Category : Custom Packaging

Proper Packaging To Ensure Economical Shipping Rates

As an online retailer, shipping charges often represent a large expenditure of your overall budget.  On top of shipping fees, packaging costs can be anywhere from 10-40% of a product’s price.  While packaging’s main purpose is to protect your product, it must also withstand the shipping process so choosing the correct package type is important.  A detailed packaging and shipping strategy will ensure that the cost of getting goods to consumers will not be greater than your sales revenue.

Packaging Materials

In order to reduce dimensional weight fees, packaging materials should be as efficient and economical as possible.  Each layer of packaging material, such as foam or bubble wrap, adds to the cost.  For items that need protection, one heavy layer of material might be more economical than several lighter ones.  Design changes to primary packaging, which are the materials that touch the product directly, can reduce volume, and therefore shipping costs.  However, it is important to ensure that products are still protected even with the elimination of excess materials.

Re-design

Re-designing packaging and materials for products should not only reduce the weight of materials, but reduce the cost of them as well.  The ability to improve protection of the product with a re-design will also decrease shipping costs by cutting down on damages.   Depending on the type and amount of products you ship, it might be economical to carry a few selected sizes of the packaging materials you use most often.

Reduce Cost per Package

Online retailers can decrease shipping costs with the size of the packaging they use.  Packages should be as small as possible given the size of the product.  If you can substitute mailing bags or envelopes for boxes, shipping costs will be further reduced because their dimensional weight will be less.  If boxes must be used, examine the board and liner combinations to get a lower weight and potential savings.   In most cases, only two inches of dead space between the product and outer box is needed.

Consider Eco-Friendly

Going eco-friendly with packaging materials can also help online retailers save money by reducing shipping charges on the back end.  Using local materials reduces shipping distances and weights on the back end which will decrease the amount spend on material transportation.  Smaller orders of materials can be placed and delivered at more affordable costs as opposed to large orders shipped from overseas or across the country.   Additionally, recycled materials often cost less than new materials.

Alternative Options

Conventional packaging materials such as boxes and mailers are not the only option for protecting your items.  For items that do not require protective padding, coffee bags are inexpensive yet high-quality looking options.  Since they keep items thin and flat, shipping rates will be much cheaper than some more voluminous traditional packaging.

By making sure that your packaging options make sense for your product line, you will be able to reduce the amount spent on shipping your products.  Visit our website at www.kablefulfillment.com to explore your packaging options.

 

5 New Ideas for Selling More Subscription Boxes

Once you have established your subscription box company, finding ways to keep new sales coming in can be challenging.  Consistent growth in sales, however, is a necessity to the future of your company. There are several things you can do to keep the selling momentum going, even as new subscription box companies enter the market daily.

Expand Your Social Media Content

You probably have a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page, but are you using them to the full potential?  If you are posting just to put something up there, you are not making the most of social media.  This is a platform for you to bring value to your target audience.  Make sure your content speaks to your followers, and you will be seen as the authority in your market.     Tip:  Spend some time interacting with your followers and share/re-post any of them using your products, as this is how you further grow your brand awareness.

Get to Know the Influencers

Every industry has their own group of influencers that have a network of followers that most likely far exceeds your following.   Reaching out to these influencers to get an endorsement on their social media page could amp your brand awareness triple-fold.   In order to get an endorsement, you send them a free box to have them sample it, and then post about it.   If you aren’t sure who the influencers are in your industry, research them using sites such as followerwonk.

Blog

Don’t have a blog yet?  Set one up, as soon as possible.  This is one avenue to further offer your customers valuable information.  A blog that speaks to your target market will retain and gain new customers; sharing it across your social media channels gives you great content.  It is also an effective way to increase your SEO if done correctly.   If you are not great at writing, hire someone who is.  Or, see if there is a potential partnership with a guest blogger, which is another great way to expand your brand’s reach to a whole new set of followers.

Coupon Codes

Consumers love to save money and a coupon code alone is enough incentive for some to make a purchase.    For those who may be new to subscription boxes or new to you as a customer, this is a way to get them to jump off the fence and buy!   Create a few coupon codes and test in different arenas so you can find what will work best in terms of initial purchase and then retention.  Sharing a coupon on sites such as RetailMeNot, and another on your social media channels will give you a good A/B split test to start.

