It’s no secret that many brick and mortar retailers have been struggling lately. Some examples include:
- Sears has had declining sales the past few quarters and now, in what the Wall Street Journal is calling a “bid for time,” the company has sold its Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker for approximately $900 million.
- Macy’s sales and shares have continually dropped, and have thus led the retailer to make many employee cuts numbering near 10,000. It is expected that their locations will continue to close.
- Wet Seal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy again last week – the chain plans to close all stores since it was unable to find capital or a buyer in the past year.
When creating an e-commerce packaging program, one of the most important aspects is safety of your product. Packages should look attractive, but they also need to be sturdy enough to ensure that the product does not get damaged or destroyed, particularly if your company ships products in addition to doing in-store sales. You want to give the same experience to in-store shoppers as online shoppers.
Recently, Internet Retailer discussed challenges and solutions to packaging safety. They profiled a Dutch bike company, VanMoof, which created packaging that discovered an unusual and original idea to keep their bicycles safe. The company previously struggled with keeping bikes safe during shipping, having to sell bikes at a discount that got harmed in shipping. Cleverly, VanMoof decided to start shipping their bicycles in shipping boxes that displayed a flat screen TV, thinking the delivery person would treat it more carefully if he/she thought it was a TV. Damaged bike issues dropped dramatically after the switch.
Gift packaging continues to be increasingly popular in the final years of the 2010s. A recent report by Future Marketing Insights highlights the various aspects of the gift packaging industry that they forecast will grow bigger over the next 10 years. These are some of the biggest trends in the new report:
Big box, children’s clothing store Gymboree has transitioned to a flexible point of sales system (POS), which allows store staff to not only process secure payments from anywhere within the store but also allows access to inventory and order information. The company selected a mobile POS which allows for wireless retail transactions. This has, in effect, de-centralized the cashier, as credit card scanners are attached to tablet computers or smartphones.
If your business has not considered a flexible POS system, here are 10 retail and service industry specific advantages for considering a wireless POS system:
FedEx announced changes to their packaging dimensions and weight, raising their rates and changing how they charge customers effective Jan 2, 2017. This recent news is important to the packaging industry, as many companies will want to change how they package products in order to meet FedEx’s new guidelines.
FedEx’s changes continue with a trend they started in 2014, where they charge according to dimensional (or “dim”) weight, instead of using traditional measures. When the dim weight is higher than actual weight, FedEx charges more for shipping. In 2017, FedEx will be changing their dim formula from 166 to 139, further increasing rates for customers, particularly those with small shipments.