You’ve got custom apparel orders in your shop or on your site. How do you package them, so they arrive in pristine condition? Let’s walk through an example of how to pack custom t-shirts in the e-commerce age.
First, figure out what you’re shipping. Then, find the best solution for each item. Here’s an example of how to pack t-shirts: Purchase custom retail packaging materials. You can purchase these or repurpose existing materials to save money.
Ideally, you’ll want to use your resources multiple times before throwing them away. While bubble wrap is expensive to buy new, large trash bags are reusable and cheap (but not recyclable).
Think about what you already have on hand that might be suitable for this purpose. If you do go the route of buying new materials, consider looking at local thrift stores for packaging material alternatives like Styrofoam peanuts or even old newspapers, which may act as an effective
- Your customer orders a custom t-shirt with your shop
- You take the order and create the shirt
- You ship it off to the customer
- The customer receives their package, and it’s damaged in some way
- Know what you need to pack your products in
- Know how to correctly package your products
- Understand the most efficient way to package your goods
Your customer orders a custom t-shirt with your shop
Your customer orders a custom t-shirt with your shop name on it. You make the shirt and ship it to them. What’s the first thing they do? Take out their cell phone and take a picture of themselves wearing it. Then they post the picture on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. If they like the shirt enough to wear, they’ll tell their friends and the world.
Do you want to spend hours of your time coordinating outfits when the customer doesn’t want to mess around with all that? The answer is no. It’s a lot easier to create a different layout, package, and deliver your physical products for each new customer if you ship their order the same way they originally ordered it. Let’s call this the 3-Pack.
If you ship using the method, I outline below. You’re golden. Let’s say your order is fulfilled. Here are the critical pieces to ensure the 3-Pack Strategy is run smoothly. Get the customer’s order right the first time. Even if you offer free shipping, customers expect that their order will arrive safely and on time. If they’re dissatisfied with their shirt and there are shipping problems, they’ll leave your store and try another site.
Know what you need to pack your products in.
The thank-you cards are waiting for them. Keep the shirt in stock. While technical issues and other delivery issues rock our E-commerce sites, nothing stinks up customer relations faster than volume-ordered organic items sitting on fulfillment stations in the parking lot. Heck, even FaceTime our CEO and Patrisha on our way out the door! Keep your shirts in stock so they’re easy to find and go where they’re needed.
Ship to a UPS-RARELY populated, hotel-friendly location. Why? Chances are your location is busy, and a customer would rather pick up his shirt at a distillery than one near where he lives. Regardless of where your customers are located, your local UPS Store has staff who have the time to walk through your warehouse and collect, pack, and ship your order. Choose a UPS Store near a popular destination and give the customer something special.
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Create a Word document with your logo, product, and tracking number for each order. When you are ready to send the order via email, send it to your fulfillment provider (like Amazon). They will create an HTML file that will include all of the information about your product and also track which order is going to which person with a unique tracking number. You will receive an email with details on what has been ordered and where it is going, and when it should arrive. Your fulfillment provider might charge you a small fee, or you can self-manage and pay a small second-hand fee at the job site. If you want company orders in bulk, they might cost less too.
Some people make a special slot in the box with a plastic insert. You can see the image and URL of each product when you open it. The thing you need to make is labels in the description and the Digital Question & Answers link within that description too.
You ship it off to the customer.
You ship it off to the customer, or you deliver it to the customer, or you go to the customer, whatever the case may be. Multiple states and countries.
Your product is in multiple countries and states. It might be in the United States. It might be in Singapore, or it might be in the U.K., or it might be Australia. The good news is that now you have an e-commerce page for all of those locations. The bad news is international shipping fees because it has to ship from somewhere. How do you do that? How do you have it shipped to where it’s going to go?
Separated locations and part of that is if you’re trying to sell things like a chameleon t-shirt which might be popular in Hong Kong or Ron Paul campaign which people in the U.S. already have stamped, you don’t want to send it to them because it will be too much work for them and they won’t buy as many as if you sold it locally.
You can get the best custom boxes by using box printing services. You want to ship your international products to them. That is where you want to ship your products that are sold in the states and the countries. For custom apparel, there are three major international regions: the U.K., the U.S., and China. There are also some other countries like Canada and Australia. So, you should target those countries if you have a physical warehouse or distribution center in those areas. If you have distribution centers in multiple countries, then you might ship everything to one of those places instead of shipping it to each place individually.