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How To Prevent Shipping Damage in eCommerce
By Georgina Monti
Last updated October 27, 2023

Shipping damage in eCommerce can be a significant concern and the cause of countless headaches for both businesses and customers. When packages arrive damaged, it can result in unhappy customers, costly returns, and potential damage to your brand’s reputation. With over 58 million packages being shipped around the US every day, preventing shipping damage is essential for a successful brand. In this article, we’ll explore the top ways to prevent shipping damage, including cost-effective and secure options.

How Are Shipping Damages Costly to eCommerce Brands?

Shipping damages can be highly costly to brands in various ways. Firstly, there’s the immediate financial impact of replacing or refunding damaged items, which directly affects a company’s bottom line. Additionally, there are hidden costs associated with customer dissatisfaction, negative reviews, and the potential loss of customer loyalty. Brands may also face increased shipping and insurance costs if damages are a recurring issue. Therefore, preventing shipping damage is not only about cost savings but also about preserving a brand’s reputation and long-term success.

Best Practices To Reduce Shipping Damages


Correct Packaging

Investing in the correct packaging is crucial to preventing shipping damage. To ensure safe transit, start by selecting the correct sized box or package that allows items to fit snugly, minimizing movement and reducing the risk of damage. In addition, incorporating cushioning materials such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or air pillows is essential to shield fragile items from impact and help to reduce any possible movement. To secure the package, use high-quality packing tape to seal all seams, reducing the risk of the box or package coming open or apart during transit. For cost-effective options, consider reusable materials like recycled bubble wrap or air pillows, which are both eco-friendly and budget-friendly. Alternatively, custom-made packaging designed to fit your products can significantly reduce the risk of damage during shipping, however, this can be a more costly option.

It’s also key to remember temperature changes and adverse weather along shipping routes pose risks, as does leaving packages outside where rain can damage them. Extreme temperature and humidity variations can lead to moisture buildup in containers, causing deformation, corrosion, or mold. Brands can use desiccants for moisture control in varying climates and evaluate product packaging for enhanced protection and durability.

Proper Labeling

Proper labeling is a key step in preventing shipping mishaps and ensuring packages reach their intended destination without issues. Address accuracy is paramount – double-check that shipping addresses are precise, well-formatted, and properly labeled to avoid misdelivery. To safeguard fragile items, use “Fragile” stickers that clearly signal the need for extra caution. Additionally, adding directional arrows on the box can indicate the correct orientation, preventing mishandling. For cost-effective solutions, standardized labels and stickers effectively communicate handling instructions. For enhanced security, consider custom labels tailored to provide detailed handling instructions specific to your products, further reducing the risk of shipping damage.

Our friends over at Address Validator reduce the risk of any typos or invalid addresses by verifying and suggesting correct addresses. This helps to reduce returned shipments and costly redelivery fees and can be added on to the checkout stage on Shopify stores.

Shipping Protection

Utilizing shipping protection doesn’t reduce the risk of shipping damage, however, it does mitigate the cost and time associated with shipping damages and issues. While it may involve an extra expense, the small investment often proves worthwhile. Shipping protection, also known as package protection, offers substantial benefits, covering the cost of damaged items during transit, and providing peace of mind for both businesses and customers. 

With Corso Green Shipping Protection, if a package is lost, damaged, or stolen, the customer can file the claim directly with Corso. The Corso concierge team will then resolve the issue with the customer by issuing a reorder or refund within 24 hours. This quick resolution keeps the customer happy and improves the post-purchase experience. For the brand, it alleviates the time, cost, and headaches associated with handling shipping issues. Not to mention, the protection also includes carbon offsets associated with the shipping of the package which further enhances the brand’s sustainability efforts.

See Corso in action and watch the demo here.

Choosing the Right Carrier

Choosing the right shipping carrier is often overlooked, but key in reducing shipping damages. Thorough research is essential to identify carriers with a strong track record of handling packages carefully. Some carriers provide built-in insurance coverage, offering a cost-effective way to protect shipments. For added security, investigate carriers that offer specialized solutions for fragile or high-value items, ensuring safe transportation. Selecting the right carrier not only prevents shipping damage but also ensures the safe and secure delivery of your products to customers.

By using tools like Shipware, Vesyl and Buku Ship, brands can compare the most cost-effective and suitable options for their products all in one place.

Quality Control

Establishing a rigorous quality control process is crucial to reduce the risk of shipping damages and ensure that all items reach their destination in new condition. This process involves thorough inspections of all items before packaging to identify any pre-existing damage. Maintaining detailed records of quality control checks is essential for reference in case of customer disputes. For a cost-effective approach, an internal quality control process managed by existing staff can be implemented. Proper quality control not only reduces the risk of shipping damage but also ensures that customers receive products in perfect condition, enhancing their overall experience.

In Summary

Preventing shipping damage in eCommerce is crucial for maintaining a positive customer experience and preserving your brand’s reputation. By investing in proper packaging, labeling, shipping insurance, choosing the right carrier, and implementing quality control measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of shipping damage. The right approach will depend on the nature of your products, your budget, and your commitment to providing the best service to your customers.

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