Think Outside the Box: Unconventional Methods Retailers Can Use to Cut Packaging Expenses
It's no secret that the retail and e-commerce industries have experienced economic slowdowns in recent years. Between rising inflation, increasing costs for raw materials, and consumers tightening their budgets, retailers need to cut expenses to stay profitable.
One surprising place where businesses can save money is on packaging supplies. While packaging isn't known as the most modern of industries, there are three innovative ways retailers can shave costs on their shipping and packaging materials.
Use Less Packaging
Retailers can save on packaging supplies by exploring source-reducing options that use less material. For example, tear- and water-resistant mailers are 1/18th the cost of a corrugated box and have a much smaller dimensional weight.
In addition to reducing material costs, switching to high-performance products reduces material usage and promotes sustainability. Pre-stretched or high-performance stretch wrap uses less material per wrapped pallet while maintaining a more secure load during transit than heavy, conventional stretch wrap.
Packaging consultations are a great way for businesses to find packaging and operational efficiencies. Retailers would be wise to take a consultative approach to packaging, including testing a wide range of products, like bubble-out bags, centerfold bags, shrink film, tubing, and more, that help businesses save money while minimizing environmental impact.
Take Your Business Online
Until now, there have only been two methods of procuring packaging supplies: sourcing from the only national packaging supplier with an online catalog or spending days calling and pricing out regional suppliers.
One solution gaining popularity in the industry is the emergence of e-commerce stores dedicated to packaging supplies. For example, SupplyStream, which powers Trinity's new website, is a new proprietary software that standardizes data to automatically find the quickest lead times and lowest pricing on any product based on the shipping ZIP code. This allows Trinity to leverage the drop-shipping policies of suppliers to provide retailers with access to packaging's largest catalog while enjoying the convenience of easy online shopping.
Not only does SupplyStream provide businesses with the information necessary to make packaging decisions instantly, but it also offers an unrivaled user-friendly shopping experience with high-quality images that replicate the familiarity of retailers' own e-commerce sites.
From a sustainability standpoint, purchasing from local suppliers through these platforms minimizes transportation costs and helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint. The convenience and cost savings offered by online packaging stores make them an ideal solution for retailers looking to reduce expenses in the face of economic challenges.
Prevent Supply Chain Breakdowns
Supply chain breakdowns have become increasingly common in recent years, leading to material shortages and unhappy customers. To keep business running smoothly, retailers can partner with packaging suppliers that have well-established supplier networks with multiple distribution centers.
By diversifying their supply sources, retailers continue to receive the packaging materials they need during supply chain disruptions. This helps prevent delays and ensures that retailers can meet customer demands without compromising packaging quality or cost.
Pack in the Savings
Despite the current economic challenges, revolutionary solutions to sourcing packaging supplies are emerging that will change how businesses purchase their shipping and packaging materials forever.
By exploring lesser-known ways to reduce packaging material usage, leveraging online packaging stores, and establishing partnerships with suppliers with multiple distribution centers, retailers can save on packaging supplies and improve their bottom line. These strategies don't just provide immediate cost savings; they also position retailers to thrive when economic conditions improve.
By embracing these innovative approaches, retailers can navigate economic slowdowns and emerge stronger and more resilient in the long run.
Anthony Magaraci is the founder and CEO of Trinity Packaging Supply and SupplyStream.
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Anthony Magaraci is an award-winning entrepreneur, thought leader, philanthropist, and musician who currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Trinity Packaging Supply and SupplyStream. Since founding Trinity from his home office in 2010, Anthony has grown Trinity into a $100 million company that has made the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America list seven times in a row, the Inc. Best Places to Work list four times, and ranked 89th on Fortune’s list of America’s Most Innovative Companies 2023. Anthony’s latest innovation, SupplyStream, is a first-of-its-kind e-commerce platform that aggregates supplier catalogs to find low prices and next-day delivery on any product based on the shipping zip code. Just as Airbnb changed hospitality and Uber changed transportation, Trinity, powered by SupplyStream, is disrupting the $200 billion packaging industry forever.