Did you know that nearly 30% of eCommerce returns happen because the item turned out to be damaged on arrival? This data clearly states how important it is to focus on product packaging if you want to reduce your store’s return rate.  

92% of customers are more likely to come back to a brand if the return process is easy—and packaging plays a significant role in this process. Intelligent packaging choices and some logistical preparations are the keys to a positive e-commerce return. Here are some effective packaging design and order fulfillment strategies to incorporate into your next manufacturing run so you can keep your customers happy and coming back for more. 

Make sure you consider the following details when optimizing your brand’s packaging returns for a profitable product: 

Material 

Packaging material plays a vital role in the construction of your mailer or shipping box. Remember, these packages can travel through several fulfillment centers and carrier trucks before they arrive at your customers’ doors. A durable material choice could mean the difference between a damaged product and lost profits, so consider the shipping elements your product will need to withstand to ensure it can make a round-trip delivery. 

 

Perforated Tear Strips on Boxes and Mailers 

No one likes to face the frustration and struggle of opening a tightly taped box, especially your customers. 

Instead, use a perforated tear strip to make unboxing fast and convenient. In addition, these strips can minimize box damage and encourage customers to reuse the packaging for their return journey. Better yet, add an adhesive strip to pump up the reusability factor of your package. Although they cost more than standard shipping boxes or mailers, they can be an excellent investment for a superior customer experience. 

 

Double Seal Poly Mailers 

If you’ve received an Amazon poly mailer, you’ve probably seen double adhesive strips in action. When paired with a tear strip, customers can reuse double seal poly mailers to return a product in its original parcel. 

During fulfillment, warehouse workers first use one strip to seal the bag. Then, your customers will need to peel and seal the other strip for an efficient return.  

These mailers are a great tool to reduce sourcing unnecessary return packaging. Even if customers happily keep your product, they’ll be incentivized to reuse your container for another pesky e-commerce return. Packaging is easy for you, and returns are convenient for the customer… A real win-win. 

 

Add Extra Return Mailers 

Hear us out; sometimes, an extra set of mailer boxes makes sense for product returns. A poly mailer—custom or blank—that’s separate from the primary packaging used to ship your product makes return shipping easier for your customers. If you foresee customers sending back only a subset of shipped products (like clothing in try-on boxes) or you want to ensure your products will arrive back in mint condition, adding this extra insurance is a worthy investment.
 

Pre-printed Return Shipping Labels 

Pre-printed return shipping labels are pre-paid postage labels that allow customers to return purchased goods without purchasing or printing their postage. They are convenient and improve customer satisfaction because of the hassle-free process—no at-home printing fuss. 

Since these labels are pre-addressed with your shipping address, it also eliminates any address mistakes. Returned goods are bad for business, but lengthy returns of resellable stock are even worse. If inventory flow is important to your operations, pre-printed return shipping labels reduce the friction of slow customer returns. 

 

Don’t do Returns, Offer Sustainability Benefits 

E-commerce return rates are increasingly growing with each passing year, negatively impacting the environment in more ways than you can imagine. The packages returned to the retailers are often landfilled. Read about the impact of returns on the climate here.

Brands are getting smarter by using services like EcoReturns to offer exchanges or refunds that let the customer keep and pass on unwanted products altogether.
 

Boost Customer Retention with a Positive Returns Experience 

An easy returns process is essential in today’s competitive e-commerce landscape. Developing a positive returns experience ensures customer retention and customer loyalty, increasing the likelihood of returning to your website for more.  

Even the minute details matter and play a considerable role in impressing customers. Considering quality packaging details, including double adhesive, extra containers, or perforated strips, show customers your care and take a thoughtful approach towards making their returns easy.