There is no doubt that e-commerce businesses have been booming over lockdown. Companies that were considering setting up or expanding their online offerings have been forced to move quickly and develop their systems in order to survive. Whilst this has been really positive for many businesses that otherwise would not have survived the pandemic, it has also meant that sometimes the solution is not as environmentally friendly as we would like – who hasn’t received a delivery and questioned the amount of packaging around the product? So what are the solutions for a business that wants to continue to grow and develop their distribution but also to minimise their environmental footprint.
- Packaging type: the range of material that can be used for packaging has improved exponentially over the past few years. Customers are no longer satisfied with throw away packaging that cannot be recycled. The market has opened up for robust alternatives and more and more options are available. This is therefore an important consideration when choosing an e-commerce machine – will it have the ability to handle these new and innovative materials, such as biofilm and different paper forms?
- Customised packaging: there is nothing more frustrating than receiving a small product that is rattling around in a large cardboard box. This is why e-commerce machinery that can customise the size and shape of the packaging according to the product is now in high demand. The benefits of this flexibility are obvious, not only will the customer not have so much wasted material to recycle or dispose of once the product has been received but the manufacturer will also not have to spend so much money on the packaging materials they purchase. Whilst biofilm is a more expensive product than plastic if you are using less of it your costs will decrease and the storage space required will also be reduced.
- Returns: more customers are reliant on being able to return items that they have purchased, especially through the pandemic when the majority of shops are closed. Packaging is therefore multi-functional. Not only does it have to offer proper protection to the product – keeping it safe for dirt, dust, damage and moisture – but it also needs to be able to be repurposed for returns. E-commerce packaging needs to be easy to open, robust but also resealable – this protects the product and helps to ensure that it is returned in good condition back to the original shop
- Transportation: smaller packages means less space is required for transportation, an ecommerce machine that can created customised, compact packages can offer huge benefits. More products can fit within a vehicle, therefore maximising the storage space and ultimately meaning less vehicles on the road and greatly reducing the overall carbon footprint. Again the benefits of this are two-fold; not only are you helping to save the planet but the business advantage is that you are also saving money by spending less on the number of vehicles.
- Customer satisfaction: the end user wants to know that their product has been produced and distributed with minimal environmental impact. Many businesses are building their customer base through proving that they are doing their best to offset their carbon footprint – such as Passenger Clothing https://www.passenger-clothing.com/pages/sustainability-policy – who plant a tree for every order or Bam clothing https://bambooclothing.co.uk/becoming-impact-positive/ – who use ethically sourced Bamboo and religiously trace their supply chain. These businesses are growing and successful but their target market is a new generation of customers that want to trust the brands they are buying from and know they are supporting the environment.
There are many things to consider when your business’s aim is to improve its impact on the environment and there are now more options available than ever. Sitma’s E-commerce solutions are already helping businesses around the world to distribute products with minimal waste and a lowered carbon footprint. They are able to handle a wide range of products including clothing, electronics, inks, books, video games, shoes, cosmetics and can manage the whole process from order consolidation, packaging, sorting to tracking. You can see more about their range via this link https://www.buckham.co.uk/machines/speedysort/ or https://www.buckham.co.uk/machines/easysort/
Engelmann & Buckham are available to discuss any part of this range and can also offer palletising from Technowrapp https://www.buckham.co.uk/machines/pallet-wrapping-machines/ and product handling solutions from Intralogika. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01420 593680 to find out more.