Packaging damaged in shipping

The Importance of Package Testing

One of the many things the current pandemic has shown us is the importance of product packaging and its relationship to your brand.  

At its simplest level, product packaging is a way to tell your company story, influence purchase intent, and protect your product.  Now with the meteoric rise in online shopping, product packaging has the power to make or break the customer experience.

In today's environment, products are shipped across continents, handled, sorted, stored, and finally delivered by a supply system that is experiencing growing pains at every stage, making your product’s packaging integrity more important than ever.

Why You Need To Test Your Packaging Integrity

The route your package takes is no longer just from the manufacturer to the retail location to the customer shopping basket.  Now with e-commerce, it can go through multiple distribution centres and be handled and repacked at several points before it arrives at the final destination.

Damaged packaging and broken products leave a lasting negative impression with the customer about your brand, and it increases the number of returns and therefore increases your costs and the impact on the environment.

Your product distribution may have changed, but your customer's expectations have not.

Failed hot sauce delivery. Image: bizzaromatt / Via

Consumers don’t care that you did not originally design your product packaging with e-commerce in mind or that the pandemic made you pivot before you were ready.

They do not consider that your shipping service may be struggling to keep up with demand and so may not have had time to properly train their teams on how to handle packages.

None of that matters.

They care about getting their delivery quickly, in pristine condition, exactly as they ordered it.

That is why package testing is important.  It helps ensure your products will arrive exactly as the customer ordered them.

Avoiding Unboxing Fails

The unboxing phenomenon we have seen over the past few years is happening for a reason. We are ordering more products online than ever before and yes, getting a package delivered may not be quite as thrilling as it once was, but there is still a little bit of excitement attached to the moment the product arrives at the door.

No matter how old you get, that Christmas morning feeling never truly goes away.

Opening a box to find a damaged product because the packaging did not protect the product from vibrations, shock or crushing is just plain disappointing. When your product does not arrive as expected due to poor handling or uncontrolled environmental factors that occurred en route, the feelings the customer experiences towards your brand can range between anger and sadness likely resulting in a resigned sense of disappointment.

Have Your Packaging Tested

Package testing labs will work with you to ensure that your product packaging meets the structural and certification requirements needed to succeed in e-commerce.  The tests may include vibration, drop, crush, impact and climate.

Image credit: Spark Packaging Lab

For example, Amazon has very specific guidelines for packaging. You can learn more about their Frustration-Free Packaging Program or watch any or all of the 14 instructional videos and details on ISTA Ships in Own Container (SIOC). if you need more information.  However, if you are not interested in DIYing this part of your business, you can connect with one of the Packaging Testing Labs we have listed here on to learn more.

One more thing...

If you are developing new packaging, you might want to consider working with a full-service package testing lab that integrates certification solutions and industry guidelines into the process.  This can shorten your time to market and save you money.

Make sure to work with a packaging lab that is accredited to certify for global standards because let's face it, the world is getting smaller and e-commerce is here to stay.

For more information, reach out to Spark Packaging Lab.

Leave a Reply

  1. Mike Collins

    Thank you Gayle and Erin, for posting this article!

    1. Gayle Palas Listing Owner

      You’re very welcome Mike. Package testing is one of those things that can really make a difference. It not only protects brands and their product, but it also reduces waste and the environmental footprint that comes with returns. It is a win/win.

  2. Erin Ward

    Thanks Gayle. Much appreciated. Erin

  3. Taylor Hicken

    You made a good point when you mentioned that customers will not be happy if they have received damaged packaging and broken products which will only leave your brand a bad impression. It is always wise to choose the right material that can withstand all sorts of hazards while protecting your goods during the delivery process to the customers. I would like to think if a company is planning to use a specific material for its brand’s packaging, it should consider getting it tested with a reliable service first.

    1. Gayle Palas Listing Owner

      Hi Taylor,
      I couldn’t agree more. Packaging’s main job is to keep the product safe and ensure that the end-user receives the best possible version of your product. I doubt anyone is going to be thinking about the design, colours or font if the package didn’t hold up and the product is damaged.

  4. Eli Richardson

    It’s great that you talked about the importance of testing your packaging before shipping it. My sister needs to send some goods across the country, and she’s looking at how to do it. She’s never sent stuff before, so she wants to learn about the shipping regulations. That’s why I think this article will help her find the information she’s looking for. Thanks for the tips about how a damaged package leaves a terrible impression on a customer.