A guide to packaging and postage in the mobile phone retail industry
The mobile phone market continues to grow at an exponential rate. No longer are we using this hand-held gadget solely to make calls; we use it to control our life. With downloaded apps to help us organise work, social lives, fitness, shopping and other such aspects, few of us would be without a mobile phone and as a happy consequence, the mobile retail industry is booming.
With competition rife, it's key that mobile phone retailers do everything they can to impress consumers and ensure that word-of-mouth reviews are favourable. One of the most important such elements is regarding the packaging and delivery of the device - you don't want a customer calling to complain about a broken item, or worse still, non delivery.
To that end, here's a quick guide on packaging and postage in the mobile phone retail industry:
Make it secure: The ultimate point of packaging is, of course, to protect the phone and its component parts. Some people bemoan the amount of packaging that their items are wrapped it, yet they'd hate to have them rattling around and vulnerable to damage. It's best to use insert trays - plastic or cardboard - that fit snugly within the box. These will keep the items in place. Whether you choose to wrap them in polythene or bubblewrap is up to you, but a tray with a lid should be sufficient. You may also want to use protective LCD screen covers to prevent the glass from cracking and to keep the dirt at bay.
Neat and tidy: Like some horrendous jigsaw puzzle, it can be difficult to arrange all the parts so that they fit nicely in the tray and/or box. Using cable tidies will allow you to loop wires neatly and place them without a problem in the packaging.
Protect the SIM: Most SIM cards will come as part of a plastic sheet, usually credit-card sized. However, this will require protection, given the exposed elements underneath. A polythene bag or simply a small envelope should be sufficient to prevent any scratching.
Lovely to look at: Buying a new phone is still a bit of a treat and the outer box should reflect that. While for security reasons, it should be made of sturdy cardboard in an unbendable configuration, it needs to look nice. Get the boxes printed up with your branding and make it look visually appealing.
Secure again, naturally: The outer packaging will need to be secure, fastened with strong adhesives or tape so that the box can't easily be tampered with. Ideally, it shouldn't be clear that the contents are electronics; that way they shouldn't attract any attention from unwanted quarters. That said, if you follow the next point, stolen mobile phones shouldn't be an issue.
Use a trusted parcel courier: One of the most frustrating things about buying online is how, when or if it will arrive. It's key to use a courier service that you trust to be reliable, one that will deliver within the set timescales. Even better if the delivery can be tracked so that the customer can see how things are progressing.
Be on time: Ensure that you've double checked with your courier as to their estimated delivery times so that you don't give the customer the wrong impression. Providing several options might be a good idea, allowing the customer to choose whether they want a more expensive next-day service or are happy with standard delivery.
Ask for feedback: Once you're item has been delivered, why not ask the customer for some feedback? This could cover the product itself and the online buying process, but also pertain to the packaging and delivery. That way you can make any improvements, should they be required. Plus the customer always likes to feel that their options are valued by a brand; you could create a lasting relationship.