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Parcel Packaging Tips: All You Need to Know


Parcel Packaging Tips: All You Need to Know

With the COVID-19 outbreak, people are pushed to shop online. It’s great for business owners that their business is still growing. While shipping companies also benefit from this, there are also downfalls.

According to Route’s data, there is a 19.1% increase of items that were damaged during delivery in 2020. No one wants to receive damaged items. When they do, customers either blame the seller or the courier company for it. And sometimes, they blame both.

Parcels can be damaged due to plenty of reasons. While this is true, you should still take an extra step to ensure the safety of the item before it is delivered. That’s why we have here some parcel packaging tips to prevent damaging the items during delivery.

Why is Packaging Important? 

Some customers use a parcel delivery box to protect their packages, especially when no one is at home to receive them. You can easily detect these parcel boxes. Usually, they are installed near the owners’ porches, gateposts, or driveways. 

Additionally, these drop boxes are made from steels that are weatherproof. This feature guarantees that the parcels are safe inside. Items can be placed at the top part of the box. Closing the hatch will trigger the parcel to slide down to the cabinet. For extra safety, the cabinet has a safety lock that can only be accessed through a key.

With these delivery boxes, buyers can receive their parcels safely.

But that is to say that every customer doesn’t have a parcel drop box at their homes. When you’re delivering an item, it’s hard to assume you can safely leave the parcel at their doors. Additionally, items for delivery have a long way to go before they get to the customers. You should make sure that there are no damages to the items when they reach the customer.

That’s why good packaging is important. Customers don’t want to receive damaged or incomplete items. When they do, sometimes the courier company takes the blame for it. Bad reviews mean you lose potential clients to avail of your shipping services. Customer satisfaction is a top priority, especially for shipping companies.

Learning how to package the items properly helps in improving the shipping process of the company. It not only makes your customers happy, but it also allows them to continue availing themselves of your services.

What are the Types of Packaging Materials?

Before we discuss parcel packaging tips, it’s important that you know what types of packaging materials are used. Don’t worry, there are only two of them.

External Packaging

Corrugated packaging material is often used for heavy items such as appliances. On the other hand, lightweight items can be put in flyer bags. These bags can only carry products with 4kg of weight and below.

Internal Packaging

Internal packaging is materials that are used to cushion the items inside the box. They provide additional protection for shock absorption. These materials can include bubble wrap, cardboard, airbags, crumpled paper, styrofoam, and foam pellets.

Parcel Packaging: Tips for Couriers

A courier’s job is not only limited to distributing parcels to their respective buyers. Couriers are also expected to deliver the items undamaged and without delays. Because of this, the packaging of items is an essential part of making deliveries.

In order to prevent damages to the products you will deliver, you should consider these packaging tips. These tips also help you provide high-quality service to your customers.

Consider the Hazards of Delivering the Parcels 

Before you wrap the items, you need to consider first the possible scenarios when the parcel is in transit. These hazards are unavoidable. This means that there’s nothing you can do to stop them from happening. What you can do, though, is to prepare for when they happen to prevent damage to the items.

There are numerous factors that can affect the parcels when they are out for delivery. First and foremost, you have to understand that the road is not always smooth. There will be bumps along the way. Because of this, packages tend to collide. And when this happens, punctures, abrasions, and shocks occur. 

For this matter, you should make sure that the internal packaging of the parcels is enough to cushion the items.

Another risk is exposure to different temperatures. When the weather is too hot, remember to use shrink packaging material to combat the heat. This kind of packaging material can withstand 30 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What it does is that when heat is applied to items with shrink packaging, the shrink wrap tightens around the item. This also protects the items from dust and moisture, and some even have UV protection features.

Be Aware of the Items You’re Shipping 

It’s important that you are aware of the kind of item you are going to deliver. Some items such as fragile items require extra care to avoid mishandling them. When you’re packing an item for delivery, be sure to keep in mind the size, weight, and value of the product. 


The weight of the product determines what type of packaging material will be used. You should use a stronger packaging material when you’re wrapping up heavy products. The strength of the box is usually found on the manufacturer’s stamp.

A double or triple-layered corrugated cardboard box can accommodate heavier items. A polyurethane bag, however, can be used to pack lighter products.


77% of customers said in a 2020 survey that the size of boxes relative to the size of the product is important. This is because they wanted to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. That’s why you should measure the exact size of the item before you put it in their respective box.


You should know if the items you’re shipping are of high value. Usually, these products are identified as fragile. You can check in the special instructions if the client indicated the fragility of the items. Shipping high-value products can be tricky and require extra precaution.

When you’re packing fragile items, you can use two boxes for extra protection. One box would fit the item and another larger box that can fit the first box. Also, don’t forget about the internal packaging to cushion the item. This will prevent the items from shifting inside the box, reducing the risk of damaging the items.

