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Packaging Tips to Eliminate Damage and Lower Return Rates

Returns have been the thorn in the side of E-Commerce businesses across the globe. Many reasons factor into why this happens, but careful packaging and implementing a few tips can eliminate the rate of damaged deliveries and lower the return rates.

The packaging is what protects the products during the transit stage. Return of damaged goods is controllable every company should grasp their hands around. There are other reasons for returns, such as undesired products or something that doesn’t align with the customer’s expectations. But damaged products can be controlled with careful packaging practices.

Depending on the kind of goods you are transporting, your packaging will differ. But basically, there are a few items on the checklist you must tick off. Good packaging must be solid, cushioned, water-resistant, and must have void fillers. Now exclusion of a few things can be allowed for different items; for example, while transporting garments, the package doesn’t need to be as rigid, but it should be water-resistant. However, if you’re shipping fragile items, all these boxes must be ticked.

How Damage Occurs

Only two people in the supply chain REALLY care about the product; the buyer and the seller. But, a supply chain is bigger than that, and the product will exchange handlers a lot of times before it finally reaches the hands of the end consumer. Several factors can cause damage to products in transit, including poor use of tools, rough handling of packages, improper environmental control, etc.

There is no real way of making the handler care about the package, handling it with caution, or even tracking where the damage happened on the supply chain. This is why all arrangements must be made in the packaging to ensure that the seller eliminates or minimizes the chances of damage. Here are a few questions one must ask before packaging.

How much pressure or compression can the package handle if placed underweight?

  • How much time can it hold its structural integrity around various environments?

  • Can it withstands being dropped without damaging the product from certain distances?

  • Can it withstand various forms of vibrations? (Conveyor belt, airplane turbulence, trucks, etc.)

  • How does it fare against different environmental challenges like dust, moisture, air pressure, etc.?

Selecting the Right Packaging

Depending on the category and physics of your item, you can select any one of the following packagings.

1. Safety Envelopes: These self-adhesive mailer envelopes come in various sizes and are ideal for shipping apparel, fashion accessories, books, and other small-sized items. They are easy to use packaging items that are also water-proof in nature.

2. Corrugated Boxes: High-quality corrugated boxes are well adept at absorbing shock and jolts that can happen in transit. They also allow for bigger-sized items to be transported. Containers are used to transport computer accessories, mobile phones, LED bulbs, and other bulky products in the 2 Kg range.

3. Bubble Wrap and Tape: Strong adhesive industrial tape is an absolute must for tying up packages and sealing them. Bubble wrap is the industry standard first layer to shipping anything at all.

Some Miscellaneous Tips

1. Drape bubble wrap down the length of long items instead of wrapping it around the width multiple times.

2. Conduct drop tests for fragile items from all possible angles and various possible heights to understand how much reinforcement should be provided from the packaging.

3. For a package containing multiple items, wrap each individual item with bubble wrap and then seal them all together with another layer.

4. Make sure there are no voids inside the package. Fill anything up with bubble wrap or roughage like newspaper shavings.


A great option for entrepreneurs with online businesses is to partner up with a Third Party Logistics company for their packaging needs. ARK India is one such company that promises seamless operation and error-free picking and packaging service. Their years of experience in the supply chain management industry make them well equipped for any circumstances and challenges in the business. Drop a mail for inquiry today at [email protected].