Video Content

The goal of video content is to get it to go viral, thus increasing your brand awareness.  In order to do this, ensure that the video content is consistent with your brand.  Add a little humor or interesting facts to make the video engaging to your audience.  You may not feel comfortable doing this yourself, but there are plenty of people who specialize in it.

 

Increased marketing efforts such as these will lead to increased sales.  If your company needs help managing your subscription box company growth, please visit our website today at: Kable.com.

5 Quick Tips for How Subscription Box Companies Can Save on Packaging

It’s not surprising to say that packing materials are necessary to keep items from getting damaged when shipping – but they need to look good to. Unfortunately, they can quickly become a big expense for a subscription box company. Here are five ways that you can cut down the cost of packing materials without risking damage or the quality of your customer’s “un-boxing” experience. carton

  1. Buy in Bulk

Once you decide on the box sizes and types of packing materials you will need, purchase them in bulk to save money.  A simple search on the internet will show where you can purchase the items for the best price.  Amazon, ebay, and Walmart all offer shipping materials at reasonable prices.  If a certain item will require a different sized box, plan for that ahead of time so you can have it on hand when it comes time to ship that month.

  1. Use the Correct Size Box

It’s impossible to stress the importance of using a box that is the right size for your items enough.  Shipping in a box that is larger than necessary contributes to a much higher shipping charge, as well as extra packing material.  Reducing the box size by just an inch can make a difference in shipping costs, and if it can fit in the mailbox, even better!

  1. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Items such as boxes, bubble wrap, peanuts, plastic air bags, and envelopes can all be reused.  Just make sure the items are in very good condition and clean before using them again. Many “new” packaging materials are made from recycled materials as well. Using these types of products can have a great appeal to many potential customers.

  1. Free Shipping Supplies

If you are able to, take advantage of free shipping supplies from your carrier.  USPS, FedEx and UPS all offer some items for free.  For example, the USPS offers free flat rate boxes and free mailing tubes for Priority Mail.  If you find items that are suitable for your shipping needs, you’ll maybe even save enough to offset slightly higher shipping costs.

  1. Search for Sales

Sometimes, retailers run sales or promotions on certain shipping supplies.  Office Max and Office Depot offer coupons if you register on their website or at their stores.  These coupons can be used for tape guns, boxing tape, and tape guns.

 

With just a little effort, subscription box companies have many options for cutting down on the expensive packaging materials.

Starting a Subscription Box? Here’s 3 Ways to Save on Shipping

Shipping is a big expense for every subscription box company and is especially important to think about as you are first starting out.

USPSHowever, even established subscription box companies can benefit from evaluating their own shipping patterns and requirements on a regular basis. It’s a key exercise for any online retailer to prevent overspending on small parcel shipping.

Do the Research

There are several carriers available to help ship your customer orders, which gives you some leverage when negotiating rates.  Don’t assume any one is your only choice – there are many parcel consolidators and parcel delivery services that can complete with the USPS and other large carriers. Any established online business should discuss their shipping history with their current carrier to get better rates, or can use that data to negotiate with a new carrier.  Plus, the more knowledge you have about your own shipping patterns the better pricing carriers can offer.

Keep in mind that it may be cost-effective to use two different carriers if you are shipping packages that differ in size or weight, or to several areas of the country.  Knowing your company’s needs and considering all the options is the only way to get the best shipping rates.

Save on Packaging

Packaging for shipments can also be a large expense, particularly for smaller companies.  One way to reduce costs is to buy boxes and packing materials in bulk.  When possible, recycle boxes and packing material.  Not only are you helping the environment, but also your bottom line.

Also, make sure the box size is the correct size for your items.  Shipping in boxes that are too large can mean you are paying for extra shipping weight unnecessarily. Packaging that is too large, or too small, can also lead to expensive damages and returns. And unhappy customers.

Shipping Insurance

Depending on the value of your subscription box, it may not be worth paying extra to insure it.  If your carrier offers reliable service with few damaged or lost items, paying for the occasional damaged package might far outweigh insuring every box. Investigating your rate of returned packages can help you figure out if it is worth this extra expense.

Shipping can account for 10% or more of the operating expenses for a subscription box company. Making educated choices for how you manage shipping can often be the difference between a profit or losing money for your subscription box company.

What to Consider When Creating Packaging for Your Subscription Box

Part of the allure of receiving a subscription box is the packaging.   Great looking packaging drives your brand’s image, as well as increases the chances that the subscriber will be happy with their subscription, and continue to subscribe.

