Wednesday, February 6, 2019

6 Ways to Improve Your Shipping Strategy

There are steps you can take to evaluate and enhance your shipping practices

The explosive growth of e-commerce in recent years is a double-edged sword. While it has created tremendous opportunity for retailers, that opportunity has likely enticed many competitors into the market. Consequently, shipping merchandise effectively and efficiently is more important than ever.

With customers increasingly vocal about their purchase experience, if at any point complaints start to rise or your shipping ROI starts to fall, it’s time to reassess your shipping strategy.

“When complaints rise or shipping ROI falls, it’s time to reassess your shipping strategy. TWEET THIS

6 Ways to Improve Your Shipping Strategy

As everyone responsible for e-commerce business knows, shipping costs play a major role in determining a company’s profitability. If you aren’t getting merchandise to customers on time and undamaged, your financial results will suffer. Every hour spent on inefficient processes or responding to customer complaints about lost or damaged shipments cuts into your bottom line.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to evaluate and enhance your shipping practices. To ensure your shipping processes are optimized and your shipping team is contributing to the company’s overall success, do the following:
  1. Determine your goals and whether you are meeting them. How long should it take to properly pack merchandise? How many times should a box be touched as it moves through your shipping area? How many units should go out the door each day? It’s important to have well-defined goals and to continually assess your efforts in relation to them. Also, if your goals aren’t currently documented, take the time to write them down, discuss them with your team, and post them prominently in your shipping area.
  2. Review your shipping processes. Your standards for how merchandise is wrapped, padded, and secured within a carton have a significant impact both on how long it takes to prepare a package for shipping and the in-transit damage rate. Be sure you are doing all you can to minimize packing time while maximizing the protection of your merchandise.
  3. Assess your packaging materials. Are you using strong, lightweight corrugated cardboard cartons? Are you sealing your cartons with water-activated tape (WAT)? Your shipping team needs the right materials to do their job properly.
  4. Evaluate your shipping company. You should be looking at things like whether your contract should be renegotiated, whether the company’s errors are the cause of an unacceptably high number of customer complaints, and whether using one shipper or multiple shippers is to your advantage.
  5. Review your free shipping policy. Many e-commerce companies today offer free shipping, but it’s costly. If yours does, are you sure it’s a good strategy? Take another look at your books, your competition, and your customers to determine the right tactic going forward. It may be that a free shipping policy is crucial but that you can offset the expense in other ways. 
  6. Inspect your packing station. Taking the approach that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may mean you are missing out on opportunities to improve the way you prepare cartons for shipping, and that can mean you are losing money on every package shipped!

Do Your Shipping Practices Position Your Company to Capitalize on Growth?

Forbes quotes Euromonitor International in saying that e-commerce is on pace to be the world’s largest retail channel by 2021, accounting for 14 percent of retail sales by that time. If your company offers quality merchandise backed by effective shipping practices and support, you are well-positioned to capitalize on this growth. But the time to evaluate and optimize your processes is now so that you stay ahead of the curve. Companies that choose not to act on their product fulfillment issues until “crunch time” will likely pay a hefty price, both financially and in terms of customer loyalty.
If you have questions about how our water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers can play a role in your successful shipping operations, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Use Genuine Better Packages Parts for Best Results

Genuine Better Packages water-activated tape dispenser parts

If you use a Better Packages’ water-activated tape dispenser to seal your water-activated tape (WAT), you understand how well-constructed and durable it is. You also perceive the many advantages of the super-strong shipping carton seal that you get from using water-activated tape (WAT) — from better protection of package contents to increased security. But, did you know that to keep your dispenser humming, you need to use genuine Better Packages parts?

4 Important Reasons to Use Better Packages Replacement Parts

Equipment parts wear out over time and must be replaced, and this is also true of Better Pack water-activated tape dispensers. In fact, because these machines have such a long life-span, you will surely need to obtain new parts at some point in their long operational life.

