The HR person in our office received a suspicious package one afternoon. The return address was concealed by a fold and by what looked like a drop of blood. There was another drop of this red substance followed by a smear on the shipping label. The shipping label was applied hastily and adhered with a clear packing tape, which covered portions of the blood-like substance. The rest of the box looked as if an inexperienced packer had haphazardly applied packing tape.

In considering this mess, our HR person thought of all the reasons why someone might send her a bloodied, amateurly wrapped package with the return address concealed. Was it from a disgruntled employee? An unsuccessful job candidate? Should she open it?

After much consideration, she worked up the nerve to open it. Inside the cavernous box, she found a small amount of crinkled paper and a much, much smaller package. With so little padding, the tiny box indeed bounced around during shipment. Upon lifting the smaller package out, she noticed that the box would not close all the way. The box was too small for the coffee mug inside it. There was grease on the box too! There was no note or packing slip to explain why she received such a shipment anywhere to be found! The only clue to the origin of the package was the logo on the mug. It was from a vendor vying for her business.

Now, what do you think our HR person thought of this vendor?

If you have your staff packing orders between their other primary tasks, think again. Creating a winning packing presentation time-after-time is a job for professionals and must be monitored and adjusted over time.

Thanks to savvy marketers such as Apple, your business must consider the entire unboxing experience as part of your product. Unboxing videos are popular, so your packaging might end up on YouTube or TikTok. Packaging matters to customers. Some product packaging is so prized that you can buy empty product boxes from popular websites such as eBay. Packaging is important and cannot be the last thing you think about.

Ensure your fulfillment operations match your expectations by always testing out pick-pack-ship of actual products. Send these test shipments to various locations around the country to test the wear and tear in the shipping process. Monitor feedback from your customers and adjust your packaging as needed. If your fulfillment doesn’t match your expectations, it’s time to shop for a new partner. Professional fulfillment can save your business from failing your customers.