Summertime brings visitors and vacationers to your store, and sometimes these customers ask to have purchases shipped back home. Don’t lose valuable revenue because you don’t ship. Here are some essential items you should have stocked for shipping:

Boxes (of various sizes) – Boxes are an indispensable component for many shipping orders. Chances are, your retail store carries products of all shapes and sizes, and so you should purchase boxes of all sizes ahead of time. Pay careful attention to the odd-shaped inventory, so you can purchase specialty boxes.

Protective padding – If any of the products you sell are fragile, you may have customers asking to ship them to avoid having to carry them while traveling. Know how to be sure breakable items survive cross-country trips. Ship a sample to yourself to simulate how the package will look when it arrives at the customer’s location. Items should be properly protected, not over-wrapped. Bubble wrap, packing peanuts or good, old-fashioned tissue paper may suffice, depending on the item.

Packing tape – Of course, no amount of protective padding will ever protect a shipment if the box isn’t sealed shut. Once you’ve stuffed your specially-sized box with carefully-chosen protective padding, be sure you securely fasten your box with packing tape. The easiest and quickest way is to have the tape loaded on a tape roller or “gun” so that it can be easily cut off without too much stickiness or wrinkling.

Protective Padding

Mailing labels – How can you send something through the mail without a clearly-written address? You can’t. Mailing labels are a must-have as you get ready for summer shipping, along with water-proof, run-proof pens.

Scale – Have a small scale available to weigh packages. If you do a lot of shipping, it may be prudent to invest in a postage meter machine that allows you to weigh packages and apply the accurate amount of postage. This way, your packages can be picked up daily by the USPS.

Shipping Racks/Package OrganizersDon’t forget what happens between the customer paying for the item and you shipping it. The item needs to be stored someplace. A special cubby next to the cash register or a special vertical shelving piece in the storage room can easily be a temporary home for these items until you get to the point when you can get them out the door. Finally, a rack or organizer with all of your shipping supplies handy in one spot will be the most convenient configuration to make this process easy!

For store visitors who are vacationing, shipping is a much-appreciated service. It’s one less thing they have to pack in their already over-stuffed suitcase, and it will get there in one piece! Offering free shipping may be the difference between a “yes” or “no” purchasing experience. In addition, providing shipping may also help customers who are worried about baggage fees on airline flights.

Call Mid-Atlantic Store Fixtures if you need help or suggestions for getting your store summer-ready.