How ecommerce businesses can reduce shipping costs

When you’re an ecommerce business, it’s essential to achieve good margins in order to make your venture is sustainable in the long-term. Shipping is one of the factors that can have a serious impact on your bottom line so you’ll want it to be as cost-effective as possible in order to remain competitive. So how can ecommerce businesses reduce shipping costs and how does packaging have a part to play?

Why shipping costs matter

Adding chunky delivery costs to goods can be off-putting to customers. Yes, prospective buyers may be lured in with a deal but that enticing headline figure may lead to plenty of abandoned shopping baskets if your company is then bumping up the price with hefty shipping charges. 

At the same time, heavily discounting the cost of delivery may leave you out of pocket. 

It’s a fine balance and a question that many online retailers struggle to resolve

Meanwhile, the big household names seem to be able to secure preferential treatment when it comes to working with courier services desperate to secure a partnership. It leaves the smaller independent shops with something of a dilemma – but it’s not an insurmountable problem if the right solution is chosen. 

Why are shipping costs going up? 

Couriers review their own costs annually and will themselves be at the mercy of forces such as fuel and staffing levels. 

Therefore, try not to take price rises personally. Look around for another service if necessary and consider adjusting the price of goods to accommodate any increase in your outgoings – which may also allow you to continue to offer free or discounted delivery to customers.  

However, one of the best ways to reduce costs is to look at packaging. 

Many sellers could cut down on what they pay by using less weighty packing materials when sending out items for delivery. Cardboard, which is bulky and cumbersome, may add quite substantial amounts to shipping over time. 

Less weight equals less cost. 

Polystyrene packaging is: 

  • Lightweight and cost-effective 
  • Robust and durable 

Choose light polystyrene inserts to protect goods in transit or polystyrene chips to create a cushioning effect. It’s flexible, versatile and used by a wide variety of ecommerce businesses to save money on shipping and still meet high customer expectations. 

Reduce shipping costs with polystyrene

If you’re looking for cost-effective polystyrene packaging for your ecommerce business, request a free, no obligation quotation by contacting the Vertapak team on 01384 457730.

Is polystyrene packaging recyclable?

With many businesses looking for ways to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, it is important to consider the impact of any packaging used to ship out goods. What’s more, customers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to recycling and expect companies to follow suit.

However, there is a misconception when it comes to expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging. In our throwaway culture, when people see discarded takeaway containers or abandoned polystyrene boxes, they assume the problem is with the material, and not the behaviour of consumers.

From packaging to insulation, the fact is that the material has many uses.
Yes, it may be slow to biodegrade, but that doesn’t mean it’s not 100% recyclable – because it is.

The local picture

Some councils even accept EPS with other recycling – with about 100 tonnes processed every month in the UK. Before putting it in your recycling bin, however, it’s best to check with your local authority first.

Worldwide, there is less of a desire to recycle EPS, although that doesn’t mean there won’t be a shift in attitudes in the future. Indeed, expanded polystyrene that has been used can be reformed into other useful products including:

  • Park benches
  • Garden furniture
  • Picture frames

In addition, EPS is made up of 98% air and releases no harmful CFC (Chlorofluorocarbons) gases.

Other uses for EPS

Polystyrene is a highly effective insulator. Precisely because of its insulating properties, it is the packaging material of choice when it comes to transporting products which need to be kept at a stable temperature such as food or medicines.

If you can’t recycle your packaging, you could always repurpose it yourself. Consider breaking it up and using it as drainage at the bottom of plant pots, using it as a seed tray or incorporating it into an arts and crafts project with a little one.

Alternatively – and because of the very reasons outlined above – you could use a polystyrene box to keep picnics cool on a hot summer day.

Here at Vertapak, we recycle by mixing old beads with new beads before these are moulded into blocks or by compacting granulated materials into bricks. These are then sent to a recycling depot where they are made into new products, to be used and enjoyed all over again.

If you would like to make an enquiry about using polystyrene packaging in your business, contact Vertapak on 01384 457730.

