Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Best Packaging For Shipping ________?

It’s happened to you before – you’re looking at your orders and ready to buy more packaging supplies, but you still aren’t sure what materials are best for your products.

What are the best packaging materials for shipping books? Should I mail jewelry in a poly bag or a corrugated mailer? If this product is heavy can it only be sent in a corrugated box?

We’re here to help.


Books face some tough challenges during shipping. You want your books to arrive free of cuts and bends. You have to ensure books won’t interact with liquids. Some books are extremely valuable and will require extra packaging.

The most important thing to keep in mind when shipping books is that you don’t want any extra space in your packaging. Extra space means the book can move around and may get damaged, which leaves you with a dissatisfied customer.


With so many online-only options and big stores building an online presence, clothes are being shipped out more than ever. With so much competition the last thing you want is to get an angry customer and a demand for a refund because their item arrived in poor condition.

Luckily clothing is rarely fragile and having extra space in your packaging is usually alright. Clothing is also fairly inexpensive to ship compared to other types of products. Usually a simple poly mailer will do, which will keep clothing safe from the elements such as rain.


Jewelry is often small, often valuable, and often easy to damage in shipping if not packaged correctly. Luckily shipping jewelry correctly can be inexpensive and easy.

You can ship your jewelry in nothing more than a bubble mailer or envelope if you use bubble wrap to wrap your product. Whether you’re placing your jewelry item in a bag, box, or bubble wrap before sending it off in a mailer, make sure it is well cushioned.


Electronics are one of those items that make everyone nervous when it comes to shipping. They’re fragile and usually expensive, so packaging them correctly is extremely important.

You have to protect your electronics from a lot of things. For larger electronics we recommend shipping your product in two boxes for added protection. As with just about any product, eliminate extra space in your packaging materials so the product cannot move around. Electronic accessories should be wrapped separately.

Parts & Tools

Whether you’re shipping car parts or tool sets, these heavy items require special care when it comes to packaging and shipping. There is no way around this one – you’ll have to invest in double or triple wall boxes to ensure your packaging materials have the strength to hold your products.

Make sure to keep extra space to a minimum, not just to protect your products but because heavy items can cause damage to your corrugated box if it moves around too much while in transit.


There are two major things you want to protect these items from during shipping. The first thing you’ll need to keep in mind is water; no one wants their photos to arrive with water damage! Of course the more important safety concern you should have for your product is making sure it does not get bent.

You’ll want to use rigid packaging materials that allow your items to ship flat. Luckily this means your shipment won’t be too expensive.

Everything Else

Okay, not literally everything else, but eCommerce means that just about anything can be sold online. A lot of products are going to be too large for bubble mailers and poly mailers. When in doubt, the reliable corrugated box is always a great option for shipping.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

10 Ways To Actually Get Happy, Loyal Customers

Getting website traffic and sales simply isn’t enough in this day and age. Both e-commerce and brick and mortar stores need to be doing everything they can to create an experience that leads to customers who aren’t only happy, but loyal. You’re looking for customers who will shop from you again and again while also recommending you to their friends and family.

Today we have some easy, concrete ways you can create those loyal customers, and it won’t even take that much extra work!

1.      Think About Your Own Loyalty

What brands and businesses are you loyal to, and why? Is it the quality of their product? How does the company treat you? Last time you had a problem with the service, what did the company do about it? Go even farther by thinking about what you wish companies would do for you. Take notes, because this is exactly what you want to be doing for your own customers.

2.      Show What Your Company Stands For

Customers aren’t necessarily loyal to brands only for what they offer in terms of products and services, but for what those brands stand for and believe in. This doesn’t mean you have to take a strong political stance, it simply means you must show that your brand stands for something.

Airbnb focuses on the experiences of hosts and guests all across the world, helping people find ways to integrate themselves into the local communities of places they visit. Burt’s Bees offers natural care products that promote healthy living, while also showcasing its dedication to sustainability. Make sure customers know what your company cares about to build a loyal following.

3.      Have a Positive Response to Negative Customer Feedback

It is impossible to make every single customer happy, but you can still create a satisfied customer by having the right attitude when you receive negative feedback. Don’t allow yourself to respond to your customer with an emotional, knee-jerk reaction.

