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How e-commerce success is tied to an efficient labelling process

The e-commerce industry was born out of the ever growing desire to find the best price and fastest delivery of a product.

Johannesburg, 14 Apr 2021
Read time 5min 40sec

Online retail stores have been active for over a decade and are constantly growing in order to provide myriad different options for buyers.

Poor quality labels are still common and can significantly impact the ongoing profitability and customer service of a business. So, what is the link between a great labelling process and success in e-commerce, and how can you tick all the right boxes for your online business? In this article, we explain the essential considerations to refine your labelling process.

How to refine your labelling process

Just like any aspect of a business, you want to have your labelling process down to a T so that you invest minimum time and see maximum results. Here are some tips to make that happen:

1. Avoid wastage

Wasted labels and paper are more than a nuisance for businesses that rely on e-commerce; they’re actively reducing your profit margins. If your label printer is firing out misprints galore, this is a red flag that your e-commerce operation isn’t as smooth as it could be.

Worse still, if you don’t catch these misprinted labels before they go out for delivery, there’s a good chance your customers will experience delays in receiving their goods or might not receive them at all. It’s often, therefore, worth investing a little more in a label printer that produces higher quality labels, so that they are always properly aligned, sufficiently adhesive and feature clean text with no streaking.

2. Ensure compatibility with delivery companies

The most professional looking labels on the planet are no good if they’re not compatible with the demands of delivery organisations. It’s worth noting, however, that even if some models aren’t compatible with your chosen shipper out of the box, you may well be able to edit your label to achieve the desired result.

3. Look for a speedy set-up

If you’re upgrading the label printer you use for your e-commerce labels, a slow set-up can mean a bottleneck in orders and slow delivery to customers. When researching your options, read consumer reviews – these will often highlight set-up issues, or recommend products that were quick and easy to get up and running.

Talking of speed, you should also investigate the printing rate of your chosen model, so that you have an idea of how your investment will impact the speed of the entire process.

4. Seek out portability

Large industrial label printers may be the norm in huge warehouses, but they’re often not the best option for online sellers. Having portable label printers can help with on-the-go printing and will save you space.

In addition, choosing a wireless model also stops your office getting cluttered with cables, and also means you can print directly from your phone or other mobile devices.

How to create the perfect label

Now that you have streamlined your labelling process, let’s look at how you can improve the labels themselves. This may seem so easy that you can ignore it, however, failing this last little step can make all the difference to whether your service is completed or not.

1. Print your labels

First-time e-commerce sellers may feel they have adequate time to quickly handwrite their labels – but beware the problems that come from this manual task. Writing your labels will quickly become very time-consuming, which can limit the speed of your production line. Furthermore, writing is not always fully legible and is prone to smudging in transit. Do yourself a favour and invest in a high-quality label printer from the beginning – it’s fast, efficient and accurate.

2. Invest in quality

Labels need to be laid out clearly, fully adhesive and clearly legible. High quality labels ensure that all of these factors are incorporated and are much less likely to break off, tear or smudge in transit.

3. Ensure correct sizing

Some printers are able to automatically detect the size of the label tape you’re using, adjusting the onscreen template accordingly so you can check that everything is as it should be. This is particularly useful if you use different shipping companies for different products or destinations.

Easy labelling mistakes to avoid

Having discussed what you should do, it’s always a good idea to discuss some easy mistakes that can be equally simple to avoid.

1. Incorrectly placing your labels

Your package will be scanned at every checkpoint along its journey. Bar codes that aren’t easily scannable are only going to slow things down or make delivery impossible altogether. Ensure that your label is on a level, flat section of packaging, isn’t placed over corners or seams and is without any structural interruptions.

2. Consider your paper choices

Printing your shipping labels onto standard paper may seem like a cheap and easy option, but it creates a less-than-professional look. This can make your customers reconsider the quality and legitimacy of your business.

3. Avoid removable labels

Labels that are easily removable may be a blessing once the customer is in possession of their product, but they can become an absolute nightmare in transit. So, rather don’t risk losing your labels.

4. Re-using old boxes

Even for those who are extremely green-minded, re-using old and tatty cardboard boxes is a definite no no. Not only do they look unprofessional, they can also break in transit, and the presence of old labels can be confusing for carriers too. New boxes are a must – you can always try and find a producer who manufactures boxes from recycled materials to minimise your carbon footprint.

Label printing needn’t be a hassle. With Brother’s diverse range of labelling solutions, it is simple to both keep track of your inventory and get accurate delivery too. Working smarter and taking advantage of efficient label printing solutions will make for a smoother, more accurate process and lead to greater success in your e-commerce business.

For more information or for specific advice on products, get in touch with our team. This article has been republished from Brother Australia with minor changes. The original article can be seen here: How E-Commerce Success Is Tied To An Efficient Labelling Process

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