Don’t Forget to Fill Empty Spaces Inside the Parcel

Fillers or internal packaging is an important aspect of parcel packaging. When you don’t have enough filler material in your packaging, your items will shift inside the box. This can cause damage to the items. While this is true, overfilling a box can cause it to burst in the middle of delivery.

Manage the right amount of fillers that you put inside the box. When choosing the size of the box to use for the items, don’t forget about the space for the fillers. You should allocate at least 2 inches (5 – 6 cm) of space for the fillers. The type of fillers you can use include:

-Bubble wrap





-Packing peanuts, and


Separate the Items

Items should be packaged separately. When you put multiple items inside a single package, chances are they will bump into each other, damaging both items. That’s why separating them into multiple packages is the best way to prevent this.

Make Sure to Seal the Parcel Properly

Different types of items need different kinds of seals. For example, boxes can be sealed with 2-inch (5cm) tape. Whereas polyurethane bags have their own adhesive tape to seal light items such as T-shirts. 

When you’re using a polyurethane bag, make sure that you have sealed it properly. Sometimes, the tape opens up in the middle of delivery. When this happens, any form of liquid can enter the package and damage the items inside.

On another note, you should avoid using straps and strings. These types of seals can cause compressions, which can damage the product inside the box. 

One of the most common sealing methods is the three-strip sealing method or the H taping method. This type of sealing method keeps the flap on the boxes closed during delivery, which prevents goods from accidentally opening. 

It is a fairly easy step that only requires applying enough strips of tape to the center and edge seams of the box. Don’t forget that heavier items require extra tape to keep their seams tight. 

And, that’s it! The box is secure and ready for transit.


The pandemic may have increased online shoppers, but it also opened up new challenges for shipping companies. One of the challenges is to deliver the packages safely and unharmed. Appropriate packaging is an important part of a courier’s job and should not be taken for granted.

Shipping companies should take the extra mile to overcome these problems. Their main goal, still, is to continue being competitive in the shipping industry despite the recent pandemic.


Cosmetics: To Cope with Booming E-commerce, Manufacturers Deploy Warehouse Robots

The cosmetics industry in France is a major driver of the economy. Despite the drop-off in exports caused by the pandemic, the sector achieved total revenues of over €15.7 billion in 2020 and leads the world with a 24% share of the global cosmetics market. The exceptional circumstances over the past year have had another effect on the industry – they have amplified consumer trends and pre-existing purchasing practices such as personalization, transparency and the boom in online sales. The net effect has been the total disruption of the product mix occasioned by, for example, the surge in demand for natural, healthy products and a fall in the demand for lipstick.

Against this background, in addition to its usual challenges – time to market, the growing demand for personalization and the management of peaks in activity – the cosmetics industry is being compelled to change and adapt its logistics model. Warehouses are having to automate storage and order picking without losing sight of the particular nature of personal care products – high unit values, tight technical specifications, critical shelf life and low individual despatch unit volumes – in order to be fully effective strategic assets, delivering products increasingly quickly and meeting new consumer expectations.

The benefits of Goods-to-Person robotization in meeting new logistics challenges

As new trends coalesce into a dynamic that demands a response, Goods-to-Person robotization – where robots transport shelf units containing goods to operators – is set to revolutionize logistics in the cosmetics industry.

– Given the change in consumer behavior and habits: In response to new consumption trends, today’s cosmetics industry is setting its sights on omnichannel sales and distribution together with digital technology. Consumers are demanding a simplified buying journey in every channel, from next-day delivery by e-commerce sites to click-and-collect, and a smooth item return process for online purchases. In warehouses, this rapid omnichannel delivery is translating into an exponential increase in retail order picking activity, which is both time- and resource-consuming.

Advantages of Goods-to-Person robotization: Besides reducing storage space by up to 30% using mobile shelf units where many products can be economically stored in small quantities, the Goods-to-Person robotics solution guarantees quicker picking of retail orders. It eliminates unnecessary movement and actions by operators to ensure the careful handling of fragile products. The gain in picking productivity can be as much as 40%.

– In this age of hyper-personalization: The other great challenge facing the cosmetics industry is the advent of hyper-personalized cosmetics where the ingredients and packaging are adapted to match consumers’ individual requirements. To this is added a boom in kits that allow consumers to make their own beauty products. The impact of these developments on warehouses is an increase in the range of products to be stored and picked, the need for short or on-demand production runs complying with the regulations on cosmetics (which are particularly demanding in Europe) and the need for personalized packaging combined with adherence to tight delivery times.

Advantages of Goods-to-Person robotization: Goods-to-Person robotization enables small quantities to be picked rapidly and moved seamlessly to areas where orders are personalized in terms of labeling, preparation and/or packaging.