Acknowledge the anger from the customer in a professional manner, being sure to avoid accusatory language. Offer an item exchange or discount when applicable. Outweigh the cost of losing them as a customer, along with their negative feedback to their friends and family, versus taking a temporary financial hit to see what is feasible.

4.      Use an Engaging, Achievable Loyalty Program

Signing customers up for loyalty programs certainly isn’t a new concept, but it is one that is often misused, resulting in a waste of time and resources and a lack of customer loyalty. You should absolutely create some sort of loyalty program, but you need to do it in a way that actually inspires loyalty.

You’ll want to set a clear, simple goal for customers for this loyalty program. You need to provide a clear finish line to keep customers motivated. Many coffee shops offer a free drink after a certain number of beverage purchases, and it works very well. Figure out how you can use your unique products to create a reward that customers will love.

5.      Be Patient

Nothing turns a customer off more than a representative who seems in a rush to end a conversation. Maybe you’re simply in a bad mood or maybe you are overwhelmed by tasks, but you should give every customer the same, unrushed attention.

If you called in with a question about the shipping of your product, you’d be pretty irritated if the representative you spoke to gave you a corporate answer in a two minute phone call. You may choose not to shop with them again. Don’t let this happen.

6.      Make Communication Easy

Your customers shouldn’t have to go on an epic quest to find contact information. This information should be both easy to find and convenient for your customer. Automated phone lines are very unpopular, so if you need to have one make it simple. Offer live chat or even video chat when you can. And don’t forget to respond to social media messages.

You always want to pay attention to your customer service hours. If your phone lines are only open during business hours, it’s going to be difficult for many customers to get in contact with you. If customers do have to email or leave a message, make sure you get back to them as soon as possible.

7.      Be Consistent

Whether you’re dealing with long-time customers or brand new prospective ones, the experience should be consistently excellent for each person.

You should take strides to ensure the same levels of service across all aspects of your company, including customer service, returns, communication, and storefronts. If a customer has a fantastic experience chatting online with a staff member only to be told something different over a phone call, they’re less likely to remain loyal.

8.      Pay Attention to Details

The little things really do matter when it comes to customer service. There’s tons of small details you can use to impress your customers, at very little or no cost to you. Including a handwritten note in a shipment, offering free coffee at a brick-and-mortar store, and checking in with customers during the buying process can all leave customers feeling valued and appreciated.

Take a look at what your competitors are doing and think about what your customers want. Once you’ve done that, find ways to stand out with details your competitors aren’t using.

9.      Get Personal

It is easier than ever to personalize a person’s shopping experience through email, mobile alerts, and more. Customers want to feel like you care about them, and there’s no better way to do that than to acknowledge your repeat customers.

There are a few ways you can do this; acknowledge how many times a visitor has shopped with you, offer suggestions of products based on items they’ve already bought, give them a coupon based on previous purchases…there’s tons of ways to make your customer feel valued!

10.   Never Break a Promise

Never promise something that you can’t deliver. If you promise something and don’t deliver, customers are not going to be happy. If a customer is unhappy they’re likely to tell friends and family about the bad experience they’ve had.

In fact, you should try to over-deliver on your promises when you can. When you exceed expectations customers are likely to tell you about friends and family for good reasons.

We hope that is implementing these strategies for you! Please feel free to contact us with feedback!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tackling Top Warehouse Problems

Running a warehouse is always a challenging job, but there are ways you can make your warehouse operations more efficient.

Today we want to take a look at some of the most common problems warehouses face and give you the solutions you need to work better, not harder.

Challenge 1: Inefficient Picking

Your strategy for this depends greatly on the size of your warehouse, the types of products, and how quickly you ship products out. The best way you can do this is to create pick lists that contain only the information your picker needs. Separate the information in a way that works for your warehouse, whether this is by SKU, location, or product type.

Challenge 2: Narrow Aisles

Narrow aisles make it difficult to navigate and can lead to damaged products as machinery tries to operate in tight spaces. The best way to deal with this problem long term is to invest in narrow aisle forklifts. This machinery is specifically designed for narrow aisles. These forklifts can be manufactured in a way that even allows operators to stand instead of sit, which gives them a better view while working.

