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Fred easily opening a box with Open Sesame technology

Don’t Leave Your Online Customer Experience to Chance—Shipping Boxes and Reverse Logistics

Posted 02/22/2018 by Elizabeth Staab, Marketing Manager, Packaging Solutions EIMEA

Designing online packaging for reverse logistics

Returned goods is a critical topic for online retailers globally. The return rate of online shopping sites varies depending on the types of products. In 2017, the number of online buyers worldwide was 1.66 billion. By 2021, it’s estimated that number will rise to over 2 billion.

A number of e-retailers, online shopping insurance contracts laws in different countries guarantee online shoppers the right to return defective, damaged or undesired products during a given period in an effort to improve the customer experience. And, customers frequently take advantage of this convenience. For example, online shopping for fashion articles – clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry – are returned at high rates for a variety of reasons, including ordering more than one of the same item to compare sizes and color choices.

Shipping boxes need to be reusable and practical to return goods undamaged

Packaging needs to be designed for reverse logistics, and the first step is to make the box strong enough for a back and forth journey. A better customer experience can be offered when shoppers don’t need to spend time and money acquiring a new cardboard box, for example, to replace a damaged one or use lots of packing tape.

Besides, it’s in the financial interest of online retailers to ensure shipping boxes are strong enough to be used a second time. If goods return to the warehouse damage free, they can be sold to another customer.

This “retail-fit” packaging should enable opening without destroying the box. Ideally, online packaging should be re-sealable in an easy and tamper-proof manner for three clear reasons:

  • To avoid use of excess sealing tape, staples or other means that will likely cause the box to be damaged upon opening;
  • To enable a theft-free, return logistics supply chain;
  • To make the return handling at the online site easier and faster.

Watch this video and join Fred on his journey as he buys online and returns his package.

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