1.       Design

The design and style of your packaging should fit the theme of your subscription box.  For example, if your target audience is young women, make sure you pick colors, style, and lettering that will appeal to them.  After all, the packaging is the first impression the customer has of your box. carton-emballage

2.       Quantity

As a start-up, you probably will not have the money to invest in custom packaging right away, but once you have at least 300 subscribers per month (and some history on products being shipped), you can begin to research your options.  Most packaging companies require a minimum of 1,000 boxes for a custom-printed mailer, which is a large outlay of money.

3.       Size

Make sure you choose the right size box.  Resist choosing the larger size box, not only to save on shipping costs, but because subscribers will not be happy with a half-filled box.  This is where product history comes in handy.

4.       Sourcing

When deciding on a manufacturer, you should consider their location, fulfillment options, turnaround time, and of course, price.   When comparing manufacturers, have your box size and order quantity on hand so you can get the most accurate price quote.

5.       Cost

The price of your custom box is going to be based on the type of printing, box quality, and ink quality you choose.   Decide where you want to spend your budget and where you are willing to cut costs, especially in the beginning.  This will give you negotiating points when discussing price with your manufacturer and can help you get the best deal on your custom packaging.

Once you have placed a few orders, and are satisfied with your custom packaging, you can negotiate better rates on volume with your manufacturer.

How Online Retailers Can Add Value with Packaging

The packaging you choose to send to your customers for the items they have purchased is an opportunity to market your brand.  Packaging for Subscription BoxPackaging can also offer functional values, for example protection of the items within.  Consumers appreciate creative and innovative packaging that resonates with your brand. The following ideas will help you make the most of your product and shipping packaging.

Aesthetics

The value of a nicely packaged product that looks expensive and is well-designed implies to the consumer that the product is of high-quality, well-made, and has value.

Think about two packages that arrive on your doorstep for the same item, a high-end pen.  The first is a plain, brown cardboard box.  The other package is a high-quality material, colored box with the company’s logo written in embossed gold script.  Which one would you like to open?

Companies can present their product and drive home their brand through packaging to help enhance the customer’s buying experience.  This has an impact on revenue, as consumers associate good packaging with a good product.

Functionality

Packaging that serves a purpose is always a smart marketing idea.  A few years ago, Birds Eye, the frozen food company, introduced steam-in-the-bag packaging, making cooking vegetables even easier, and consumers were excited to try it.  Consumers find innovative packaging that is also functioning very appealing.   Another example is large boxes that include a removable piece to create a handle, such as on a diaper box or soda can 12-pack box, making for easy carrying.

For a product that spoils easily, packaging that protects the item from air or other elements is important because no consumer will purchase from you again if their items cannot be used.  Similarly, fragile items must also be protected with proper packaging so they arrive undamaged.

Visibility

Packaging can also serve as an advertisement at the point of sale.  For items that are sold in retail stores, packaging that stands out on the shelf has a greater visual impact on the consumer and a greater presence in the store.

Packaging is an opportunity to impart information to the consumer, such as a food product that is low in sodium, fat, or preservative-free.  The use of these words on the packaging not only makes the consumer knowledgeable about the benefits of your product, but also speaks to consumers who are looking for healthy alternatives, and makes a product stand out on a shelf.

Brand Identification

The packaging you choose is one way to further promote your brand.  Tiffany’s, the jewelry store, has done a great job of this with their classic light blue box with white satin ribbon.  Simple, elegant, yet so effective in relating what the Tiffany brand is to the point that the packaging has become synonymous with the brand.  Consumers make a purchase when a brand elicits emotional engagement such as this.

Great packaging can add value to a product, and be an incentive for customers to buy, by giving them reassurance that the item is a quality product.  At Kable, we provide customers with innovative packaging options that appeal to your customers.  Visit our website today at www.kablefulfillment.com..

 

5 Tips for Every Subscription Box Company

Whether your company is a start-up or established subscription box business, you want to make sure you are doing
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everything possible to be successful. The following list has tips every subscription box company should consider:

Great Packaging

The packaging you choose for your subscription box helps to drive your brand’s image, in addition to increasing customer satisfaction as part of the allure of a subscription box is unwrapping it.  The design and style should correlate with the theme of your box and enhance the customer’s experience receiving it.