– Ever-increasing trackability and transparency: Another fundamental trend rapidly becoming established in the cosmetics industry is the demand for natural products and the consumers’ need for transparency, reinforced by the Covid-19 crisis. Consumers now want sustainable products, in phase with their concerns, together with all the necessary information on their ingredients, origin and manufacturing process. Their desire to care both for themselves and the environment looks set to continue as “clean” beauty, eco-friendly packaging, short supply circuits and products made in France gain in popularity. Trackability of products in the warehouse is a key factor in meeting the consumer-driven demand for transparency.

Advantages of Goods-to-Person robotization: Scallog’s Goods-to-Person robotics solution makes it possible to optimize locations according to batches, expiry dates, etc., and to ensure flawless trackability throughout the picking process.

– And therefore security: This demand for trackability is linked to that of security. Cosmetics products are recognized for their high monetary value, which increases the risk of theft. Cosmetics manufacturers must mitigate the risk of products “flying away” from warehouses that run a multitude of processes and are often staffed by a high proportion of temporary staff. Any solution that helps to combat theft and shrinkage improves the manufacturer’s margin.

Advantages of Goods-to-Person robotization: The Goods-to-Person system is based on a fully enclosed and secure storage area in which robots operate, moving shelf units. In addition, when picking orders, operators are guided and monitored in everything they do.

– Many triggers that cause peaks in shopping activity: The cosmetics industry today offers consumers many incentives to shop in order to boost its sales. To the traditional festive season, always a time of high shopping activity, are now added promotional offers, Valentine’s Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and similar “special” events that result in booming sales of perfumes and cosmetics over a few days. Warehouses must once again cope with a significant increase in order picking over a short period.

Advantages of Goods-to-Man robotization: Scallog’s Goods-to-Person robotics solution absorbs peaks by smoothing order picking efficiently and cost-effectively. It handles increases in order picking requirements by extending its operating times, only needing limited additional human resources.

A competitive and dynamic sector, the cosmetics industry is having to reinvent itself and its logistics model in response to today’s unusual situation. The main post-Covid-19 challenges, wide-scale sustainability and “naturalness” – natural ingredients with recyclable, zero-waste packaging – all represent sources of growth for the industry. Goods-to-Person robotization can play an important role in maximizing this opportunity as its flexibility, adaptability, productivity and sustainability are guaranteed!


4 Ways Startups Can Boost Sales

As a small business owner, finding ways to increase profit and your audience reach efficiently is key. Entrepreneurs need to understand the sales process and know the ways to manipulate it in their favor. 

Luckily, there are ways that small businesses can generate leads and boost sales on a budget, to grow and achieve business targets. In this article, we look at four ways you can boost sales for your new startup.

Create a detailed content marketing strategy

Developing an engaging content strategy will help you generate leads and also build authority in your industry, whether it’s an informative eBook, regular blog content or user-generated videos or images that can be shared easily. But beyond creating great content, you need to know how and where to distribute that content to ensure it gets seen by a wider audience. 

To get more out of the content you develop, you can find ways to repurpose it for social or email to promote it to new and existing audiences. A blog post, for example, can be turned into graphics for Instagram or made into a video for your YouTube channel.

Having a detailed content marketing strategy that has been designed with distribution in mind will make sure your brand draws the attention of the right customers and directs them back to your business.

Provide convenient payment options

The logistics of accepting card machine payments can be a hurdle for startups, but if you want your business to be a success and increase revenue, you need to provide convenient payment methods for your customers. The payment process for your business needs to be easy to use, so as not to alienate customers, and should also be multifaceted for convenience – you want to capture every sale possible, which requires choice for your audience.

Today, most consumers take it for granted that businesses will offer card payments, whether it’s in-store or online. In fact, the UK is the world’s third most cashless country, so neglecting to offer card payments could negatively impact your bottom line and result in you capturing a smaller percentage of potential sales. Being able to accept card payments is vital in order to avoid risking lost sales. 

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Cultivate a positive reputation

The internet enables us to be more informed than ever before, and this can be both a blessing and a curse for businesses trying to generate sales. Startups have the opportunity to foster a positive brand image and reputation from day one, which can be put to good use in influencing future customers. 

In prioritizing a great customer experience and encouraging customers to leave feedback and reviews, businesses can cultivate a great reputation that will serve them well in terms of sales and customer loyalty. 

There are various ways that small businesses can make a good impression, from asking customers for feedback and then taking appropriate action to improve where necessary, to asking for testimonials when a customer has a positive experience or when their expectations were exceeded. 

Entrepreneurs should take the time to respond to online reviews too, which demonstrates that the business cares about its customers and their experience with the brand. 

As consumers, we rely on reviews and testimonials to forge our own decisions when it comes to making a purchase or using a new service, so in taking the time to cultivate these types of social proof, you can increase the likelihood of bringing new customers to your business. 

