Packing slips are one of the most underrated and overlooked pieces of the eCommerce puzzle. Business owners often forget that they are an essential part of the process – but they shouldn’t! Packing slips provide a number of benefits for both the business and the customer, so it’s important to make sure that you are using them correctly. In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at what packing slips are, why they’re important, and how you can use them in your own
What are Packing Slips?
The packing slip is a document that includes the complete list of items packed into a delivered package. The packing slip has details of all the items ordered by the customer so that it is easy to fulfill an order from the inventory. For example, the packing slip includes the number of units of an item to be packed into a package. It also consists of the SKU number, weight, and other dimensions of the items so that packaging occurs accurately. Moreover, this ensures that the package includes the right items ordered by the customer. The packing slip also helps the customer recheck the list of things in the box.
The packing slip is a bit different in its purpose from the traditional invoice. The packing slip vs. invoice differs in terms of financial details. While a packing slip includes the units and other physical attributes of the items in a package, the invoice consists of the financial information of the items packed into a shipment. For example, the invoice includes each item's payment amount and mode.
The invoice goes to the buyer, and the packing slip goes to the receiver. If you send a gift to someone, the invoice goes to you, and the packing slip goes to the receiver. Therefore, invoice and packing slip. Mainly, eCommerce purchases include both invoices and packing slips for self-made orders. Thus, if you order something for yourself and put the billing and sender's address as one, the packing slip and invoice go into the same package.
Benefits Of Packing Slips In The eCommerce Business
Even though many businesses are getting rid of the packing slips, these papers link the physical dimension with the digital aspect of eCommerce businesses. Now that we know what are packing slips, here's how packing slips continue to serve the eCommerce business-
Ensures the accuracy of the order
The inclusion of the packing slip inside the box ensures that the package includes all the right items. The packer takes the packing slip and matches everything according to the list. This helps verify the suitable units of an item, the correct sizes, and the right quantity of items in an order. Once the verified things go into the box, does the packing slip go inside? Only after this, the package is sealed and sent out for shipping.
Helps in the tracking of the items
Often, an order includes many products that different seller warehouses send out. In fact, because of this, the ordered shipment of items is split into separate packages. Additional items are sent to the same customer in other boxes. A packing slip helps the seller keep track of the total items and increases the organization level of the order. The packing slip also allows the customer to stay informed about the number of items in the entire order and each box.
Identify the damaged items
In the process of shipping, certain items suffer damage and breakage. When the shipping process goes through a long stage of transit, damage is possible. The packing slip in the package states all the items' SKU numbers and other details. Thus, the packing slip helps in quickly identifying the damaged good. It enables the customer to determine the damaged goods and relay them to the seller. The packing slip allows a customer to furnish physical proof and details of the damaged item so that the refund process goes on smoothly.
Helps in value estimation
When the customer looks at the packing slip, he can recall the items he has ordered. On the other hand, he can also estimate the value of the items together. This helps the customer in ensuring proper payment for the package. If there are multiple packages to receive, the packing slip helps recall and segregate payment details of each box.
The packing slip might have become a less significant part of the digital era, but it still has its place. It is an important document for packaging, shipping, tracking and delivery as well as post-delivery communication between seller and buyer. Even eCommerce businesses who sell physical goods continue to create packing slips or invoices with their products in mind despite the fact they are not needed when customers purchase online.