We live in a world of constant change, for better and for worse. It’s not just simple change, though, like today the sun is shining and yesterday it was raining. Or, today I’m going to wear jeans but yesterday I wore slacks. The kinds of change in this day and age are so huge that we now have access to information as soon as it is available, anywhere on the planet. If you don’t that’s huge, allow me to impress you otherwise. That’s huge!
All of this change applies to shipping supplies as well. For example, when I’m trying to find a business that offers a certain service, if they don’t even have a website I’m going to assume that they are cheap and outdated. I don’t really like that about myself, because I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I also don’t want to waste my time or money. A clean, professional website is a very positive indicator that I’m going to get clean, professional service. It’s a first impression before I have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, or spend any money whatsoever. Which is a pretty big deal, if you ask me.
Now let’s apply this same concept to shipping supplies. Updated shipping supplies is also a positive indicator that a business is serious about it’s product. Re-used boxes are not going to be very impressive. Skimping on the tape so that the package isn’t properly secured is going to be an outright turnoff. An item thrown into a box with no protection whatsoever is going to make you want to send it back.
The key is to order your shipping supplies in bulk so that you always have some on hand. There should be no reason for a shipment to go out late because you ran out of supplies. Ordering online gives you thousands of options, so there should be no reason that you find yourself using the wrong item on the wrong item, if you get what I mean. Why put a square item in a round container when you can put a square item in a square container. And why put a small square item in a large square container when you can put a small square item in a small square container? Do you catch my drift? As a business owner, it’s important to develop with the times, and that doesn’t mean selling out, it just means staying current.
One of my favorite parts about ordering something off of a website like Etsy is waiting to get the package in the mail. The outside may be a rough and tumble, everyday kind of bubble envelope, but the inside is a sweet little world of someone’s creation. For whatever reason, it would be harder to appreciate the grace and beauty of a necklace if it was just floating around in said bubble mailer.
You would tip it out and it would slide into a ball of gold chain into your hand. Anti-climactic, right? But what about if you pulled out this cute little white jewelry box, and it was wrapped in a shiny teal ribbon, and there was a little tag on it that said, “Treat Yourself” or “Surprise!” or “Wear Me”. And then you untied the ribbon and took the top off the box and (gasp!) that exact same necklace was resting on a cloudlike pillow of jewelry box fluff. And then say the vendor had included a refrigerator magnet that looked like the little tag, and said the same thing, so that when you go to get some milk or thaw out some chicken you see the tag and you think that it might be time for another piece of amazing, handmade jewelry.
Now that’s getting something in the mail, right?
I’ve painted this entire scenario so that you, the small business owner, can understand what a key part shipping supplies play in promoting your brand. You can be the hasty and lazy brand of the first example, or the detailed and sensitive brand of the second one. The one shows carelessness, the other shows commitment. This is just the type of world we live in, and if you are trying to make it in this type of world than these are the type of things that will either make you or break you.
The next time you go to stock up on your shipping supplies, take a second to think about this. Trying to save money on shipping supplies might wind up costing you money in the long run. If heart-strings aren’t tugged and an awe for simple beauty isn’t inspired, people aren’t going to think about going back to you for the matching bracelet, or whatever it is you are trying to share with the world. You don’t have to brand yourself “expensive” (that gets in the way, too), but you certainly don’t want to brand yourself “cheap”. Try to find something in the middle ground: devoted, meticulous, thorough, reliable, petite…