Utilize social media

Social media can’t be ignored, for its ability to build a community to the different avenues it provides, and for businesses to reach a wider audience. For startups, however, the main appeal of social media is how cost-effective it is for such big rewards. So many consumers are spending a lot of their time on these channels, so it can be an enormous boost to sales when it’s used correctly. 

Most social media sites have a wealth of data on their users, which businesses can use to get their messaging in front of the right eyes. And while not everyone uses social media to buy, it can be a highly effective way to promote products and services, especially if you can offer giveaways, discounts or special deals to grab your customers’ attention for more sales. 

For startups, developing a social media marketing strategy early on can be a great way of marketing the business on a budget while still enjoying great results. 

Final thoughts

Startups often need to get creative with their strategies in order to keep budgets low while still enjoying growth as a business. Focusing on finding high-impact yet cost-effective methods to build brand awareness, and consequently, sales should be the aim. 

Startups should use a combination of these tips and then analyze how each impacts sales to determine where efforts should be placed for better results in the future. 


Harvey Holloway is a digital marketing specialist, with a 1st class honours degree in Digital Media Design. Harvey is now looking to connect with leading publications and share his experience with a wider audience. Connect with Harvey on Twitter: @HarveyTweetsSEO.



Global Trade: Please quantify the successes Geodis racked up despite the pandemic.

Mike Honious: 2020 was no doubt marked by unimaginable tragedies, challenges, and lasting impact across the globe. From an industry perspective, the pandemic drastically disrupted traditional ways of conducting business as brands overwhelmingly migrated sales from in-person to e-commerce on an accelerated timeline to align with consumer purchasing trends.

We, therefore, saw incredible demand by our customers in 2020 to adapt their logistical operations, shifting the balance from brick and mortar to e-commerce sales. We met the demand by offering a unique suite of e-commerce services to increase visibility across channels, establish agile and flexible distribution networks, optimize IT and software capabilities, and overall help create a seamless customer service experience. This led to a substantial growth period for Geodis during the pandemic. In 2020, Geodis e-commerce orders in the U.S. increased significantly year-over-year. We’re also honored Gartner ranked Geodis in 2020 as one of the top companies with the agility and ability to adapt to customer needs. We believe this flexibility helped our clients succeed during this challenging time.

Global Trade: How did Geodis manage to pull this off when some of your competitors did not?

Mike Honious: Geodis was able to successfully support our customers’ e-commerce efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic because our expertise in this area was well established pre-pandemic. There was no need to scramble and develop services in real time. We had the e-commerce solutions and processes in place. During the pandemic, we simply accelerated and scaled aspects of our e-commerce capabilities so we could best respond to the changing landscape and demand.

Specifically, Geodis e-Commerce Logistics services drastically shorten the click-to-deliver timeline and reach more than 95 percent of U.S. customers within one to two days. This can reduce cost-to-serve by up to 15 percent compared to marketplace models. With the Geodis suite of services, customers can receive a real-time overview of inventory, manage orders across sales channels and determine the most appropriate supply source, delivery method and returns option.

We also offer Geodis MyParcel, which is a cross-border small parcel shipping service from the U.S. to 27 European countries, with guaranteed delivery in four to six days. With our e-commerce services in place pre-pandemic, our agile and scalable approach allowed us to provide reliable, transparent and cost-effective solutions during COVID-19 when brands needed to adapt rapidly.

Global Trade: What did you learn about your company and industry as a whole from the pandemic?

Mike Honious: 2020 was full of challenges, however, it ultimately made our company and industry as a whole more agile, flexible and resilient. E-commerce sales blew past previous projections and did in months what was projected to happen across several years. Because of this, the pandemic forced our industry to challenge previously held beliefs and practices on how to best operate business today.

For Geodis, we accelerated, expanded and adapted services in real time—particularly to support the explosive e-commerce demand. This will radically change how we conduct and approach business into the future as brands increasingly adopt an omnichannel mindset. Above all, I think the underlying learning for Geodis is that we are agile and ready to adjust our operations as needed to help our customers succeed no matter the current environment.

Global Trade: What challenges lie ahead, and how does Geodis plan to overcome them?

Mike Honious: For brands, one of the biggest challenges that lie ahead is predicting how and when customers will return to purchasing in stores and the impact this will have on today’s e-commerce patterns. While many shippers have historically divided their buying decisions, supply chain and fulfillment strategies based on sales channels (which generally provides a lower cost basis when done well), others have embraced omnichannel fulfillment strategies that have proven advantageous during the pandemic. We can’t predict the future, of course, but we can expect the trend toward the omnichannel approach to continue as consumers are likely to adopt a hybrid purchasing pattern of both in-store and online post-pandemic. We will continue to make strategic moves, for example, with advancements to innovative warehouse management systems, providing our customers with the visibility they need to make intelligent decisions and enabling them to deliver products to consumers wherever they are, in store or online.

