Today we’re going to talk about a pain point between marketing teams and fulfillment teams: branded packaging and inserts.
Branded packaging is a customized box or container that you ship your items in. Some companies like to put their logo on the box so customers immediately know who their package is from. Other companies want to ship items in boxes that are a specific color, or have a specific shape.
Inserts are things like freebies, leaflets, or other items that come as a “bonus” to the item you’re actually selling. Marketing teams may suggest adding inserts like coupons, free stickers with your logo, bonus freebies like an extra bottle of hand lotion, and the like. This is great for marketing, because it provides a good customer experience and can encourage them to make another purchase.
However, there’s a downside to custom packages and inserts. Those boxes and coupons may look great, but they are terrible for your fulfillment process, and will affect your business in other ways.
The downside of branded boxes
Using branded boxes may sound like a good idea, but fulfillment companies like Deliverr and Amazon FBA don’t support them. Instead, they focus on speed, affordability, and reliable deliveries.
Here’s the ugly side of branded packaging, and why it isn’t supported by many outsourced fulfillment providers.
The biggest threat to your eCommerce sales is slow shipping. We are seeing more marketplaces shift toward fast shipping, more listings win the buy box thanks to fast shipping tags, and more competition for listings without any fast shipping tags.
The eCommerce industry is shifting to a focus on fast fulfillment over price, and for good reason. Consumers are willing to pay more for for fast shipping. That means getting fast shipping tags not only helps you beat the competition, it helps you do so without resorting to price wars or hurting your margins.
Plus, if you’re using an outsourced fulfillment provider that supports branded boxes, they are doing so for other sellers, too. That means their entire operations will not be as efficient as a company who uses standard boxes, such as FBA.
Setting up branded boxes for your items is a hassle for your fulfillment company, and if they support it, they’ll charge you accordingly.
It takes much longer for employees to pick your items, separate them out for a special box, find whatever inserts you wanted to go into your boxes, and then have to find your branded box to put them in. It’ll slow down their entire process and affect their day-to-day operations.
So, if you are absolutely adamant about branded boxes, be prepared to pay a premium for it. If you do so, you’ll then have to pass along that additional cost to your buyers, who may not appreciate the higher prices of your listings.
More cases of theft
Finally, we’ve seen more cases of theft with branded packaging. I spoke to a seller the other day who owns a beef jerky company. He told me that when he was using branded boxes, many of his orders wouldn’t arrive…most likely because someone got hungry along the way and decided to open that delicious looking box of jerky.
This may or may not apply to your items, but plain brown boxes don’t advertise anything worth stealing (even if you sell expensive items). We’ve found they are the safest to ship with, the most convenient, and the quickest for operations.
Focus on product packaging instead
Do you really, really want to use your own custom box or include inserts? There is an easy solution to that, without slowing down the fulfillment team or announcing your items to the world.
Instead of asking your fulfillment team to use a special box or add inserts, set up your items so they are already packed and ready with whatever you want inside.
You can set up your product packaging to already include any freebies or coupons, and add everything into your own package that we then ship. So when customers receive your items, they open up a standard brown box and find your unique box inside (and coupons inside that box).
In the example above, their product box itself is colorful and eye-catching. Once a customer opens up the standard brown box it would get shipped in, they see the complete set in a distinct orange package.
Marketing and fulfillment teams don’t have to be enemies when it comes to branded packaging. There’s a convenient solution for both sides without losing your fast shipping tags, having to pay more, or getting your items stolen.