Damaged Products in E-commerce
Published by Jake Kirk

With the fast-evolving technological climate of today, the audacious online sphere that has transformed the business to consumer relationship is now raising the bar for brand reliability. The traditional shopping experience has been revolutionised in recent years – with the average shopper now turning to the internet to find their desired product. Due to powerful influences like Amazon, bricks-and-mortar shops have been left with no choice other than to develop an online presence at haste. The changing landscape has instigated the downfall of certain well-established high street stores, forcing them into liquidation whilst the e-commerce sector flourishes –so how is this swift move from bricks to clicks impacting brand reliability?

This monumental growth in e-commerce sales has meant businesses having to focus heavily on their ordering and delivery processes in order to maximise profit. When a consumer purchases something online, it acts as a trust exercise between the business and the customer, one that has a direct impact on brand reputation. Out of the millions of products ordered online, an average of 30% are returned in comparison with the 8.89% in bricks-and-mortar stores, which begs the question, where exactly is e-commerce failing? In a recent report, it was determined that over half of Britons have had a parcel arrive damaged or late which has inevitably had a detrimental effect on the business to consumer relationship. Let’s be honest, if someone orders a product and it arrives damaged, what sort of impression does it give of the company? When receiving broken goods, it leaves the customer dissatisfied and the likelihood of that customer then ordering from the business again is considerably reduced, making it vital to minimise the chances of goods arriving damaged. So how is the problem being addressed?

The answer to this conundrum lies in the whole pick, pack and despatch process. All e-commerce companies should be investing heavily into the pick, pack and delivery process, as these lay the foundations for an assured operation and by extension a successful brand. Focusing on the fulfilment of the order ensures the maximum effort is being put forward to counteract damaged goods in e-commerce businesses and this can be executed in multiple ways. The first avenue that should be targeted is the packaging of products. This enables a greater guarantee of products being delivered intact and without harm and today the importance of utilising good packaging can often be overlooked. However suppliers such as Kite Packaging focus heavily on ensuring choice and range availability are at the heart of its protective packaging offering. If done right, the packaging process can elevate a company above its competitors as the right product presentation sends the right message to the consumer. Incorporating high quality packaging material lessens the chance of damage in transit, therefore reducing the cost of replacing and resending products for suppliers. With the rise of social media and other online platforms, brand image is becoming central to the online business world and effective, aesthetically pleasing packaging is an integral part to the modern day, virtual shopping experience.

Next we go down the road of equipment – an element which is key to accommodating the current technological, industrial workplace. As more companies see growth and an increased volume of orders, it introduces the need for automated systems which provide consistency and reliability. Implementing an automated, meticulous working environment speeds up the pick, pack and despatch process meaning businesses can boost their efficiency and productivity levels, ultimately boosting their consumers’ trust in the brand. By integrating automation technology, companies can reduce their manual costs at the same time as meeting client demand for speed and consistency. Another pivotal part of the pick, pack and despatch process is the actual delivery and so investing in the right third party courier is a fundamental factor in minimising damaged goods. One thing to remember when it comes to choosing the right one for you is that you might need to consider different couriers for different products. They don’t all deliver all profiles of parcels or freight, therefore picking a specialist courier to distribute your stock, entails higher quality safeguarding and thus minimal damage.

For e-commerce businesses, reducing the number of damaged products has a massively positive impact for brand reliability and is important for profitability by reducing unnecessary cost. Investment into the pick, pack and despatch process is paramount to tackling the issue of damaged goods, although there is an initial upfront cost, the return on order fulfilment is highly beneficial for businesses. By implementing automation combined with high quality packaging and delivering products using specialist couriers, companies can bridge the gap between the e-commerce 30% returns and bricks-and-mortar’s 8.89%. Kite Packaging provides packaging expertise, solutions and products. With a unique employee-ownership model and a key focus on alternative, effective packing solutions, Kite is continuously evolving to protect products around the world. If you want any more information or help with tackling damaged goods in e-commerce, contact Kite for further assistance www.kitepackaging.co.uk


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