Additionally, we expect to see pre-pandemic industry challenges persist, such as the labor shortage. Labor availability and rising wage pressure due to the current economic, political and public health challenges need to be addressed appropriately. Geodis in the U.S. is continuing to make investments in automation to manage safety, efficiency and cost-competitiveness in tight labor markets. As the pandemic also showed us, robotics and automation can help provide a defensive strategy to supply chain disruptions caused by the lack of labor availability.


Mike Honious is president and CEO of Geodis in Americas, the U.S. arm of the global 3PL based in France. Geodis in Americas, which is based in Brentwood, Tennessee, and has offices throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America, provides end-to-end supply chain solutions through three key business lines: Contract Logistics, Supply Chain Optimization and Freight Forwarding.


7 Things You Should Do to Build a Successful Business

The idea of starting a company is appealing to many people. It makes sense not to be tied to a 9 to 5 job and be your boss. However, it takes a lot to start and grow a business to success. There are, however, many components that must be put together for the success of the company. For instance, you need to get the right team, establish your goals, seek finance, among many others.

This article will educate you on critical things you must do to put your business on the right path for success as you start your business.

1. Have a Strategy to Achieve Your Goals

One important thing to do after deciding to start a business is to have a goal. This will be like the compass of your business that will give you a focus. It is not only about financial resources but human resources and others.

You need a strategy on how to reach your target and the channels that will make that happen. One also needs to contemplate how to make customers loyal to you.

Your approach to financing also matters. You need a cost plan which involves the kind of cost you intend to face. It also requires financing possibilities alongside a plan to cover expenses and make a profit. If you set up a limited company, think about the implication on finance.

2. Stand out from the competition.

Already established businesses all have their strong reputation, brand names, and more. This makes it essential to have something that makes you different in a good way compared to similar businesses. On starting your business, you must prove yourself without the advantage of reputation that other brands enjoy.

As a result, you need to have something that gets you ahead of the crowd, unique to your business strictly. It could be a bonus, new product, which could be the point of attraction to customers. This can serve as a selling point that will attract potential customers.

3. Have Strong Network

New and exciting business opportunities do not simply appear on a platter of gold. One needs to put in effort in terms of networking. Using your current contacts, you can reach out to new ones and strengthen your network.

Social media is an excellent place to start and meet new people. You can consider joining groups and courses that relate to your niche. Also, consider trade shows, workshops, and seminars as it presents opportunities to meet industry leaders and influencers in your field.

Even if you cannot attend such events, have a representative that can promote your business. Networking is a reliable tool to get the lead your business needs.

4. Encourage Recommendations

One of the best ways to market your business is via recommendation or positive reviews. This only happens if you have a good product that has worked for others. A lot of people rely heavily on positive reviews before making their purchasing decision.

However, you will hardly have a recommendation if you are not offering a good product. If your product is of low quality, you will lose customers, which will negatively dent your business.

5. Get the Right People

Running a business is hard work, and you need all the help you can get. This makes it essential to surround yourself with the right set of people.  Moreover, this is not about the workforce alone because you need mentors, advisers, and strategic partners to help during the growth process. With the right people, accomplishing your goal will be easy.

The right team will help transform your business. With the right workforce that shares the same goal with you, meeting your target will not be an issue. This involves having positive corporate culture by building an environment where everyone takes part and contributes their quota for the greater good.

Also, make sure to encourage and motivate your team over time. This comes down to reasonable compensation, bonus, and other sources of motivation. You also need to invest in training your workers and getting them updated on the latest ways of doing things.

6. Have Good Records

A detailed accounting system and good records are essential to the success of your business. It will help with many things like getting funds, paying taxes, etc. Furthermore, it is in your best interest to have good records as they will come in handy in many areas. No matter how busy the business is, good record keeping and accounting systems need to be prioritized.

You need not be experienced in accounting and bookkeeping as you can hire people with such skills. Majorly, you will need a tax accountant or tax attorney who will handle your taxes; a bookkeeper who will log your invoices and expenses and keep records. Make sure to employ the cloud storage system as it will come in handy at essential business stages.

No one prays to have an IRS audit, but in such a case, an immaculate business record can be a lifesaver.  This includes records of receipts, transactions, invoices, etc., as the IRS will want to check such during the audit.

7. Have a Good work Life Balance

One of the menaces plaguing our world today is stress. It is the precursor for other health issues like high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, menstrual problems, etc. This makes it essential to prioritize an optimum work-life balance. There is a reason many companies give vacation to their workers. It provides them with time to relax, recharge, connect with their family and be better equipped for work. This means that working continuously without a break or a timeout can even be counter-productive.

