Beauty and Health Retailers Show Room for Improvement with Package Fit

Consumers could do without the giant box bursting with packing peanuts for the small item they ordered. And, retailers are realizing they can trim costs by eliminating excessive packaging. Even a fraction of a penny saved on each package adds up quickly for those shipping hundreds of thousands, or millions, of packages over the course of a year.

StellaService Package Fit Analysis for the First Half of 2013

In a recent StellaService analysis, mass merchants seem to have figured out how to consistently ship out ecommerce orders in appropriate size packaging. However, when comparing averages across categories for the first half of 2013, there’s a trend among beauty and vitamin retailers who are the worst offenders when it comes to excess packaging. Of the retailers with the worst performance in this metric, 3 of the 5 were beauty retailers.,, and are best-in-class for package fit for the first half of 2013. All had adequate or better package fit in 100% of packages received by StellaService Analysts.

StellaService Analysts shop ecommerce sites across 11 major retail categories. The following is a breakdown of averages across those categories for percent of packages received by our analysts that had an adequate or better package fit.

  • 90-100% – Mass Merchants
  • 80-89.9% – Baby Care, Clothing/Shoes/Accessories, Computer/Electronics, Sporting Goods/Outdoor Gear, Housewares/Home Furnishings, Office Supplies
  • 70-79.9% – Auto Parts, Hardware/Home Improvement, Vitamins/Supplements
  • 60-69.9% – Beauty
Recommendations for Online Retailers
Chris Vodola, Client Development Manager at StellaService and a veteran of customer service departments, suggests the following tips for retailers looking to achieve a better package fit for ecommerce order fulfillment:
  1. Poly-bags can a be cost-efficient option, but should be size-appropriate to avoid damaging smaller items in transit.
  2. Know the minimum carton/package size accepted by your conveyors and scanners, and implement those into your process for your smaller items.
  3. If using odd-sized shipping containers for smaller items cannot be avoided, try using light, recyclable materials as (minimal) filler to improve fit and protect items in transit.
  4. Perform regular spot checks to ensure your pick/pack line is using the correct carton for each item shipped.

STELLAService Analysts score this metric on a scale of 1 to 3 based on how well the product fits into the package. Extremely Poor (1) indicates the packaging was extremely wasteful and very inefficient. Adequate (2) indicates the package did not have a lot of waste. Excellent (3) indicated a highly efficient use of packaging with little to no waste. The date range for this study is January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013.

Previously on Bright:

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