There are many reasons to choose genuine Better Packages parts. Below are four of the biggest.
  1. Better Packages parts are made specifically for Better Pack machines. Imitation parts simply won’t work as well in your water-activated tape dispenser and will not last as long. If you use knock-off parts, you may suffer both lower productivity and higher long-term total cost of ownership.
  2. To maintain your Better Packages’ warranty, you must use genuine Better Packages parts. That warranty provides valuable protection that you do not want to void simply because you failed to obtain the proper replacement parts.
  3. You must use genuine Better Packages parts to maintain the safety certifications of your device and ensure the safety of your dispenser.
  4. Official Better Pack parts are built to the extremely high Better Packages’ standard. With knock-off parts, you never know what you will get.

4 Easy Ways to Buy Better Pack Parts

  1. Shop online at our website.
  2. Contact your local Authorized Distributor.
  3. Call our Customer Service department at 203-926-3700 or 800-237-9151.
  4. Email us and we’ll connect you to an Authorized Distributor.
Genuine Better Packages Parts + Routine Maintenance = Serious ROI
Your Better Pack water-activated tape dispenser is designed for easy care and exceptional reliability. It doesn’t require frequent or extensive maintenance. However, performing periodic cleanings, making minor adjustments, and swapping out worn items with genuine replacement parts will allow your dispenser to continue operating faithfully not just for years, but for decades. There probably are not many devices you use as part of your business operations that can make that claim!
“Performing periodic cleanings, making minor adjustments, and swapping out worn items with genuine replacement parts will allow your dispenser to continue operating faithfully not just for years, but for decades. TWEET THIS
Wondering how to perform key routine maintenance operations? We’ve got you covered! Our website has a large library of helpful maintenance videos that provide step-by-step instructions. This extensive collection of educational materials is updated regularly to ensure you have all the information you need to maximize the return on your WAT investment. You can also download a parts drawing or Operator Manual from our website.
Accept No Imitations — Check With Us First
In some cases, it may be hard to tell if the provider from whom you intend to buy Better Packages parts is an Authorized Distributor. Before you make your purchase, be sure to talk with our Customer Service department. They can point you in the right direction. You can reach them at 800-237-9151 (in the U.S.) or 203-926-3700 (around the world).

Making the Switch to WAT With Better Packages

Not yet using water-activated tape and considering making the switch? It’s easy to get up and running with WAT. We can answer any questions you have about our products, tell you about some of our many happy clients (from small startups to major corporations), and help you prepare your first order. We’re confident that once you make the switch, you’ll never look back! Contact us at your convenience.

Which tape dispenser is right for you? GET STARTED

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How to Protect Valuable Electronics from Damage or Theft

The sale of electronics by e-commerce retailers has exploded in recent years, and there seems to be no end in sight for the upward trend in the industry. However, if your company doesn’t ensure merchandise arrives safely, you may see your own sales take a nosedive.

Electronics consumers today are in the driver’s seat. With multiple sources to choose from, if provider A doesn’t get items to them on time and safely, shoppers can easily take their business to provider B. Best Buy is an e-commerce electronics success story. According to Forbes, the percentage of Best Buy’s revenue that comes from e-commerce is currently 14 percent and is expected to climb to 20 percent by 2020. Clearly, this is a company that gets customers what they need where and when they need it, and that takes steps to prevent merchandise damage and theft.
“With multiple sources to choose from, if provider A doesn’t get items to them on time and safely, shoppers can easily take their business to provider B. TWEET THIS

5 Tips for Protecting Your Valuable Electronics

As sales grow and more electronics merchandise leaves the warehouse on its way to customers, you as a retailer have to contend with two issues. The first is damage to your product. Nothing wrecks a holiday gift recipient’s enthusiasm faster than opening a shipping carton and finding that the device they were so excited about is broken and will need to be replaced.

The second issue is theft. With an increase in valuable electronics in the shipping stream, there is more chance for thieves to steal merchandise in route. However, wise retailers know that there are several simple steps you can take to protect your electronics both from the rigors of shipping and from opportunistic bad guys.

