses for essential and non-essential goods.
With this growth of e-commerce, one may ask, what is the contribution of packaging? There is no doubt that it has done its part. So, what is e-commerce ready packaging?
E-commerce ready packaging is a set of standard requirements created by warehousing companies such as Amazon that regulates the efficiency of the packaging and the protection it offers to the product.
The statistics show that the number of unique online shoppers rose by 40% during the pandemic. This is a new demographic that would typically not have shopped online.
E-commerce packaging plays a crucial role in the online business as it’s the first physical touchpoint the customer has with your brand. Therefore, the customer must get that stellar unboxing experience to encourage repeat sales.
Today, I shine a spotlight on e-commerce ready packaging to help you understand it better and use it to create a memorable customer experience. Read on to learn more.
What Does E-commerce Ready Stand For?
When looking at what e-commerce stands for, there are a few things to consider. However, one major important thing to consider is the packaging style. Put a lot of focus on what message about your business and product the packaging sends to the customers.
It is true to say that packaging is a mobile billboard for your business. Therefore, one must ensure the message it carries is truly reflective of the brand.
Also, it is necessary to fully understand the goods’ packaging requirements and know the best available option to ensure the products reach the customer’s doorstep in pristine condition.
Packaging is responsible for protecting the products throughout the shipping process to ensure it reaches the destination intact and a positive unboxing experience for the customer and avoiding costly damages and returns.
Corrugated packaging such as cardboard boxes tends to be the most popular option for e-commerce packaging.
Corrugated packaging is made from recycled materials and is very protective and available in many sizes and shapes. Also, there are custom-designed boxes that you can choose to create more impact.
A well-thought-out e-commerce packaging can bring a huge impact on your business success. For example, it can help to foster customer loyalty, minimize the volume of returns, and get your brand in front of more people.
Make sure to choose the e-commerce packaging option accordingly. Working with the packaging experts can be helpful since they have the expertise and experience to choose the best style that suits your needs and budget.
What Is Amazon E-commerce Ready Packaging?
Amazon has been a huge driving force in the e-commerce marketplace. It is projected to record sales of up to $4.8tn in 2021. The key element behind Amazon’s success is the customer experience when one buys the products it sells.
As part of this process, Amazon set up its Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) initiative. The program aims to make it easier for its customers to get to their products. Six years later, it introduced the e-commerce Ready Packaging (ECR) certification initiative.
ECR is designed to optimize its customer experience and create supply chain efficiencies. Continue reading the article to find out more as I discuss the two programs by Amazon.
Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP)
FFP aims to provide the best customer experience through the implementation of the following:
● Making a package easy-to-open
● Low waste
The packaging must protect a product while going through various Amazon warehouses to receive certification. The packaging must also be capable of transporting it to the customer without any additional protection and cost-effectiveness.
Alongside this, the packaging must not have any sealed clamshells. It must take not more than 120 seconds to remove all the contents of the package.
Also, FFP certification can only be given if the packaging material is recyclable. Amazon prefers the manufacturers to use HDPE, PET., or LDPE resins. The treatment or printing of the product must also not affect the recyclability of the package.
Foil stamps, inks with heavy metals, and metallic inks cannot get the certification.
Although it is not a mandatory requirement, Amazon encourages packaging materials with either pre-or post-consumer recycled content.
E-commerce Ready Packaging (ECR)
ECR certification process requires that products must be able to be shipped through courier services without being damaged.
Bands are allowed on a product to provide structural integrity but bundling multiple packages together is not permitted.
To protect items from damage, those that require special handling must be clearly labeled with instructions.
For durable products that do not require any protective packaging, flexible materials such as envelopes and paperboard may be used. Amazon considers products that withstand two consecutive drops from 36 inches height and can support a load of 9.9 pounds without getting damaged as durable.
Why Should You Use E-commerce Ready Packaging?
When it comes to e-commerce, the packaging is more than just a cardboard box. Packaging plays a crucial role. Please read on to find out why I should convince you to start using e-commerce ready packaging today.
Plays Essential Part In E-commerce
Everyone is entertained when there are stories featured in the newspapers about a large online retailer such as Amazon sending a tiny product in a comically oversized cardboard box.
On the other hand, many people have experienced a package arriving battered or the product itself damaged. Such experiences by customers are not good for e-commerce sellers, as they can lead to negative reviews, affecting the brand.
However, successful e-commerce packaging can bring about massive success to the business. Maybe you have come across a video on YouTube of “unboxing challenge,” and imagine that your packaging gets thousands of views on unboxing video. It will get your brand noticed by more people.
Packaging’s primary tasks are: getting your products to customers safely, cutting down costs on returns- you can leverage more additional benefits if you are aware of how.
One generally forms the first impression of something or someone within 7 seconds. This is the same as the orders you ship to your customers. The first physical interaction they will have with your business is your packaging.
If a damaged box turns up at his doorstep, it creates a terrible first impression. At all costs, ensure the parcel reaches the customer intact.
Packaging Almost Equal Branding
Your e-commerce packaging ought to be an extension of your brand. It should play a critical role in conveying what your business and products are about.
The packaging of your products should be an advertisement of your brand on its own.
Increase in Customer Retention
A successful packaging, particularly the one with the WOW factor, will likely benefit your business. A customer that receives a good unboxing experience is much more likely to tell friends or family members and may even retain your pack (with your brand on it) much longer.
Over half the people who receive custom packaging say they will use the same company in the future. This in itself a strong argument and should make you consider using custom e-commerce packaging.
Moreover, it is a chance to increase your brand’s visibility, drive loyalty, and overly delight your customers.
How To Get E-commerce Ready Packaging?
With e-commerce, the route at which your package takes can be multiple distribution centers and be handled at several points before it reaches the final destination.
Customers care only about their orders being delivered quickly and in pristine condition as they ordered them. This is the reason it is essential to do package testing. It will help ensure that the product reaches the customer in good condition.
Damaged packaging and broken goods leave a negative impression on the customer about your business. Consequently, it increases the number of returns which in turn increases costs. Also, it will negatively impact the environment.
Have Your Packaging Tested
Work together with packaging testing labs to help you ensure that your product packaging meets the certification requirements needed to succeed in e-commerce.
The tests carried out may include: Drop, impact, vibration, crush, and climate. Amazon has specific packaging guidelines, as discussed above.
I recommend that you work with a full-service package testing lab that integrates certification solutions and industry guidelines into the process. This will save you money and time.
Also, ensure to work with a packaging testing lab that is accredited to certify global standards. E-commerce is here to stay, and the world is getting smaller, you know.
Packaging’s main task is to keep the product safe and ensure it reaches the customer in the best condition. You would agree that no one will be thinking about the design or colors if the package didn’t hold up and the product is damaged.
Moreover, it represents the brand, given it is the first physical touchpoint with the customer. You must therefore ensure that it conveys the correct message about your business and products.