Antalis Packaging advises businesses to be ‘returns-ready’ in this year’s retail rush

With seasonal shopping upon us, leading packaging specialist, Antalis Packaging is advising businesses to make sure packages are ‘return ready’ amid an escalating culture of overbuying and excessive returning.

Following a transition to online shopping, today’s businesses need to up the ante when it comes to internet capabilities, stock inventory and delivery mechanisms, and contending with the extra stress placed on supply chains due to an increase in returns. A previous study has estimated that the cost of returns could amount to as much as £60 billion a year for UK retailers.

In response, Antalis Packaging is reminding businesses to ensure that packaging products and procedures are designed to cope with returns.

Jason Poxon, packaging technologist at Antalis, commented: “The advent of online shopping has shaken up the purchase model like never before as customers have become much more inclined to over-purchase as a way to ‘try before they buy’.  As such, the pressure placed on the reverse supply chain has never been greater, with some returned products changing hands as much as seven times before being placed for resale.

“This in turn, puts increased onus on the choice of packaging, whereby it should be easy for the customer to return and durable enough to withstand multiple points of contact through the supply chain. In some cases, dependent on the nature of the product, it may even be that a bespoke solution is the best option.

“A good example of this can be found with our recent work with a leading national supermarket chain which was experiencing an issue with its returns packaging for plasma TVs, whereby products were constantly being sent back with minor defects leading to hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage. In response, we investigated the issue and put together a completely bespoke solution for each size of TV, complete with a variety of robust internal protection, which has thus negated the issue.

“In this way, thinking about return packages in advance can help businesses mitigate damage and save dividends in the long run. Plus, help is at hand via our free Smart Audit where our experts will review a company’s current packaging materials and procedures and suggest improvements.”