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Monthly Archives: June 2013

How to maximise the advantages of Click & Collect from a packaging perspective

In April, Marks & Spencer announced that consumer purchasing power via smartphones has increased by more than 70 per cent in the past year.

Interestingly, the company cited its 'Click & Collect' service in particular for the boom in sales - proving that this forward step in multi-channel retailing is here to stay.

As a packaging manufacturer, we've seen a noticeable difference in the volume of Click & Collect bags we produce for some of the biggest retail brands in Britain.

However, how can retailers maximise the advantages of Click & Collect from a packaging perspective?

One of the major differences between Click & Collect and 'ordinary' online buying is that it encourages footfall in stores, thereby tempting consumers to browse and potentially purchase more products.

For this reason, retailers are increasingly keen to ensure that the online and in-store experiences with their brands are consistent - and consistency of packaging is a key factor.
When buying something from a John Lewis store, for example, a customer knows that the iconic white and green bags are instantly recognisable, and offer a real reassurance of quality.

However, if the Click & Collect services use unbranded or poorer-quality packaging, there's a real chance of brand disconnect - as a recent study undertaken by Duo UK shows.  Our study examined the effect that packaging has on consumers, and the results backed up what many retailers already know instinctively - packaging has a major impact on a customer's impression of a brand.

We found that half of the individuals questioned said they'd be more likely to return goods if the outer packaging was poor quality, or damaged when arriving at its destination.
Poor-quality packaging also impacted on consumers' longer-term view of a brand. A third of respondents said they'd view a company with poor quality or damaged packaging as unprofessional. More than 20 per cent would be less likely to place a second order, while 12 per cent of consumers would assume the goods received were of poor quality.

For brands employing a Click & Collect service to engage with their customers, ensuring that the standard outer mail packaging mirrors the quality of the in-store equivalent is therefore vital for maintaining the client engagement received in the physical store.

The next step on from ensuring that customers are satisfied with their packaging, and that it performs the functional requirements, is to use it to delight them. Luxury or gift wrapping has the potential to both attract and retain customers, and this applies equally to online, Click & Collect, or in-store purchases.

Read our top design tips when developing your click and collect packaging range here.

This article was featured in Retail Packaging

3 Packaging Mistakes That Cost

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A recent study by the  Centre for Retail Research predicts that 1 in 5 retail stores will close by 2018, while the share of online retail sales will rise from 12.7% (2012) to 21.5% by 2018 or the end of the decade. With stats like this it's clear that although physical stores are seeing a downturn, it's not all doom and gloom for their commercially savvy e-tail counterparts. 

Whilst there will always be overheads for online retailers, particularly when it comes to physically getting the goods to the consumer-logistics, fulfilment, delivery and distribution to name but a few, there are a few simple ways to minimise surplus costs when it comes to posting purchases to consumers.

Here are a few simple tips to ensure you're spending more than you need to on your postal packaging:

• Buy the correct sized mailing bags-it sounds simple, and it is, but if your mailing bags have to be folded down to reduce the size of the packaging or your product inside has lots of space around it, then your packaging is far too expensive-and you're creating excess waste. Not only are you paying for all the wasted polythene (reducing the volume of polythene will considerably reduce your packaging spend on that item) but you're also paying for the excess mailing bag in postal charges. Good packaging suppliers will carry out end of line packaging audits to identify the sizes you need and ensure their packaging range is always best fit.

• Protect the product when it's in storage-warehouses are dusty and dirty environments and if products are not protected correctly from the harmful effects of these conditions your company could end up losing thousands to shrinkage. Additionally, accidentally sending out dirty or dusty stock to your consumers is likely to damage your company reputation as well as cost you in returned items.  Making 1 small change such as using funnel neck garment covers instead of the standard gap and seal covers dramatically reduces the area exposed to the potentially damaging effects of the warehouse. 

• You get what you pay for-essentially, if you pay cheap you get cheap. How many bags are you throwing away due to the glue adhesion not working? How much time are you wasting trying to open a bag which is not easy opening? How many labels have come off in the post which has led to your customers not receiving receive their goods?  We carried out a survey into the implications packaging can have on a consumer's perception of a brand-the results were conclusive: a third of respondents said they'd view a company with poor quality or damaged packaging as unprofessional; over 20% would be less likely to place a second order and 12% of consumers would assume the goods received were poor quality.

Multiply this by the number of customer complaints about poor-quality packaging over a 12-month period and you may find that what initially looked like a great purchase actually ends up being incredibly expensive.

This article was featured in Direct Commerce 

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