Damage Fundamentals

Do you know the real cost of damage?

The fact of the matter is that nearly 10% of all packages shipped are damaged during transit. And, of those damaged packages, approximately 5% have product damage.

OK, you’re probably thinking that that small a percentage of damage products doesn’t really add up to that much. However, the real cost is an astonishing $2.05 billion in unsaleable items. Sure, not every unsaleable item is due to damage, but when it’s a portion of a number in the billions, it’s still too much.

But it isn’t just the cost in actual dollars and cents. There are other significant costs to shipping damage, including drops in quality delivery metrics, decreases in customer perception of your brand, and loss of customers.

Through our client collaborations we’ve accrued hundreds of real world studies with valuable comparison data. Because we believe it’s our responsibility to ensure existing and potential clients have easy access to core concepts, we’ve compiled this fact sheet as a foundation. It's more than enough to get started.

And, honestly, that's the most important part of the journey.

Some things are clear

In the face of increasing shipping rates and reports of product damage, it's critical to understand what customers expect.

  • The right packaging pleases shoppers, lowers shipping costs, and reduces returns of damaged purchases.
  • Containers should be rigid and large enough to allow room for adequate cushioning material on all sides of the contents.
  • Fragile articles should be wrapped separately. Each piece needs proper separation from each other and clearance from the corners and sides of the box. Glass items, for example, must not touch other glass items.
  • Impressive packaging will differentiate retailers who want to create loyal brand advocates, offering a retailer an advantage over 80% of the market.

To keep it simple, as logistics shippers switch to density-pricing, retailers are best advised to select quality containers sized to pricing. They are smart to insulate and protect contents in the most cost efficient and secure way. If less is more, then Foam in place makes the most sense.

Understand your customers' values

Customers have the reasonable expectation that their purchase will arrive on time and in complete working order. Regardless of the ecommerce retailer, customers expect products to be damage free. Their expectations seem to have risen with the aggressive approach of online sources – and they are will and able to voice their dissatisfaction.

Consider this: a 2014 study showed that only 5% of consumers feel their customer experience exceeded their expectations and approximately 30% say that companies miss the mark.

But more concerning than those statistics are that customers now feel empowered to complain about their dissatisfaction:

  • 95% of customers will report their poor experiences to others some of the time.
  • 60% of consumers will report their poor experiences to others all of the time.
  • On average, consumers tell 8 people about their good experiences, but more than TWICE that many about their bad experiences.



The fundamentals of Damage

Damage affects the customer. The buying experience dramatically improves when they open the package to discover products exactly as they are expected to appear.

Let's just be honest

Any one of us would be more likely to understand damage to a paperback book we ordered off of Amazon over the newest iPhone we ordered from our cellular provider. It no longer makes sense for retailers to simply increase the size of the package in order to improve protection; in shipping dimensional weights matter more than actual weights, so retailers must take into account their customer’s needs and interests as they consider their packaging.

But, no matter what: every package will still have the same likelihood to incur that 10% of damage.

The customer is king.

Customer satisfaction is relative to the size and price of the products that they are having shipped. The more money they spend, the more likely they are to be concerned about the potential for damage. And knowing that they can return a product will do nothing to alleviate the anxiety and negativity they will feel should they need to exercise that capability.

Consumers have reasonable shipping expectations:

  • Deliver ordered items in a high-impact and long-lasting comfort cushion
  • Wraps the product without hiding it in annoying loose fill
  • Secure the item with less product and something that is a sustainable solution
  • Protect fragile, odd-sized, and odd-shaped products
  • Reduce the worry about product performance and the need to return
  • Lower or maintain current customer share of shipping cost

Sometimes only custom protection will work

That's exactly what Foam in Place packaging provides: customized protection.

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