Most warehouse owners do not understand the significance of packing slips hence they feel less interested about the use of packing slips to ensure a smooth running of their e-commerce shipping business. In this article, you shall find out why packing slips are essential for the growth of your e-commerce business.
Five reasons why packing slips are essential for e-commerce businesses
Less attention has been paid to the concept of packing slip even though we are in a digital era where online buying of goods and email issuance of receipts has taken center stage. Most merchants and consumers also have access to their buying history, yet they are less concerned about packing slip.
Most online shoppers have never taken time to view their packing slip or to see if it is included in their order. Amazon has also started the elimination of packing slips from deliveries of single-box in a bid to reduce waste from packaging.
However, packing slips play a significant role in the world of e-commerce shipping and finds applications in the packing process. But before we do that, let us find out what packing slip is all about.
What does packing slip mean?
A packing slip refers to a list of items which you can find in a shipment order. You send the slip to the department responsible for shipping. The department prepares an inventory that should be sent out for the order to be complete.
Distinction between a packing slip & invoice
A packing slip may look similar to an invoice, but it is used for different purposes. A packing slip helps to identify goods that are physically received while an invoice refers to a financial document that contains information such as the selling price of each product, payment method, date, and terms of payment.
Though both documents emanate from the store, a packing slip is initiated by the shipment technology, while an invoice is initiated by the platform responsible for payment.
A purchase order is a request or an order that a buyer sends to a seller. It carries relevant detail about a product such as quantity, item type, selling price, etc. A purchase order is used by buyers to ascertain that products received are the same as what they ordered.
The Process of packing
The process of packing has to do with activities such as bundling, kitting as well as the selection of the right box size and suitable packaging materials. The process of packing may seem straight forward in theory, but realistically, it has to do with a lot of critical thinking and decision making at every stage. Packing slips are used at different stages in the packing process.
Importance of packing slips to e-commerce businesses
Packing slips play an important role in e-commerce because they help to identify everything that was ordered by your customer. Most e-commerce business owners make use of packing slips for several reasons so that they can effectively connect the physical to the digital world.
- Packing slips helps to ensure that the shipment is complete and accurate
A packing slip is used as a checklist to make sure that all orders are included in the shipment before labeling and sealing. All orders, including the exact number of several SKUs, have to be verified and cross-checked by the packer before authorizing shipment. The packing slip is placed in the box before shipment.
- A packing list allows for easy tracking of all orders
There may be the need for a single order to be split into several boxes depending on the order size, product quantity and SKU location, which may be in different warehouses. When orders are packaged in several boxes, a packing slip may help both the recipient and seller to be organized.
- Identification of damaged items
With the aid of packing slips, damaged items can be easily identified and sorted out. Whether a single fragile item got broken during transit or there was damage to the entire package, a packing slip will help to speed up the process of refund or resending of the package.
- A packing list serves as a confirmation that all items were duly received
To avoid a situation where an item is missing after delivery of the package, a packing list is used to check all items before they are shipped out. You can think of packing slips as a record or paper trail that allows you to keep a tab of all that you shipped. For orders that are shipped in more than one package, a packing slip may help identify any discrepancy in the package when received.
- Packing slips gives customers the ability to estimate the value of their shipment
For those who may be shipping a product to other countries, a packing list may be used by customs in estimating the shipment value. However, a commercial invoice may be preferable by customs and must contain goods description, value, payment terms and destination of the shipment.
What should be included in a packing slip?
A packing slip should include information such as SKU, itemized list, and price. However, the added details are dependent on the products and business, but an ideal packing slip should provide the following information:
- Order date, contact info and shipping address
Just as is found in an invoice, these details are crucial in the event of an issue that may arise during shipment. Though shipping carriers use the shipment label, having a packing slip may be helpful as an alternative option.
- An itemized list of all shipping items
Many buyers often check their items received by comparing it with what they ordered to ascertain that everything was delivered as requested and paid for. Purchasers can also make use of their confirmation email as a reference, though some people prefer the use of packing slips for verification.
- An itemized list of unavailable items
Along with the use of an invoice, a packing slip may include those items that were ordered but were not shipped out due to the unavailability of the products. However, such occurrences are rare as the availability of products is verified before any order is fulfilled or submitted. If such occurs, then it would be stated in the packing slip.
- Quantity of each item
To check each item in a packing slip, the SKU or the name of the product would not suffice because most sellers do place orders for multiple items of the same product. The packing slip may contain a column for quantity so that the list would not be too long.
- UPC or SKU of each of the item
UPCs or SKUs are unique codes or identifiers. They may not have much meaning to purchasers, but these codes enable the seller to identify and organize their inventory easily. These unique numbers will serve as a source of reference for you when there is a need for you to contact the seller because that is what will be used in tracing the issue.
- PO number or Slip number
With the slip or PO number contained in the packing slip, customers or sellers may use this to make sure that the accurate order was received or shipped. Moreover, this may be dependent on the number of reference numbers that you have for all your orders.
Here is an efficient e-commerce shipment solution provider
We have seen that the shipment process may be quite stressful, especially when it comes to meeting the demands of your customers with fewer complaints of delay, loss or mistakes before, during or after shipment. You do not have to worry as ShipSaving is here to save the day by giving you high-end solutions to help grow your e-commerce business.
ShipSaving is a platform that is designed to offer management and operational services for both medium and small scale e-commerce businesses. With ShipSaving, you can better manage and optimize your shipments.
Benefits of using the ShipSaving platform
- Batch printing of labels
With ShipSaving, you can create as much as 500 labels in a single batch. You can print and organize your batch labels based on your location, category in sequential order.
- Smart Scan
The ShipSaving platform is designed with a smart scan feature that allows users to be able to print their packing slip in advance. Labels can also be printed out after picking the inventory. Barcodes and labels can be scanned to verify the bin locations and product inventory. The smart scan feature generally provides an improved picking, tracking, inventory and shipping process.
- Combination of products
ShipSaving offers a highly convenient feature that will give room for product matching. It provides users with the chance to create several combinations of products to enhance their inventory control. By matching a particular item on the ShipSaving platform, the matched item becomes a new product automatically. The new product will also have a different product listing and SKU number.
Irrespective of the way you handle an order, the packing slip provides an effective way of managing your customers' expectations. Apart from checking if all your orders have arrived, you may also take note of some other indexes that are used by customers in appraising the performances of e-commerce business, one of which is timely shipping.
ShipSaving is a trusted, and tested platform that enhances warehousing operations, improves the shipment process and provides an onetime solution to several issues in the e-commerce shipping industry. The platform is also designed to support an unlimited number of users, which can be logged in to a single account for convenience's sake.
One of the factors that make the ShipSaving platform unique is that you can create sub-accounts that allow you to share permissions to other users in the same account. With ShipSaving, the generation of packing lists can be designed to promote an efficient and seamless shipment process. Why not join the community of users who are enjoying the benefits of using the ShipSaving platform for their e-commerce shipping businesses and give your customers a satisfactory experience.