Ecommerce was already on a steady growth path, but the COVID pandemic lead to an explosive growth in online orders. Consumers facing strict lockdown rules discovered that online shopping is not just for special deals on Black Friday, but for everyday groceries as well. With the second wave of lockdown in sight at global level, retailers need to prepare for an even greater increase in online purchases. To help them streamline order picking and delivery, we are ready to supply them with adequate professional returnable packaging.
Ecommerce Gone Wild: Predictions for the End of Year
There is a perfect storm brewing for retailers who are still not fully prepared to fulfill online orders to customers’ satisfaction. For one, the second wave of the pandemic becomes a reality. For another, the upcoming Black Friday and Christmas sale seasons are nearly upon us.
As an increasing number of countries all over the world reinstate lockdown rules, the number of people resorting to online shopping will grow beyond the most optimistic expectations for marketers. Making the most of this situation is not just a great idea, but a smart survival tactic. We are still under the shadow of a looming economic crisis of incalculable proportions. Businesses need to secure any sale they can get and keep their customers happy.
How Professional Returnable Packaging Changes the Game for Retailers
“This is all true, but where does professional returnable packaging fit in this narrative?” The answer is simple: packaging is the critical means to an end. Every order placed in the cyber world needs to be fulfilled in the real world.
Professional returnable packaging help retailers keep this modified, faster supply chain going without any glitches. Packaging producers like Logistic Packaging offer a comprehensive range of plastic shipping totes, plastic containers, and plastic crates to cover each aspect of distribution, order picking and delivery.
Let us analyze how retailers are organizing their order fulfillment and the most adequate professional returnable packaging solutions for each of them.
1. Home Delivery Service
Many retailers partner with delivery services to ship orders to their customers’ home. Before the pandemic, these delivery services worked exclusively with catering firms to deliver hot meals to office buildings or residential homes. They usually employ delivery agents riding bicycles, scooters or mini class vehicles, which can easily navigate through heavy traffic.
When it comes to home delivery, these couriers need to be able to carry orders easily and safely. In this case, small nestable containers with lids are the best solution. The products inside are protected from dirt, rain or snow, and the courier can easily handle them and reduce the volume of their load along the route by nesting empty totes.
2. Direct Delivery
Large retail chains offer this option of delivery. Instead of working with a delivery/courier service, the retailers use their own employees to deliver orders to customers, usually within the hour after placing the order.
In this situation, the company can use a mix of stackable and nestable containers and delivery totes to accommodate individual orders of various sizes. In order to promote brand loyalty and prevent loss of the professional returnable packaging, Logistic Packaging experts recommend customizing the containers with the company name and logo.
3. Curbside Pickup
Curbside pickup is the most convenient way for retailers to fulfill online orders. They set aside a counter within their own premises, where customers come to pick up their orders. The most important aspect in curbside pickup is speed and accuracy. Customers want to spend as little time as possible at the counter and receive all the products they ordered.
For this type of order fulfillment, bale arm containers are a great choice. Store employees can handle them easily, without touching the products and the customer can see the contents. At the same time, these plastic containers are available in several colors, allowing stores to color code orders according to their internal procedures.
4. Micro Fulfillment Centers
Micro fulfillment centers (MFC) are usually attached to a brick-and-mortar store and serve exclusively customers who ordered products online. This is a smart way to reduce crowding in retail and grocery stores.
A micro fulfillment center should have a good mix of professional returnable packaging, such as foldable small containers, EURO containers, nestable containers with lids and bale arm containers. Even if they do not keep a stock of products, these delivery points should consider the possibility that customers may not be in a hurry to pick up their orders. Thus, MFC managers need to make sure that the products are kept in adequate conditions and that they maximize the use of available shelf space.
Logistic Packaging can help your business redefine its order fulfillment process so that you can handle the increasing number of online purchases. Contact us by email or schedule a live Skype chat to discuss your specific case!