No matter how busy you are, make sure to separate work from personal life. It can be the difference between your failure and success. Make sure not to give in to burn out through working excessively. Make sure not to wait till you see signs of stress before you take a step back. Avoid bringing your work home, and draw the line if you work from home. It is essential not to sacrifice rest and take every opportunity to get it.


There are many things you need to put in place to run a business successfully. However, these seven points can give you a head start on positioning your business for success.



E-commerce sales are growing at a rate of 13 percent year over year. In 2019 alone, the worldwide e-commerce sales were 18 percent higher. Competition in e-commerce is cutthroat. In order to stay relevant, you need to constantly upgrade your e-commerce platform. 

When you choose the right e-commerce platform, it instantly catapults your customer engagement rates, slashes down the operation costs and boosts your sales revenue. An important factor to consider is the ease of adoption. So effectively when you are shopping for the best e-commerce platform ask yourself: Can this software get you on the fastest lane to massive sales figures?

What follows are the 10 best e-commerce platforms, although even the best of the best can have issues, so we also list the pros and cons of each.

Shopify: Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, offering users an easy-to-use space to manage their online business. Their admin panel allows you to easily manage all functions–from payments and marketing to shipping and customer engagements. It is one of the most widely used platforms because of its ease and comfort it provides. As per a report in 2019, Shopify has more than 100,000 registered businesses in approximately 175 countries. 


1. Easy to set up and use

2. Highly secure and reliable

3. Incredible customer support team

4. Fantastic marketing tools available


1. The monthly platform fee is quite high.

2. There are several other charges like credit card fees, transaction fee and add-on fees which make using Shopify a bit expensive for businesses.

BigCommerce: BigCommerce is a popular shopping cart software that is used by a large number of businesses to run their online stores. There are many incredible features that help these companies engage their customers well. The reliability and flexibility that this platform offers are unparalleled. It is best suited for those businesses that are looking for rapid expansion and a significant boost in sales. 


1. Advanced SEO tools

2. Allows sale across multiple platforms

3. Enables you to build mobile-friendly stores

4. Manage all payments, returns and other customer engagements easily


1. Advanced features add layers of complexity for first-time users

2. Delay in the time taken to go-live

Magento: Choosing the right e-commerce platform to build your business can be a tough decision but it’s highly relevant! Magento offers the business owners full control over the look, content and functionality of their online store. It is built on an open-source technology that is being used by more than 240,000 businesses around the world. It allows secure scaling options even to those shops that have limited product options. Magento is meant for those who aren’t app developers and want to use software that is not too complex. 


1. It’s a spacious and robust platform that can handle almost 500,000 products on one site and easily manage up to 80,000 orders per hour

2. Third-party integrations with platforms like PayPal, eBay, mail chimp, etc. are very easy

3. Versatile plug-in options can be used at highly cost-effective prices

4. Provides more than 50 payment gateway options


1. Consumes ample disk space while running, hence not suitable if you do not have a robust hardware

2. Works slower than other e-commerce platforms

3D Cart: 3D cart is a robust platform designed to help online businesses thrive in this highly competitive market. It was created to gather all the online companies under one roof, and as of now, they have been able to attract more than 17,000 users on their platform. This is ideal for mid-tier startup businesses. This highly versatile platform allows you to create and operate your online store and manage all your customers effortlessly.


1. There are no transaction fees which makes this platform highly cost-effective

2. It offers a wide variety of built-in marketing tools to help businesses grow

3. The platform is highly versatile

4. There is unlimited storage available


1. There are a lot of features and exploring them requires prior knowledge and experience

2. The customer service team is moderate

OpenCart: OpenCart offers a complete solution to all e-commerce businesses to build and manage their online stores effortlessly. It’s a free platform that provides all the functionality that you need for operating your online store. It’s very simple to learn and the interface it offers is highly user-friendly. In order to start using OpenCart, all you need to do is download the software from their website. The costs involved would be of the hosting plan that you choose and the domain name that you would purchase. Also, there are certain templates and features which come with a price tag. With OpenCart, you can take your business to greater heights effortlessly. 


1. Provides extensive reports about your business; available in easy to interpret formats

2. It is compatible with all payment gateways

3. Highly cost-effective platform

4. Many shipping mode options available for you to use


1. SEO customization requires specialized knowledge as the OpenCart platform creates multiple duplicate pages

2. As per customer experiences, the checkout process is comparatively slower

Big Cartel: Big Cartel is a website builder tool that allows small merchants having a fewer number of products to build a website to sell their items online. This platform is targeted toward artists, photographers, content creators, etc. who do not aim to reach millions of people but are limited to maybe hundreds.

The plans offered are Gold, the free base pack, Platinum for $9.99 per month, Diamond for $19.99 per month and Titanium for $29.99 per month.


