A packing slip is more than just a piece of paper; it can be used to promote your brand and logistics. It also provides an opportunity to engage with customers and capitalize on the growing popularity of product unboxing.
In this article, we will discuss the packing slip definition. We will also provide some tips on using packing slips to grow your business.
What is a Packing Slip?
Packing slips are documents that list everything that’s included in a shipment. A packing slip also includes shipping details such as contact information, SKU numbers, itemized units in the package, and package dimensions and weight.
Buyers can use a packing slip to cross-check that they’ve received the correct items from their order. Meanwhile, shippers use packing slips to determine the inventory needed to complete the orders from customers.
Packing Slip: An Underrated Growth Opportunity
Shipping and packaging are often overlooked when it comes to eCommerce customer engagement.
Marketing is not just about what you sell but also how your business presents itself. Everything that a company does should be considered an opportunity to market and sell.
Your logo, website, social media posts, and pictures are all ways to get customers engaged. The more they see of you, the better.
With how much more aware customers are of the shipping process, delivery is something that they now care about. There’s even a subculture to document this experience.
If you’re skeptical, type in unboxing on YouTube and see the lasting results. There are even channels dedicated to this topic.
Another company that seems to understand the importance of customer satisfaction is Amazon. They use their boxes for advertising and promoting products, such as showing off Prime TV shows or new brands they’ve acquired like Whole Foods.
Subscription box companies like BarkBox, Trunk Club, and FabFitFun score big with their customer experience by having one of the most exciting shipping experiences.
One of the most exciting parts about a product came from someone else. It’s not just an object but also human interaction.
However, they must be treated like such because the packaging slip can help extend your brand.
As a critical step in the unboxing process, you should always include your packing list. It’s easy to overlook it when preparing for shipment, but it will be something that customers notice.
Let’s talk about the benefits of packing slips and how to use them most effectively.
6 Things to Include on Packing Slips
How to create a packing slip? The packing list is one of the most critical aspects of order fulfillment. It contains the following information:
- Recipient’s name
- Shipping address
- Name of the company
- Brand contact information
- Order details (order date, order reference number, etc.)
- Package itemization including SKU, UPC, quantity, and in some instances, price
When you’re dealing with large orders, it’s a good idea to be specific about the weight or measurements of your product. It is also helpful if you list both purchaser and recipient names.
This general information may not be detailed, but it is essential for a few reasons.
It helps your logistics team with the boxing process and ensures that they know what’s in each package.
It also serves as confirmation that the products ordered were shipped and received. It also provides transparency to customers by telling them if certain products from a single order are from different locations or in separate shipments.
The packing slip also helps if a package gets lost or damaged in transit. It helps with the identification of the products.
A packing slip is not an invoice, though it can be mistaken for one.
An invoice is a transaction record that indicates the price, payment terms, and methods.
On the other hand, a packing slip only contains information about what’s in the box.
For example, if a customer buys something for their family member and sends it directly, they will receive the shipment and packing slip. You will receive an invoice.
Packing Slip Tips: Know How to Grow Your Brand
Most people don’t think about how a packing slip can help grow your brand. A packing list is more than just a printed document.
It’s important to remember that customers constantly touch and see things related to your brand.
When it comes to your packaging, just as you spend time crafting the perfect image and messaging for everything else in marketing emails or social media, put some thought into how people will feel when they open their package. You want them to have a good experience with your business.
A well-made packing list, combined with the other parts of your company’s order fulfillment process, signifies that you are attentive to detail and understand what customers want.
If you want to use packing slips to grow your brand, take note of the following tips:
Make Your Packing Slips On Brand
Make your packing slips appear less transactional.
The packing slips that many companies send to their customers are not appealing. They’re bland, with no color, and it’s hard to tell them apart from the next company.
This is an opportunity to design your packing slip. Adding a company logo and branding elements like colors or fonts can make the customer more connected with the product they are receiving, creating loyalty.
Don’t stop at the logo if you want to make an impression. Give your slips splashes of color. Add a watermark of a secondary logo or add additional e-commerce branding motifs to attract more attention from potential customers and have them look for information about your company.
Is it winter? February is hearts and Valentine’s Day, while August celebrates back to school. Include snowflakes.
For your packing slip, use full-color pictures of the products. These images give your order an extra pop while also extending how a customer experiences your brand when they receive it because these are the last details seen before ordering.
Customers will connect dots and realize that if they have had an exceptional experience with your company, it is because of you.
Connect with Customers Using Packing Slips
Retailers want to create a genuine connection with their customers. A packing slip is one way of being considerate and creating an experience for the customer.
First, focus on your social media presence. Add prompts to the bottom of invoices or in customer notes that ask them to take pictures and videos with their newly received product – which is yours! Upload it onto Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.
You can motivate your customers to engage with you by using hashtags. Offer them discounts if they use the hashtag on photos of their purchases from your company.
The more you can bring your customers closer, the easier it will be for them to buy from you. The best way is by including some customer-oriented details on their packing slip.
Run VIP Promotional Offers on Packing Slips
The packing slip is an undervalued promotional piece. It provides the customer with more than just a pretty picture; it includes your company’s name, logo, and contact information.
It’s nice to include a thank you note. This is prime real estate for encouraging repeat business because people are happiest when they receive what they ordered, and if that were something from your company, it would be easier to get them back.
Make the shopping experience more rewarding by giving discounts or free shipping on future purchases. For example, include a code to enter for a discount off their next purchase and make it even better by converting a portion of it into a $5-$20 gift card.
Do you have a store? Offer exclusive coupons to drive people in. The coupon becomes another touchpoint with your brand.
You can use packing slips as mini-billboards to promote new items, products that go well with what’s in the box, or deals on clearance and hard-to-move inventory.
Even if you don’t want to go overboard with a packing slip, leaving your customers some message is always good. There are often blank spaces at the bottom of most packing mistakes for this purpose.
If you’re not sure how to include this space, customize your templates so that it’s included.
Even if you don’t have the time to do anything else, a simple “thank you for your business” can go a long way and lead customers to share their experiences with others.
Bring Branded DetailsTogether on Packing Slips
One final tip is to present your entire packaging cohesively.
It is important to customize all of the different packaging materials and promotional items you send out with your product. This will help make sure customers remember who sent them this fantastic gift.
You don’t need to do anything extreme. You have to be smart about it and provide something in line with your product, company brand, and the clientele you want to attract.
Professional Packing Slips
There are various tools you can use to generate packing slips.
- DIY templates in Google Sheets and Excel
- Labeling services
- Inventory management software that has packing slip template features
- Outsourcing to a 3PL that includes slip functionality service
When selecting a 3PL provider, make sure to ask about the packing slip format they offer. You want something eye-catching and easy for your customers to understand.
The platform must be highly customizable if you want to use an inventory or order management system. You want a high level of HTML formatting so you can generate packing slips that are designed and aesthetically pleasing for your customers.
Final Thoughts on Packing Slips
When running an eCommerce business, a packing slip is just one small part of the whole. But if you put time and resources into its design and use (along with your shipping packaging), it becomes more than that: It’s an essential tool for promoting your brand.