When founding a start-up, there are a myriad of questions to consider. What are our short and long term goals? What is the mission statement of the company? How will the branding reflect the company’s personality and premise? Will I too one day be bidding on privatised healthcare districts within the UK?
With these big questions bouncing around, the little ones often get overlooked. Day-to-day necessities such as business rates and office waste management can fall by the side. For businesses with e-commerce platforms – which is most businesses operating in today’s global markets – packing boxes and other postal packing materials are one of these overlooked considerations.
The Rise of eCommerce and How It Affects Businesses
E-commerce is not a new concept; with roots in business stretch back as far as 4 decades, it rose to prominence in the mid-90s. Amazon is one of the few companies to survive the dot-com bubble due to being an e-commerce platform.
E-commerce platforms are a type of online storefront, where suppliers can list all their available products and services with the appropriate information. Consumers can go to these online platforms to view, compare, and then purchase a product or service on offer.
Thanks to the rise of mobile technology, increased network infrastructures, and the globalisation of business, e-commerce has seen a meteoric rise in use over the past decade. With it have risen relevant support industries, particularly the packaging industry. Packing boxes are often bypassed as a priority consideration in business as they are seen to lack the glam of more attractive areas, such as social media marketing.
Why the Choice of Packing Box Matters to Businesses
For any business with an e-commerce platform, the choice of packing box is a critical one. Any damage caused to products during shipping can result in an unhappy customer, which in turn will affect your brand reputation. Larger businesses can take knocks from individual customers, small businesses cannot. One disgruntled customer can have a severe negative impact on sales for a small business, so ensuring that all your packages are protected as comprehensively as possible should be a top priority.
Postal packing also goes hand in hand with your businesses branding to have a lasting impact on the customer experience. Good packing boxes can be plain cardboard to allow your company logo to stand out or incorporate aspects of the company branding to compliment it.
The proper packing box will also act as protection for your goods. A good, heavy-duty cardboard box made from double wall corrugated cardboard is lightweight and durable. It is also structurally sound, allowing full boxes to be stacked on top of each other. When used in conjunction with the proper protective packaging and postal tape, a good packing box will minimise any potential damage to packed goods.
Sustainability in Small Businesses
The matter of sustainability is important to a small business for two reasons: accountability and public image. The current viewpoint, hopefully, one that continues moving forward, is that all businesses should have concern for the environment at their core; a sustainable planet allows for sustainable businesses. A sustainability drive can also cut costs; waste analysis can identify waste reduction actions that can result in lower expenditure.
Accountability’s partner in crime is public image. A company should, of course, aim to be environmentally responsible for the environments sake, but seen to do so never hurts public image. A good public image will result in higher interest in your company, resulting in higher sales. In a world dominated by social media news feeds, word of mouth spreads at an astonishing rate, meaning bad press is more visible than ever. With the world’s interests focussing on environmental issues, consumers are now paying close attention to whether or not businesses are sustainable enterprises.
When it comes to packaging, much of today’s packaging is made from polyethylene, a plastic by-product of the crude oil industry. Polyethylene cannot be added to most standard recycling bins as it jams recycling machinery. While there are some polyethylene specific recycling points, most of it ends up in landfills. As it is not biodegradable, this poses a real problem to the integrity of the environment.
Cardboard packing boxes don’t have this problem; many of today’s cardboard packing boxes are already made from recycled material. On top of that, cardboard (as a paper product) has one of the highest recycling rates in the UK. Corrugated paper roll – cardboard roll with corrugated flutes on one side to provide protective padding – is a great option for protecting larger goods, such as furniture, that can also be recycled. For small, more delicate goods, there is tissue paper and newsprint cut-offs available. Try to choose these options over plastic alternatives as they are far easier to recycle for waste management services.