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Reducing the Cost of Shipping Damages

Reducing the cost of shipping damage is problem for virtually all businesses. For all the hard work that goes into producing your product, it’s all for nothing if the product comes dead on arrival due to a poorly designed shipping box. Even if your products are insured or not fragile, if the box gets to the customer looking like it was kicked through the street, it will affect the first impression of your brand — a critical moment as your customer’s first material experience with your brand usually starts with your shipping box.

How to Reduce Shipping Damages

Clearly printing fragile along with key symbols and instructions is the first step to reduce shipping damages. However often times that alone is not enough. Turns out there is a sociological element to how people shipping your product treat objects according to it’s perceived contents.  It makes sense in you are shipping glass, you might print “GLASS” on box. However what if you are shipping something that is clearly not glass?

The technologically advanced bicycle company Vanmoof made international news in September of this year as they were discovered employing a crafty trick to reduce shipping damages of their bikes. The solution they came up with — they printed large TVs on the shipping boxes.

Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal was the first to catch and report on this smart little trick via Twitter.

Just like that, Shipping Damage to our Bikes Dropped by 70–80%

Bex Rad, VanMoof’s creative director said in a post on Medium that “Your covetable products, your frictionless website, your killer brand — they all count for nothing when your delivery partner drops the ball.”

By changing the shipper’s perception of the product from transporting bikes to flatscreen televisions, VanMoof created a direct reduction in shipping damages: “shipping damage to our bikes dropped by 70-80 percent” said Rad.

Strategic Printing or Deception?

This is certainly a matter of strategy that walks a fine line. It comes down to a little utilitarian calculus: which is better, (a) deceiving your shippers and possibly confusing your customers or (b) reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction?  If e-commerce is a large part of your business, the risk of damaged goods may be enough to justify (b), VanMoof’s strategy.

VanMoof is an ecommerce based retailer with plans to sell 90% of their bikes online. So they justify the strategy as follows “anyone in the ecom world knows you’re only as good as your shipping partner. […] Yet no matter who was doing the shipping, too many of our bikes arrived looking like they’d been through a metal-munching combine harvester. It was getting expensive for us, and bloody annoying for our customers.”

So what it came down to in this case was strategic cardboard box printing. Do you think this strategy will this work for you? If so, let us know and we can help!

Vancouver Corrugated Box Printer

If your business is considering custom printed shipping boxes or other ways to reduce shipping damages, Racer Boxes and Printing in Vancouver BC can help. To get started, give us a call at (604) 270 – 8205.

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