Design for logistics
The most obvious challenge when it comes to omnichannel retail is shipping. A product going through the e-commerce journey will be handled up to 20 times more than in traditional retail (Source: DHL). It is not as easily streamlined as products packed in bulk on a pallet going from a distribution centre to retail stores. With the increase in handling, increases the risk for damage to follow, so packaging needs to be robust and fit to handle the different environments that it might be exposed to. It’s the last mile that is the most difficult to control and when damage occurs, it doesn’t matter if the blame is put on the shipper or co-packer; the customer relationship is still with the retailer or the brand.
With online sales through other channels owned by the brand, concerns over counterfeiting increases. Smarter packaging or digital applications like Kezzler enable the consumer to engage with the product through the packaging and check if it’s authentic. Another valuable feature coming from smart packaging is traceability. Embedded technology in packaging such as RFID or NFC enables companies to keep track of warehouse inventories as well as track a product’s journey.
3 tips on packaging design for logistics
Endure the shipping environments
Make sure that the primary packaging can endure the shipping environments of both the traditional and the more complex e-commerce supply chain. Whether by using the same design for online and brick-and-mortar or having specific channel products, the design needs to be coherent and contribute to the overall brand experience.
Packaging optimisation can help save massive shipping costs for etailers. Add on top of that also the frustration from customers upon receiving overpacked products. Make sure that the packaging is fit-for-purpose and rightly sized not only to save costs, but also to be more environmentally friendly.
Look into how you can use integrated technology in the packaging to help with track and race, inventory management or other supply chain related issues. With omnichannel retail, the warehouse inventory becomes slightly more complicated but the good overview is important to meet the customer demand for quick deliveries.