1. The base pack offered is free, which allows the users to sell up to five items without paying anything

2. The website does not charge any commission on sales

3. The plans are economical

4. The user interface is not very complicated


1. Does not offer a lot of options in terms of themes and customizations

2. The base pack does not allow customization of templates

WooCommerce: WooCommerce for WordPress is an open-source e-commerce plugin. It is the most commonly used for creating a website since it offers around 330 extensions and more than 1,000 plugins. As per the reports for the year 2018, WooCommerce has more than 39 million downloads and is being used in by over 3 million websites worldwide. The themes provided by WooCommerce are being sold by other third party websites, too. Themeforest, and Mojo Themes respectively use 1135, 548 and 240 themes created by WooCommerce.


1. Being an open-source plugin, it can be used by anyone without paying any fee

2. It offers detailed order tracking and customer engagement tools, which gives it a professional touch

3. It is updated on a regular basis; thus, compatibility and security are not issues

4. It offers various customizations that can be used to make your websites stand out


1. Though the plugin is free, users might have to pay for using a specific set of themes

2. Since it is a plugin and not an entire platform, users first need to have some prior knowledge about the functioning of WordPress

Squarespace: Squarespace is a service provider that provides software as a service for building websites. It offers facilities such as pre-build website templates and drag and drop widgets, which enhances users’ ease and comfort. Squarespace rapidly grew from one employee in 2003 to raise a venture capital of $78.5 million in 2014. As of 2016, it hosts more than 1 million websites. It offers four types of plans which are: 

-Personal Plan for $12 per month.

-Business Plan for $18 per month.

-Basic Plan for $26 per month.

-Advanced Plan for $40 per month


1. It offers a variety of templates to the users, and these are both professional and beautiful

2. Being an all in one platform every plugin, template, etc. is wholly owned by Squarespace; thus compatibility isn’t an issue

3. It offers speed along with safety if the website of any of their user is hacked, it is Squarespace’s responsibility

4. They also offer 24/7 customer support through live chats


1. Though the customer support is provided 24/7, it can only be used via text as there is no phone support offered

2. Other than the export of data and blog data, it does not provide any other backup feature

PrestaShop: PrestaShop is a French company that provides open-source e-commerce solutions worldwide. It has more than 300,000 users and is available in more than 60 languages. It offers more than 300 built-in features for managing payments, shipping, etc. PrestaShop Cloud was launched in January 2015 as a free self-hosted version of the software. It received the Acteurs du Libre International Award in the 2019. Though the basic plugin is open source, it has support plans which are paid—starting $33.25 per month as the basic plan and $116.58 per month as the deluxe plan.


1. PrestaShop takes very little space, i.e. around 6 mbs, so it is easier and quicker to install

2. It provides a lot of flexibility in terms of customizations and addition or deletion of features

3. It uses secure payment gateways like Google Checkout and PayPal 

4. It is budget-friendly as the base plan is free


1. It is aimed at low budget stores only and hence lacks the finesse

2. Scalability options are limited 

EKM: Formerly known as Powershop, EKM is a company based in the UK that helps a user build an online store. EKM reduces the efforts of coding, web developing, etc. and provides user assistance at every step of website creation to ensure that the users are never stuck at any point. EKM is used by more than 5,400 websites, with more than 1,700 of those in the UK. The base plan for EKM starts at $29.99 per month.


1. EKM claims up to 99.99 percent uptime, i.e. the servers are rarely down; thus, the customers never feel disappointed

2. It provides online retailers with facilities such as live chat

3. Facilities such as free domain names are made available to the users

4.  A dedicated account manager is provided to every user


1. No free trial or free base plan is offered

2. They charge a substantial amount of around 20 percent as VAT in each of their monthly plans

______________________________________________________________’s mission is to share the benefits of its homegrown shipping invoice audit process technology with shippers across the globe. “We believe in helping businesses focus on scaling their operations,” says, “while we dedicatedly work toward optimizing their shipping expenditure through automated audits.”

ecommerce edesk subscription retailers

How to Optimize your Ecommerce Store for the Covid-19 Pandemic

Business owners will remember the year 2020 as a struggling and challenging year, especially for brick-and-mortar shops. The recent pandemic taught merchants to adapt to the consumers’ change in lifestyle, following the strict health and safety protocols imposed by different institutions. The recent Salesforce survey tells us that around 36% of shoppers say they will not return to brick-and-mortar shops unless a vaccine is already available. With the widespread and prolonged lockdowns all over the world, merchants have embraced the eCommerce platform to keep their businesses alive.

Pinnacle Cart has created an infographic to help business owners make sound business decisions and keep up with this crisis.

This information originally appeared on PinnacleCart. Republished with permission. 


The Future of Retail – Is It Touchless?

