Example of packaging options available through Lumi

How to Improve Ecommerce Returns With Better Packaging

Most online purchases are returned because they weren't exactly what the customer was expecting—color, size, material and other details can get lost in translation when you're dealing with screens.

But rather than thinking of returns as a hit to your bottom line, think about them as an opportunity to take the customer experience to the next level.

Smarter packaging can not only leave your customers saying "wow", but it can also make the returns process a whole lot easier. Here's how...

Making returns easy on customers

Online shoppers crave convenience and loathe difficulty—everything needs to be smooth sailing from pixel to package.

That means a challenging returns process is something of a non-starter if you want to do well in ecommerce.

As a matter of fact, 60% of shoppers tie their buying decisions to the ease of completing a return.

The good news is, more thoughtful packaging can simplify the returns process for your customer.

Bombas uses Narvar to produce Poly Mailers with tear strips and adhesive strips for easy returns.

Returnable mailers

Returnable envelope mailers have two adhesive strips—one for you to ship to the customer, and a second one for the return trip. There's even a perforation to separate the strips for clean, easy tearing.

To make sure that your return-ready poly mailer doesn't hit the bin right after it's ripped open, we advise using copy on your mailer letting your customer know not to toss their packaging until they're positive about their purchase.

Tear strip boxes

Instead of taping your boxes, you can get them with perforated tear strips that make them easy to open for minimal damage and easy returns. These cost more than regular boxes, but they're a great investment for products that you know will be shipped back, like try-on kits.

Spare sticker labels

While it's hard for us to imagine, not everyone has a supply closet filled with packing tape. That's why some brands include a wafer seal sticker to ensure that everything their customer needs to return the kit is included.

Return shipping label and boxes

Printing out a return shipping labels is a drag—at-home printers are as outdated as printed boarding passes. That's why you should consider implementing labelless returns or boxless returns.

If going labelless or boxless isn't an option for your returns process, think about using poly mailers for your returns process. They are light and easy to fold, making them easy to include inside boxes or other mailers which keeps things easy for your customer.

CUUP uses Narvar to make their bra shopping experience more return friendly.

Making returns easy on your team

The more time, resources, and materials your team spends on a return, the harder it becomes to extract profit from a customer's lifetime value.

To optimize your returns flow, it's best if your returns are processed in the same place that they're repacked, close to the packaging you'll need, such as...

Sturdy containers

If your customers are going to return products in the same container that you ship in, skip the flimsy stuff and opt for something really reliable—thicker cardboard, reinforced paper mailers, double-seal poly mailers, etc. Something that's 100% capable of withstands the roughest of round trips.

Clear zip bags

Unlike inner bags that are sealed with adhesive, zip top bags won't be ripped open (most likely), so they're more likely to be returned with your product. Even if they can't be reused, your product has extra protection en route back to you, making it viable for resale and easier to restock.

Minimal inner packaging

Of course you don't want your product to arrive damaged — which is another reason for returns —but drowning your product in excess crinkle paper isn't easy on your budget. Whether your void filler is crinkle paper, butcher paper, tissue paper or bubble wrap, use only what you need. Unlike containers like boxes and double seal mailers, void filler is most likely going to be tossed on arrival, so it's a loss. A necessary one, but a loss none the less.

To minimize the loss, choose the void filler that's most efficient for the product your shipping and use only the amount you need to be certain that your product will arrive to its destination without dents, tears, or breaks.

The original post was written by Lumi—now part of Narvar's post-purchase platform. Lumi allows Narvar deliver a post-purchase experience that ranges from pixel to package. Most importantly, Lumi help digital retailers personalize the very first physical interaction with customers all in one scalable platform.

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