Do the following to ensure your electronics arrive and arrive in excellent condition:
  1. Use water-activated tape (WAT) for sealing packages. Water-activated tape provides the strength you need to ensure shipping carton flaps don’t open during shipping exposing or spilling their contents. WAT’s super-strong, tamper-evident seal also helps deter theft. “Press and pull” crimes, which are so difficult to detect with other forms of tape and therefore hard to investigate, are virtually eliminated with properly applied WAT.
  2. Secure batteries. Properly packaging batteries by either enclosing them separately or ensuring that their terminals are covered with an insulating, non-conducting material helps prevent against dangerous short circuits and the resulting sparks, heat, or fire.
  3. Use ample product protection and void fill. A package is likely to take some impacts during shipping. The more fully it is cushioned, the less likely its contents are to be damaged. Consider using bubble cushion to protect fragile electronics and air pillows to eliminate any air-space that would allow your items to move around in the carton.
  4. Ship valuables to an alternate address. If you are concerned that the product has a good chance of walking off the porch, have it shipped to your office or place of work where it can be accounted for and safely delivered to your custody.
  5. Consider “sign upon delivery” shipping options. Having your packages left unattended on a recipient’s porch increases that chances that they will be stolen.

How to Respond to Damage or Theft

Despite your best efforts, there will probably be instances where your merchandise is damaged or stolen. If so, what should you do? There are many steps to take. For example, your customer service team should staff up before the busy holiday season. It’s also important to act quickly and resolve issues completely. Plus, for items purchased as gifts, it’s important to do all you can to get a replacement to the customer before the holidays if possible.
Are You Ready for the Holidays?
Having plenty of packing materials on hand to contend with higher holiday volumes is critical. When they find themselves running out of corrugated cartons or WAT, warehouse teams may improvise in ways that won’t keep merchandise safe from damage and theft. If you would like to learn more about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, please contact us today.

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[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Thursday, December 6, 2018

How to Manage Customer Complaints in the Chaotic Holiday Season

Happy holidays! Or are they? For customers who are lodging complaints with you, the holidays may be anything but happy. The same is probably true for your team members who are tasked with addressing those issues. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to manage complaints more effectively.

Prompt and Complete Problem Resolution Leads to Loyal Customers

As orders increase and things get chaotic around the holidays, you may be tempted to put off dealing with customer complaints. Or, you may feel compelled to take shortcuts in how you handle them so that you can attend to other tasks. Either way, the Christmas rush will pass, and when the new year arrives, you will likely find yourself wishing you had done a better job of addressing issues as you see once-loyal customers taking their business elsewhere, or even worse, voicing their anger and disappointment on social media.
Use the tips below to turn customer complaints into opportunities to impress.
  • Staff up before the onslaught. If you’ve been in business more than a year, you know what to expect as the holidays approach. Bring on temporary staff (or permanent staff if you plan to grow next year) in advance of the rush. Better to have more complaint-resolution bandwidth than you need, than not to have enough.
  • Take every complaint seriously. The quickest way to alienate a customer is to make them feel like their problem is not important. From major issues to minor scuffs, every complaint should be treated like a showstopper.
  • Take action immediately. Even if completely resolving an issue will take time, you should make contact with the customer as soon as possible so they know you have received their complaint and understand their concerns.
  • Expedite the shipping of replacement items. You should assume that every item about which you receive a complete is intended to be a Christmas gift, and you should take steps to ensure it arrives in time for the holiday.
  • Get the necessary information for insurance claims. If an insurance claim will be filed, be sure to record all the details of the incident so you have what you need to get reimbursed.
  • Follow up with a survey and coupon. Show your customers that you want to learn from the issue by asking them to complete a survey. And, apologize for the inconvenience by sending them a coupon. The small cost of that gesture can pay off many times over in future purchases.

How to Prevent Complaints in the First Place

It costs much less — both in time and money — to prevent problems than to deal with them after they occur. Theft and product damage during shipping are two of the most common issues, and both can be minimized by using packaging best practices.
“It costs much less — both in time and money — to prevent problems than to deal with them after they occur.” TWEET THIS
This includes padding products well and shipping them in strong, lightweight corrugated cartons sealed with water-activated tape (WAT). WAT creates a tamper-evident seal that deters theft. Plus, the physical bond produced between the tape and the carton surface holds tight in virtually all environmental conditions so packages don’t come open and spill their contents in transit.
Preparation is the Key to Success
The holiday season is upon us, with the busiest period for most online retailers still ahead. Are you ready? Are your packing stations set up in a way that is both efficient and safe? Do you have all the shipping materials you need, including water-activated tape and water activated tape dispensers? If you have questions about our products, please contact us to learn more.

