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The internet has had an major effect on our lives and one of the biggest impacts it has had is on our buying habits and how we are buying our goods.

Never have we had a wider selection of products to browse from and buy, and all this is accessible in the comfort of our own home. And whereas the home computer contributed in a major way in the trend for moving retailing from bricks and mortar to 24 hour online accessibility, smartphones have taken it a step further by allowing consumers to now buy on the go.

Smartphones have also helped in resolving issues associated with buying online such as being able to try before buying. A trend noted by retail experts is that now consumers interestingly use their smartphones to find items, assess it in the shop and then find the best deal online. The capability to easily return items has also helped in pushing sales online, particularly for online clothing retailers.

For businesses, retailing online has created challenging but exciting shifts in consumer buying behaviour that require adapting to. With its convenience, undoubtedly there is already a large segment of the market who favour buying online and businesses that operate exclusively online have thrived from this. Traditional businesses have identified this lucrative trend, and many now are implementing major internal changes to improve their online presence or enhance their multi-channel bricks-and-clicks functionality.

According to a July 2016 article by The Telegraph, it reported figures from the Office for National Statistics that for consumers that spent money online, it was with companies that existed purely online with no physical presence, such as Amazon and ASOS.

With mind boggling figures such as Amazon’s net sales being $136.0 billion for 2016, it is no surprise to see more businesses choose to invest and focus on operating online.

A key e-commerce process is the capability to effectively process orders and deliver products to consumers in the best time and cost efficient way. This should be one of the highest priorities to build a loyal customer base and for this, there is one very simple product that should be used by all e-commerce businesses – integrated labels. 

How can integrated labels help save you time and money?

For many businesses that run an online presence or are part of the online process such as fulfilment houses, integrated labels are critical to their operations so the process of receiving and delivering orders is streamlined and coordinated.

A integrated label is a adhesive label incorporated on either the bottom or top of a A4 sheet of paper. Many manufacturers of integrated labels offer bespoke options to tailor them to match a customer’s needs such as making them larger depending on the amount of details required to be on them. The number of integrated labels on the sheet of paper can also be more than one (a single integrated label). Commonly there is the option to go up to 2 labels (double integrated labels) or 3 labels (triple integrated labels).

Using the version of having one integrated label, for e-commerce businesses this frequently is used as a picking slip or an order invoice. The label is often used as the shipping label. Whereas previously these would have been created separately, in integrating them together into one entity, it has saved you money and time straight away.

As the shipping label comes encompassed with the sheet of paper, a regular printer can be used. In not requiring to purchase or use a separate label printer to print the shipping label, there is a cost here that is saved.

Time and efficiency is also gained because in not having to print these separately and keeping them together it significantly reduces the risk of errors being made in matching orders to customer delivery addresses. Without the need to match picking slips to shipping labels, a much more fluent and organised process has been established in fulfilling customer orders.

Using the double integrated label version, delivers for a e-commerce additional money and time saving benefits.

There is still a fair share of the population that prefer not to buy online. As has already been mentioned, one of the main obstacles in convincing these is that buying online does not offer the capability to physically touch, try and test a product before buying.

To overcome and alleviate this, online retailers have stepped up their efforts in making the process of returning products as simple (and in some cases free of charge) as possible.

With double integrated labels, e-commerce businesses have used and provided the second label as a return label for the customer which has simplified the return process for customers should they wish to send the product back.

Such inclusions are simple yet effective in enhancing the online shopping experience for a customer as it allows for them to buy and try. In doing this, this will help in gaining more customers who would be willing to buy online.

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