Covid has made all of us more aware of what we touch in public spaces. And, as health concerns over Covid have now been with us for many months, new behaviors have become ingrained habits that are probably here to stay.

It’s no use trying to swim against this tide. Every retailer must take a fresh look at how their customers prefer to shop and make it easy for them to do so. Or they will risk losing their customers to competitors who give them what they want.

For most businesses that means an increasingly digital and multi-channel operation.

Pure play digital retailers have had the advantage in our new Covid world. They offer the ultimate touch-free solution and have established fulfillment routes, although some have struggled to cope with huge volume increases. High sales during the pandemic period have helped Amazon double their net profit this year to $5.2 billion and the recent Quarter 2 sales have been higher than the Christmas quarter of 2019.

Most digital-only retailers consider their biggest challenge to be the “final mile”, as it represents the most expensive and complex part of their process. If you turn this view on its head and look from the customer perspective, the biggest issue with online shopping is the first mile of the returns process. Whether you’ve got to go to a parcel office or designated drop off point, it’s just not as easy as ordering your items. Smart retailers are increasingly offering a returns pickup service. Physical retailers have the advantage of stores that create the opportunity for a convenient returns process for their customers and the possibility of an extra sale from the additional footfall for the retailer.

However, retailers that started with physical stores tend to be on the back foot when it comes to touchless and digital customer journeys. Some physical retailers have buried their heads in the sand and hoped the fad for touchless would pass over. These businesses are now struggling to remain viable as online research and purchase is an increasingly attractive customer proposition. Most store-based businesses offer a touchless route, however, yet only the sharpest have a truly integrated operation that allows customers to seamlessly move between multiple channels; whether instore, online, or via a call center.

So where should retailers focus to align themselves with entrenched touchless trends?

1. Payment instore is moving away from the system of customers queuing to pay a colleague at a till. The use of contactless cards, rather than chip and pin or cash, has become customers’ preferred option. It saves operational time instore as the payment itself is quicker and it reduces time spent handling hard cash.

But the real transformation in payment has been because of technology that helps skip the line altogether. Self-checkout tills have been around for years and are now being superseded by customer apps that enable self-scan and payment from your own device or a handset. Retailers are now juggling with a mix of payment methods that require new instore furniture, a revised front-end layout and different colleague cover models. The customer experience you deliver during payment creates a lasting impression that will influence where the customer chooses to shop in the future.

2. Digital fulfillment via stores, whether kerbside collection or picking up a Click and Collect parcel instore, is a moment of truth that really matters to busy customers expecting an efficient experience. It took me 45 minutes to retrieve my grocery order by kerbside collection at one store, and I couldn’t just drive away as I had already paid for my shopping. The store’s errors were not having enough colleagues to match the number of booked pickups and the collection point being a long way from their storage bay, so it took ages to wheel the order over. They sound easy to avoid, yet these seemingly simple to solve problems happen more often than you’d hope. Follow the simple rules of match your resource to the order numbers, keep the storage and collection points close to minimize travel time, and make sure your colleagues are trained on your process and you’ll drive both online and instore sales

3. Map all your customer journeys and make sure there aren’t any missing. For returns, for example, does the customer have multiple options or are you restricting them to just returning to one physical location? Many retailers have realized they need new customer journeys and Covid has spurred them on to make changes in weeks that were previously under consideration for months and even years. Don’t get left behind because there will always be a competitor willing to look after your customers better than you do.

4. Review every stage of every journey and check it is smooth for your customers and as efficient as possible for your operation. It is likely that you will have work to do to integrate your physical and digital routes, which is a driver for digital investment. KPMG’s research over the pandemic period for its Enterprise Reboot report found that 59% of executives say the pandemic has created the impetus to accelerate their digital transformation.

5. If you invest in technology to help your touchless journey, whether that is new kiosk payment or RFID stock systems to reduce counts instore and help you publish accurate stock numbers to customers shopping online, make sure you consider how your operating model needs to flex to accommodate the technology. For example, adding self-checkout tills reduces the cover needed on traditional tills, yet you must decide the model you will use to support customers at self-checkout tills when they need help. Dodgy scales, systems that can’t cope with coupons and difficult to use customer interfaces all drive increased requirement for colleague interventions and annoy customers. Consider too, how you target and incentivize your store teams to make sure they drive the right behaviors. If helping a customer with an online order doesn’t help towards a team’s sales target or returns are netted off the daily sales total, the store team is unlikely to go out of their way to make things easy for the customer.

Touchless retail is already here. How you adapt to it and evolve your operation as customer habits and preferences continue to change will determine how successful you are.


Article by Simon Hedaux, founder and CEO of Rethink Productivity, a world leading productivity partner which helps businesses to drive efficiency, boost productivity and optimise budgets. For more information see