As consumers and people concerned with the environmental waste problem, secondary packaging should matter to all of us but I believe it is especially important for every traditional or e-commerce retailer of green products, to understand why it is important to them.
During a recent presentation to some new e-commerce green store owners, I offered this list of reasons why:
• This segment of the market and the waste that results is growing at an almost startling rate and there is no end in sight. Growth comes through volume and more points of contact with an increasingly skeptical green community.
• There are numerous websites and blogs seeking packaging “greenwashing” and inconsistencies, and none of us wants to be the focus of the new, embarrassing story making the rounds on the internet.
• Secondary packaging costs money in terms of labor, shipping costs (inbound and outbound), and damage claims. One gentleman I spoke with proudly claimed that he made money on his packaging, shipping and handling charges. A routine analysis of ALL the costs involved usually proves that is not the case but if it is true, why wouldn’t you want to make it even more profitable?
• Its effectiveness determines how the product arrives and your customer’s initial satisfaction or dissatisfaction. What is the replacement cost of a damaged product and/or a lost customer?
• To an e-commerce, green focused customer, the package you shipped to them becomes the first and perhaps only real, personal and direct contact they have with you. Your package speaks volumes, what is it saying about you and your company?
Bottom line, we have to remember that the quality, image and performance bar is not set lower for us because we sell a green product or perhaps because we are a small, home based business.
E-commerce customers are not shopping the internet because they are willing to accept less in terms of professionalism or quality. They usually and understandably demand more and if we do not provide it, one of our many competitors will be glad to satisfy their needs and preferences.