Challenge 3: Not Enough Floor Space

It’s hard to be efficient and stay organized when you simply don’t have enough space. A great way to alleviate this problem is to install vertical storage units. You’ll need to invest in the right equipment to get products down, but this will give you a lot more space to work with.

Challenge 4: Inventory Inaccuracies

If you are suffering from inventory inaccuracies this signals that you do not have the correct systems in place. By implementing the right technical systems you should be able to see your inventory orders accurately and in real time. Investing in this type of system allows inventory levels to be changed across all channels at the same time. You can also use cycle counting instead of only one single physical count of your entire inventory once a year.

Challenge 5: Re-Slotting

Order picking means the product needed will be taken from the storage location. While there is nothing wrong with this, most of the time the remaining products in storage are not reorganized. This means you aren’t maximizing your storage space which can lead to more space problems down the line. Make sure you re-slot often to make sure you’re making the best use of the warehouse space you have.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Increase Sales With an Email Newsletter

It’s no secret that an email newsletter is a great way to increase sales and audience engagement. If you don’t have an email list it’s never too late to start. If you do have an email list but aren’t seeing the results you want, now is the time to make a change!

Why You Need to Utilize Email

·        Let customers know about new products
·        Build loyalty with exclusive offers
·        Additional customer feedback
·        Increase website traffic
·        Increase sales

Getting Started

Starting your email list is actually very easy and should take you no more than half an hour. The first step is to choose the right email software for your business. We won’t go into detail about that here, as it depends entirely on your company, but do note there are free options and priced options. The free options generally won’t get you very much in terms of subscriber count and special features, so be aware of that.

Once you have your software, upload all the contacts you already have and add an opt-in form to your website. And that’s it! Now it’s time for the challenging parts.

Building Your List

No one is going to sign up for your email newsletter just because you have one. There’s so many emails going to our inboxes every day that most people are unsubscribing from email lists. But don’t give up, because there are a few ways you can get subscribers!
·        Offer an incentive to opt-in, such as a coupon
·        Give exclusive content and sales through your email
·        Collect email addresses at in-person events
·        Make your email easy to share so your current subscribers do the marketing for you
·        Publish landing pages that take subscribers to free content
·        Make giveaways that are unique

Creating a Newsletter People Will Read

Now that you have a list ready and a marketing strategy for your email newsletter in place, all that’s left to do is start creating that newsletter. But if you create a bland newsletter with nothing but coupons, you’re not going to generate as many sales as you think. Instead, work on creating an email newsletter that people actually want to read.

1.      Make sure you choose an email template that is mobile friendly. While desktop use isn’t going away anytime soon, more and more people are checking their email on their phones. That’s why it is so important that your emails are easy to read on a mobile device.
2.      Keep in mind that some email clients won’t load images or HTML properly, so having a plain text version of your email is very important. You also want to add alt text to your images so people know what they are looking at if the image doesn’t load.
3.      Make your newsletter both educational and promotional. Think of the email newsletters you read. How many of those newsletters are the ones that do nothing but send discounts and information on products? Instead make sure most of your emails provide educational content, with a link to related products.
4.      Use attention-grabbing email subject lines. You have less than a second to get your customer’s attention long enough to get them to open your email. Having the right subject line can make that happen.
5.      Have a call-to-action in your email. After your subscribers read your email, what do you want them to do next? Make sure you know and create a CTA so they know as well.
6.      Don’t rely on images. Most good emails will have a couple eye-popping images plus copy to explain the purpose of your email.
7.      Test your emails before you send them. Your newsletter may look perfect in your design, but when it sends you may notice the format looks strange. It’s very important to test every email before you send it out to your audience.
8.      Advertise your newsletter on social media, and give your audience a preview of why they should sign up!
9.      Use segmentation. By tailoring your emails to different people you will get an increased click-through rate. Don’t rely on one list, break that list into other smaller list as well!
10.   Don’t give up! Building a successful email newsletter takes a lot of time and effort, so don’t get discouraged.