Shipping Supplies

Make sure you are using the correct size box for your products.  While it may be tempting to choose a large box, but remember, you have to ship that box.  In order to save on shipping costs, choose the right size box that will comfortably fit your items without too much wasted space.

Saving money on shipping supplies, especially in the beginning, is a good idea.  Once you decide on the box sizes and types of packing materials you will need, purchase them in bulk to take advantage of the discounted price. If you are able to recycle any packing materials, you will also be able to save on your shipping budget.

Website

Most of your sales will be from your website so a professional-looking website is imperative.  Current and potential subscribers are looking for information when they visit your site so include a detailed description of your products and services, as well as professional pictures.  Every page of your website should have an option or clickable ‘Subscribe Now’ button for customers to sign up.

Retaining subscribers is the core of any subscription box business model.  After all, if all your customers cancel after their first box, you will have no repeat monthly business.  Providing excellent customer service is a vital step for retaining customers and create a loyal customer base.

Customer Service Experience

Your staff should be properly trained to handle every type of customer service issue, so give them the right tools to succeed at their job.   Customers should not have any trouble figuring out how to contact your company so include your customer service phone number and email in several places on your website.  You want to make sure that your customers are having a positive experience when dealing with your company so ask for customer feedback in order to improve.

Manage Inventory

Effectively managing inventory is an important for any subscription box company to operate efficiently.  Forecasting inventory for upcoming months’ subscription boxes is critical so the boxes are not short on items.  Assessing inventory on a regular basis will ensure that you are not overstocked.   Many companies purchase inventory management software that can be customized to assess the business.

Growing your subscription box company should be your focus, not worrying about the daily operating details of running the business.  If you want to save time and money with fulfillment and shipping, contact us today at www.kablefulfillment.com and let our subscription box experts show you what we can do for your business.

Reduce Shipping Related Chargebacks From Big Box Retailers

Any manufacturing company shipping to a big box retailer can incur additional costs called chargebacks for errors such as missed delivery deadlines, incorrect package labeling, and paperwork mistakes.   Because delivery specifications vary by retailer, manufacturers often have a hard time complying with all the rules, resulting in chargebacks and other fees. shutterstock_63625063

The most common reason for chargebacks is not meeting the scheduled delivery window.  Depending on the retailer, the cost of missing a delivery appointment can be charged as a percentage of the invoice (3%+), or as a flat penalty rate.  The manufacturer is also responsible for meeting the retailer’s other requirements such as labeling, packaging, pallet configuration, and paperwork.

Over time, these charges can add up, and impact bottom line performance.  Larger manufacturers will be affected by the volume of chargebacks, while smaller companies might lose out on future business with big box retailers.  While not every chargeback can be avoided, companies can take steps to reduce the cost associated with them.

Know the Rules

Since every retailer has their own rules regarding shipping, it is important to understand expectations from the start.  The manufacturer is responsible for meeting delivery deadlines as well as packaging specifications.  Requirements should be clear and documented for both parties from the start to reduce complications in the future.

Analyze your History

In order to improve your track record, compile chargeback history for the last few years to determine when and why chargebacks are occurring.  Calculate the impact to the bottom line so you know the savings involved by reducing chargebacks.  This will help make a case for investing in systems and processes to improve the business.

Internal Measures

Internal processes should be streamlined and documented for everything from making delivery appointments to following rules for ASN’s (Advanced Shipping Notification).  A quality control process to check for compliance should also be created to cut down on the number of errors.  Manufacturers should create a compliance scorecard that will measure performance, and document all important information so that chargebacks can be disputed if necessary.

Investment

Allocating resources for improving the process is necessary.  Investing in the proper technology systems will ensure shipments are going out correctly and on time.  In addition, employees who are involved in the process should be adequately trained and kept informed of any changes.

Find the Right Logistics Provider

Working with a logistics provider who understands your industry does make the delivery process easier.  Find a carrier who will work with you for the entire process, from the point of pick up to customer delivery.  A partner who has good relationships within the industry and with the retailer can help reduce the amount of chargebacks.

Taking a proactive approach to prevent the issues that cause chargebacks will help to reduce the costs associated with them.   If your company is struggling with too many chargebacks, Kable can improve your supply chain processes when dealing with big box retailers.  To find out how, contact us today at www.kablefulfillment.com.