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[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, December 3, 2018

Holiday Ecommerce is Booming in 2018!

Online sales were up significantly from last year over Thanksgiving weekend, and they show no signs of slowing down!

According to recent statistics from Adobe Analytics and, 2018 online sales grew 27.9% on Thanksgiving over 2017, while Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were up 23.6% and 19.3% respectively.

Ready or Not

Make sure your customers are ready for the remainder of the busy holiday shopping season with our full line of ecommerce packaging products!

Water-activated carton sealing tapes
Pressure-sensitive carton sealing tapes
Air pillows, bubble-on-demand film and systems
Paper void fill and systems
Cold chain insulated shipping solutions
Full line of bubble cushioning, foam cushioning, mailers and VCI protective packaging
Stretch films
Shrink films
Automated case sealing machinery and tabletop dispensers for both water-activated and pressure-sensitive tapes

Let us help you deliver the complete package this holiday season!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Why You'll Love Better Packages Tape Dispensers

Are packing efficiency, productivity, and security important to your organization? How about brand awareness and customer satisfaction? It’s hard to imagine any company saying “No” to these questions, which is why it’s easy to understand that organizations looking to improve their financial performance and gain market share continue to switch to water-activated tape (WAT).

Also known as paper tape, gummed tape, or Kraft tape, WAT delivers all these benefits and more. Many of the country’s most recognized brands rely on WAT to meet their packaging needs, including leaders in clothing and home decor, automotive aftermarket partsfurniture, outdoor gear, and sporting goods. When they do, they trust the water-activated tape dispensers from Better Packages, a company that has been a pioneer and leader since 1917 and even has one of its dispensers in the Smithsonian Institute!
“Are packing efficiency, productivity, and security important to your organization? How about brand awareness and customer satisfaction? It’s hard to imagine any company saying “No” to these questions.” TWEET THIS

Better Packages: More Than a Century of Leadership in Water-Activated Tape Dispensers 

When it comes to proof that a company understands its customers and continually develops products that meet their needs, nothing speaks louder than longevity. Better Packages has been partnering with businesses for more than a century, helping them seal and ship their merchandise faster and more effectively.
In fact, the company was founded in 1917 by brothers Alfred and Theodore Kruger who developed tape dispensers to capitalize on the invention of water-activated tape by Thomas Edison a few years prior. Before the legendary inventor came up with the idea for WAT, packages were generally closed with twine. Today, Better Packages water-activated tape dispensers continue to lead the way in quality, innovation, and safety.

The Many Advantages of Better Packages Water-Activated Tape Dispensers

Below are some of the top reasons to use water-activated tape dispensers from Better Packages. The dispensers:
  • Come in manual and electric versions. Within those general categories there are multiple models to choose from.
  • Are easy to use. All it takes is the pull of a handle or press of a button or foot pedal to produce a perfectly prepared strip that is ready to apply to a carton.
  • Include versions that hold 1,000-foot rolls of tape, versus the usual 600-foot rolls. This means less downtime for replacing rolls and maximum productivity.
  • Can dispense both pre-set and customized tape lengths. Some of our models give you the option to produce standard strips or pieces tailored to a unique carton.
  • Include low-profile models. Limited area in your packing station? We have space-saving options.
  • Can accommodate up to 4-inch tape widths. Some models have this capability, which is important in the sealing of certain types of cartons.
  • Include inkjet models that can print directly on the tape. Print branding or messaging on a strip of tape and prepare it to be applied to a carton all in one operation!
  • Are reliable and long-lasting. With proper care and maintenance, a Better Packages water-activated tape dispenser can last for decades. Some customers have units that have been in operation over 20 years.

Watch our informative video to see these carton sealing steps in action!