Why polystyrene packaging is perfect for fragile goods

In a world where it is possible for a customer to be online and complaining within seconds, impeccable service is everything. For merchants who deal in fragile goods, this can represent a particular challenge. From food in jars and electrical items, to perfume and cosmetics, sometimes events that are beyond control mean that goods can arrive in a less than pristine condition.

While a certain amount of damage needs to be accepted as an inevitable part of the delivery process, it’s up to businesses to limit this as far as possible and give customers what they want.  

Give a good impression

Image matters. If goods have been shipped in scruffy containers that aren’t up to the job of protecting the contents inside it, then the customer will already be on high alert before goods are even unboxed.

However, if products have been transported in a carefully packaged container, using polystyrene sheets, beads or bespoke moulds for protection, then it’s a big green tick.

Creating the right perception from the outset will only enhance the customer experience and positive reactions to a brand.

Minimise the potential for damage

Unfortunately, even if products are not damaged at the point of dispatch, there are many opportunities for breakages and spoiling along the way.

Overheating or exposure to cold can be an issue, as can careless couriers.

That’s why polystyrene packaging is becoming the material of choice for many different types of business who send goods to customers every single day.  

It’s a versatile product that can be shaped and moulded to create tailor-made inserts that ‘suspend’ items inside a bigger box. This is particularly effective when transporting fragile electrical devices which may include different components.

Meanwhile, polystyrene beads or chips can create a cushioning effect that absorbs the knocks and bumps associated with loading and unloading in transit.

Other benefits of polystyrene packaging

Polystyrene is good for insulating, so that the temperature inside a box is kept stable and protected from the external variations of hot or cold. Again, this is a highly desirable feature among companies which ship perishable items and medical supplies.

It’s also lightweight yet strong, so even though fragile goods are protected, the costs associated with using such a durable packing material are kept to an absolute minimum.

Speak to the experts about polystyrene packaging options for fragile goods

If you would like to make an enquiry about using polystyrene packaging, contact Vertapak on 01384 457730.

How to safely package your Christmas presents with polystyrene

If you’re sending a gift through the post this year, you’ll want to make sure that it arrives at the address of your intended recipient safely and intact. With this in mind, we’ve put together some top tips on how to safely package your Christmas presents – and to ensure your festive generosity doesn’t get damaged in transit.

Wrap each item individually

Wrapping each item within a parcel limits movement and therefore minimises the potential for breakages. All these separate and individually wrapped items should then be placed in an inner box, before being stored in a strong outer container.

Make sure this outer package is carefully sealed with strong, reinforced tape to prevent your parcel from being opened before it reaches its intended destination.

What is the best internal packaging?

The objective of using internal packaging is to create a cushioning effect and to limit movement when your package is en route to its destination. Sometimes – as is the case with electrical goods – it is needed to stop items from touching inside a parcel.

Polystyrene chips or beads are used to fill empty gaps in boxes which contain lighter items. If you are planning on using these chips, it’s a good idea to fill the box completely, to avoid empty space where loose items can slide into. Polystyrene beads are available in various sizes and range from 2mm-8mm in diameter.

Meanwhile, polystyrene surrounds are ideal for ‘suspending’ electrical goods such as phones, games consoles, tablets or other expensive equipment. This suspension stops goods and gifts from moving about and getting damaged.

However, failure to pay attention to good-quality internal packaging can mean your Christmas present arrives in a less than pristine condition. What’s more, if you’re a retailer, it could mean a higher than necessary return rate, not to mention lots of disappointed customers.  

Choose polystyrene to protect fragile goods

Make sure your gift is still intact as it sits beneath the Christmas tree waiting to be opened. The right packaging will:

  • Prevent damage and absorb shock
  • Stop items from touching inside a package
  • Limit movement

Remember that good packaging isn’t just for Christmas. If you’re looking for wrapping that protects goods and your corporate reputation in the New Year, speak to us about a wide variety of standard polystyrene packaging solutions and bespoke manufacturing of material.

Request a free, no obligation quotation by contacting Vertapak on 01384 457730.

       

Why polystyrene packaging is a great choice for fragile goods

When packaging goods for customer orders it pays dividends to take extra care and attention and polystyrene packaging is an excellent choice.