 

4 Ways Subscription Box Companies Can Save Money on Shipping

Shipping is a big expense for every subscription box company and is especially important to think about as you are first starting out. However, even established subscription box companies can benefit from evaluating their own shipping patterns and requirements on a regular basis. It’s a key exercise for any online retailer to prevent overspending on small parcel shipping. 2016-07-05_1027

Do the Research

There are several carriers available to help ship your customer orders, which gives you some leverage when negotiating rates.  Don’t assume any one is your only choice – there are many parcel consolidators and parcel delivery services that can complete with the USPS and other large carriers. Any established online business should discuss their shipping history with their current carrier to get better rates, or can use that data to negotiate with a new carrier.  Plus, the more knowledge you have about your own shipping patterns the better pricing carriers can offer.

Keep in mind that it may be cost-effective to use two different carriers if you are shipping packages that differ in size or weight, or to several areas of the country.  Knowing your company’s needs and considering all the options is the only way to get the best shipping rates.

Save on Packaging

Packaging for shipments can also be a large expense, particularly for smaller companies.  One way to reduce costs is to buy boxes and packing materials in bulk.  When possible, recycle boxes and packing material.  Not only are you helping the environment, but also your bottom line.

Also, make sure the box size is the correct size for your items.  Shipping in boxes that are too large can mean you are paying for extra shipping weight unnecessarily. Packaging that is too large, or too small, can also lead to expensive damages and returns. And unhappy customers.

Shipping Insurance

Depending on the value of your subscription box, it may not be worth paying extra to insure it.  If your carrier offers reliable service with few damaged or lost items, paying for the occasional damaged package might far outweigh insuring every box. Investigating your rate of returned packages can help you figure out if it is worth this extra expense.

Outsourcing

Your company may not have the personnel, resources, or the capacity to handle the fulfillment and shipment of your orders.  If it is not cost-effective to do it in-house, using a third party can save your company money in the long term.

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Kable Fulfillment is the solution to your fulfillment and shipping needs.  We offer quick implementation, low shipping costs, and flexibility, which is especially important if you are a start-up and unsure of your exact requirements.  Please visit our website at www.kablefulfillment.com to learn more about all of the services we offer to help your subscription box company save money on shipping.

Subscription Box Companies Can Increase Profits 22% and Reduce Cancellations with Kable Fulfillment

Subscription box companies fulfill a special niche for consumers by providing a regular delivery of curated products each month. But as their popularity grows, so grows the competition and the need to operate smarter.

Warehouse Logistics. Magnifying Glass on Old Paper with Red Vertical Line.

The nature of the subscription box industry creates unique challenges for sellers as they do for any online store – complicated IT requirements, high customer expectations, and a need to manage shipping costs.

For many, the largest pain is felt in the area of shipping with increasing postage costs cutting into already tight margins. Adding to the monthly stress is the small window of time between inventory delivery and the deadline to assemble and ship finished products to customers. Kable helps subscription box companies in 3 key ways.

Lower Shipping Costs

Taking advantage of Kable’s strategic location and volume discounts, clients save an average of 35% per unit/order on shipping. This is made possible from the volume discount Kable shares with its customers thanks to the 100,000+ small packages shipped from their facility each month.

Fast Inventory Turnaround and Order Fulfillment

Of special relevance to subscription box clients is Kable’s 245,000 sq. ft. facility with 18 dock doors, which helps the warehouse receive, stage, and turnaround product fast.

For one such customer, this was a game changer. Their commitment to customers is that boxes ship by the 15th each month yet had missed that goal the two previous months prior to Kable’s involvement. This recurring issue had only gotten worse as their business grew. Now, Kable assembles thousands of boxes (with 12 to 18 items in each) daily and has reduced their turn-around time from inventory receipt to shipment from an average of 8 to just 2.5 days. Since partnering with Kable, the client reports a significant decrease in subscriber cancellations and profits have improved 22%.

A Smooth Startup and API integration

IT integration with their fulfillment operation is important to every online retailer. The following is a comment from Daniel Drewno from Cratejoy.com regarding his experience working with Kable.

“Our integration with Kable’s API went seamlessly from the beginning. Considering our typical complex product set up and over 3,000 monthly subscribers this was a welcome result. I’ve worked with several 3rd party APIs in the past which were handling fulfillment and shipping for our merchants and frankly they’ve all been terrible except for Kable.”