The Importance of Packaging
Imagine your customer has been waiting for the delivery of a long-awaited product and it’s finally on their doorstep. They rush out to get it, only to notice that the package it shipped in is damaged and looks sloppy. Not a big deal, until they open it up and realize that the product packaging is in French, the instructions are in German, and the charger for the item they’ve been patiently (or not!) tracking online for the last 5-7 business days is completely wrong, leaving them unable to use the product at all. They’re obviously disappointed – and maybe a little angry – with your brand, and will likely think twice about purchasing a product from you again, maybe even opting to order the replacement item from a competitor.
While the example above is an extreme one, it is an important one for brands to remember. With so many brands focusing on optimizing their digital supply chains – ensuring they have top-notch e-commerce solutions, utilizing IoT technologies in their warehouses, and so on – it’s important that brands do not forget the importance of their physical supply chain, specifically when it comes to packing and shipping products to consumers.
This has become especially important as more and more brands have expanded internationally. As brands go global, they are no longer just responsible for packing products into a box and ensuring they are delivered to the right address within a reasonable amount of time. They are now also responsible for ensuring that the product packaging and instruction manuals are in the correct language (and perhaps even the correct dialect, depending on where the product is going), as well as ensuring any technological components – chargers, battery packs, extension cords – are compatible with the outlets in a particular country. There are also legal requirements that must be considered, which vary from country to country, and range from warranty conditions and environmental requirements, to markings for electronic consumer goods.
If this seems overwhelming, that’s because it can be. In today’s global economy, it’s important for brands to be able to service customers across the world, but it’s even more important for them to do so well. Consumers today have more options than ever when shopping, and brand loyalty is becoming less common, meaning one slip up could cost you a customer for life. Further, thanks to the commonality of online review sites like Yelp!, or even your own e-commerce site, this kind of situation could also garner your brand some bad press if the consumer decides to make their experience public.
So how can a brand stay on top of their packing and shipping systems and avoid these experiences? For those with a large global footprint, utilizing local warehouses or contact centers can help to cut down on the confusion of ensuring an order is being fulfilled correctly. But for brands that don’t have that, partnering with a supply chain provider with that kind of footprint and expertise can take the burden on fully, allowing your brand to focus on other activities.
Presentation is important. It’s why chefs spend hours thinking up artful ways to display meals, job-seekers dress up for interviews, and brands spend thousands (or more) on marketing and advertising each year. And though supply chain may not seem like a natural fit for this conversation, it’s more important than ever for brands to deliver an optimal experience to consumers. Here at ModusLink, pick, pack and ship is our specialty. Click here to learn more about our solutions.
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