Customer perception is everything

The condition goods are received in and the way the packaging is viewed when a box or envelope is pried open plays a huge part in the customers’ perception of the company purchased from. It could be the difference between a repeat order and recommendation, or a bad review and radio silence.

Whilst goods may leave your possession – from factory, warehouse or retail shop – in pristine condition a badly damaged box, squashed or impaired goods will not be taken lightly.

Courier companies are a third party in the delivery equation and can be the cause of spoiled goods but often, the blame will still fall to the company selling the products.

Improve perception with a tidy package

A professionally packaged box, envelope or packet will go a long way to protect the goods inside. The higher the value of the goods, the more fragile their composition or an irregularity in shape will determine how much extra cushioning is needed for transit.

As summer draws to an end and people are starting to think about the seasonal festivities, ensure fragile goods are well protected when in transit with polystyrene packaging.

Versatile polystyrene protects fragile goods

Polystyrene is a superb way to package delicate goods and expensive items such as tech equipment, jewellery and crockery. The material is lightweight so won’t add too much heaviness to delivery costs.  It’s also extremely substantial offering much-needed protective properties to safeguard against bruising, cracking and squashing.

Polystyrene has watertight properties and will provide a barrier against oxygen and vapour that could affect materials that spoil in damp conditions.

The material is available in standard sizes and can be moulded and cut to specific shapes and sizes to cocoon any type of product.

Friendly to the environment

Expanded polystyrene is hygienic and unpolluted and is approved for direct contact with food – a great choice for cheese, chocolates or cakes. It’s made up of 98% air and can be recycled after use due to it containing no harmful chlorofluorocarbons(CFC) gases.

Use polystyrene packaging for fragile goods

Old polystyrene can be broken down into beads and mixed with new polystyrene beads in order to mould it into new materials.

Here at Vertapak we take pride in manufacturing high-quality polystyrene packaging that can be used to protect an array of retail, commercial and industrial goods safely during shipping.

If you’re unsure about how the material could be used for your business we offer a consultancy service to talk through the best options – standard or bespoke.

Contact us on 01384 457730 for more details about any aspect of polystyrene design, production and packaging solutions. 

Polystyrene and cycling

When it comes to linking polystyrene and cycling we’re not advocating a polystyrene bike – although the lightness of the bike is critical when it comes to speed, it doesn’t want to blow away either.

Safety and protection

But, when it comes to safety and protection, cycling and polystyrene are a natural fit. As the big cycle races continue to be fought out across Europe, so do the unfortunate pictures of high-speed crashes plague our TV screens. Make no mistake, this is a hard sport with the propensity to throw its participants at speed to the ground, into walls, road furniture, ditches or worse.

A sturdy helmet is clearly an absolute must. The sheer unpredictability of how an accident might happen and subsequently pan out means every precaution must be taken.

Polystyrene and helmets

Polystyrene within the helmet plays a vital and potentially life-saving role. A helmet works in three basic ways – by spreading the impact over a wider area rather than a single point on the head, acting as a barrier between the head and the road/wall/back windscreen of a car, and lastly allowing the skull to slow down in a controlled manner in a very restrictive space rather than suffer the severe shock of impact – shock which can damage the brain and lead to skull fractures.

Protection for all

These kind of benefits should be available to all cyclists, not just the elite. And that’s where polystyrene has another safety benefit – it’s cheap. A less highly priced helmet will offer a great level of protection, just like its more expensive sisters on the shelves whose price is likely to be rather more dependent on aesthetics of design.

Manufacturing polystyrene helmets

Polystyrene helmet liners originally arrive at the manufacturer as loose pellets before being treated with seriously hot blasts of steam of up to 200° in order to pack as many as possible into a mould which will bond them together. A variety of materials, generally in mesh form, are then used for reinforcement. All helmets are put through a rigorous testing procedure to receive the required quality kitemark.

It is this structure of both helmet and construction process that has led to polystyrene keeping cyclists safe for years and years.

For all your polystyrene queries and needs, talk to Vertapak about how we can help – call 01384 457730.