From One Industry Leader to Another

There are myriad reasons why Better Packages water-activated tape dispensers are superior, but don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what our longtime customer, the CEO of an automotive parts distributor, had to say about Better Packages tape dispensers:
“We could not be happier with the Better Pack 555eS machines we converted to along with the pre-printed reinforced water-activated tape we are now using to seal our packages. Sealing cartons manually with PVC is a thing of the past for us. We’ve been spoiled, that’s for sure!”
Read more of our customer testimonials here, to find out just how valuable our tape dispensers are for increasing efficiency, productivity, and safety in the workplace.

Right Tape. Right Dispensers.

From small online retailers to Fortune 500 companies, there is plenty of proof that WAT delivers the characteristics and performance that organizations need for efficient and effective package sealing. Once customers realize that WAT is the right tape, they quickly learn that the right way to deliver it is using water-activated tape dispensers from Better Packages.
If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

Which tape dispenser is right for you? GET STARTED

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Why WAT is the Best Choice for Automotive Aftermarket Retailers

Are you meeting your customers’ expectations? The automotive experts (whether they are professionals or enthusiastic amateurs) who use aftermarket parts and accessories to repair or enhance their vehicles are people who value quality workmanship. Not only do they have high standards for their own projects, they apply those standards to the vendors they work with. They expect the packages they receive from automotive aftermarket retailers to reflect the investment they made in the parts.

If you are not ensuring that your merchandise arrives in excellent condition, you may be losing business. And in a highly competitive industry like automotive parts, even a few shipping mistakes can have a long-term impact on your reputation and your success.

As an automotive retailer, you know that shipping parts is difficult. So, how do you create a positive impression with the customer who receives your shipment? It starts with using quality packing materials and practices. That means you need to choose high-quality cartons that are the right size and shape for the items you are shipping. It also means you need to be sealing them in a way that looks neat and clean, and that keeps them secured until they are opened by the recipient.
“In a highly competitive industry like automotive parts, even a few shipping mistakes can have a long-term impact on your reputation and your success.” TWEET THIS
Why Successful Automotive Aftermarket Retailers Use Water-Activated Tape
To succeed as an automotive aftermarket parts retailer, you can’t leave anything to chance. Using whatever materials you have lying around in the warehouse to package your merchandise and then hoping that the items arrive undamaged is not a good strategy. Instead, you need to look closely at your shipping practices to see what you are doing well and what you could be doing better.

For many companies, a significant source of issues is how they seal their packages. Some types of tape simply don’t produce the results needed. What these companies discover when they do a little research is that water-activated tape (WAT) delivers benefits on many levels.

Interested in learning about an automotive company that made the switch? Read our case study.

First, WAT (also called paper tape, gummed tape, and Kraft tape) helps automotive aftermarket retailers address their physical packing challenges. Its strong seal keeps packages from opening accidentally during shipment and protects their contents. The physical bond it creates with the carton’s surface is also tamper-evident, which helps prevent “press and grab” thefts.

WAT is also a very cost-effective option for sealing packages. Its one-strip-sealing capability means you use less of it as compared to other types of tape. And, a high-quality water-activated tape dispenser will last for many years, producing significant return on your investment.

Finally, WAT can help you present a polished image that impresses your customers. Packages sealed with WAT have a “finished” look that is difficult to achieve with other tape. Plus, WAT can be printed with your logo or other branding to help spread the word about your company. This lets you do some “mobile advertising” without having to pay for expensive printed boxes. And, ultimately it can create a positive loop: as people see the cartons with your branding and check out your offerings online, your business grows and you ship more cartons, which are seen by even more people… and so it goes.

Leveraging Every Competitive Advantage

When you look at the business leaders in any industry, it is the companies that pay attention to the details that are at the top of the list. Automotive aftermarket retailers are no different. From saving money to creating brand awareness, the way you ship your merchandise can have a positive impact on your business. And, it is easy to make changes to your shipping procedures to start capitalizing on the many benefits of water-activated tape.

If you have questions about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products for the packing and shipping of automotive aftermarket parts, please contact us at your convenience.

Download our free guide to learn how to pack your automotive parts safely and securely—for a better bottom line.

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]