If you’re an electronics or housewares company, or just a business with fragile/expensive items in general, then we’re looking at you with this blog post! Have you heard of retention packaging? No, not the kind of packaging skewed to keep customers coming back for more (though that is also called ‘retention’).
Ever receive your package with an expensive (and fragile) product in the mail and the box contains lots of protective elements? Think large chunks of styrofoam, air packs, packing peanuts, paper fillers and so on. Packaging like this could be a thing of the past for technology and other fragile items that require shipping to reach their final destination.
As a consumer myself, I’m always terrified when I have to order something expensive or fragile online. I am only able to calm down when I unpack the item and inspect it to ensure nothing has been damaged (impatiently waiting for a laptop as this is being typed).
Although 8 out of 10 times, damages during shipping are not the fault of the business, the blame often falls to them anyway.
In order to minimise risk of damages, some companies have started using retention packaging as a means to an end.
What is Retention Packaging?
Retention (or Suspension) packaging is a flexible packaging solution to the fragile/expensive product shipping issue. It is made up of 2 vital components – a thick, elastic film, and a die-cut corrugated insert to hold your product in place.
A one-part corrugated die-cut piece secures the product and is packaged securely in one retention packaging box. It is delivered flat-packed as a die-cut piece… the packages are easy to assemble and fill without additional adhesive, saving time. (Polymer Packaging Inc)
Essentially, the corrugated inserts fit into the shipping/mailer box, and work together with the film to suspend the product. This is so that it is more centrally located within the outer packaging unit. It keeps the product away from major points of impact during shipping and keeps the product from moving around within the box itself.
Each of these packaging solutions is helpful on their own. But combined? It increases the level of protection significantly. This may not sound revolutionary, but there are multiple benefits to using retention packaging!
First and foremost, this solution is eco-friendly and sustainable! Corrugated paper is widely accepted at recycling facilities and easy to dispose of when finished with it. The plastic film is flexible and has great reuse potential to protect other items once you receive it. By utilising retention packaging, a company can help reduce waste and costs of packaging.
Retention packaging doesn’t require special equipment and is very easy to use. It is a simple yet mighty solution to shipping woes and we can definitely see its application increasing in the near future. Especially with the increase of e-commerce purchases, this is an option companies should consider sooner rather than later.
The flexible film plastic also allows for various levels of customisation. Retention packaging arrives “ready-to-pack”, with one side left open to insert the product. Because of the film, you can use this packaging for various products. Think of it as a one-size-fits-most situation! The film is adaptable to hold the most awkward of shapes while still keeping it secure.
When the customer opens their package, they won’t see a lot of void fillers, but rather the product itself. This leads to an increase in customer satisfaction as they are able to view the best features and design without having to rip apart the entire package.
Lastly, with the use of retention packaging, companies can reduce overall costs. Since this solution is so versatile, you’re able to reduce the variety of packaging, storage, and management costs. There is also a reduction in assembly time and wastage since it is a low workforce cost and simplified process.
Application of Retention Packaging
Like the idea of retention packaging but not sure if it’s the right fit for you? It won’t make a huge difference for companies selling soft products in all honesty. However, if your company sells any of the following, then we would recommend it:
- tablets and other small electronics
- wine bottles
- cellular phones
- plates and other housewares
- laptops and monitors
- water heaters
- anything fragile
- car parts
This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start!
Still not sure if it’s right for you and your company? Reach out to our sales team for more information on if you should be using this packaging solution or if there’s something that would suit you better!