E-commerce retailers are starting to use packaging to create a "better customer experience" for the buyer. "That package has to say welcome to my store and can I help you?" said Steve Martyn, CEO of Glen Road Systems Inc., which provides warehouse and software integration.
For example, online retailers of high-end products are revamping their packaging to create a perfect gift, thereby reducing returns and increasing future sales. Online retailers are also having their distribution operations include targeted promotional material in packages to drive future sales.
Besides improving customer experience, e-tailers are eying carton optimization as a way to reduce shipping costs. A smaller, tighter package helps shippers comply with stricter carrier rules on dimensional weights. "The carrier dimensional rule changes are impacting freight costs dramatically," said Martyn. Software can help shippers to determine the optimal package size and use the least amount of void fill, thus lowering shipping expenses.