Making Your Products Retail-ready

preparing products for retail

The fight for eyeballs has today's product makers elevating their collective packaging game, all efforts combining to establish a new standard of retail presentation.

When given the opportunity to put their wares on shelves, makers are pushed more than ever to distinguish themselves with a fresh and appealing retail brand. But when you're designing a product's packaging and shelf appearance, and if you're selling enough, developing your retail brand at scale can become a serious challenge.

But, when your numbers grow, there is a fair assumption that a level of complexity and incongruent cost comes along with the increase in packaging volume. But, this is only true if you're infrastructure is underdeveloped, or your team is unprepared. Businesses don't have to struggle to assemble packaging at scale, especially when trusted outsourcing partners are available for periods of planned growth.  

  Each assembly effort has its own flow. We find success by breaking down the problem before providing a solution.   via

Each assembly effort has its own flow. We find success by breaking down the problem before providing a solution.



For sophisticated logistics teams, the labor involved with kitting, assembly, packaging and retail preparation is a known quantity. The prices can be low, the response can be quick. Successfully outsourcing retail prep work means putting your raw materials in the hands of proven performers. At SP Express, each of our 6 U.S. facilities has kitting and assembly capabilities, including over 30,000 square feet of dedicated space in our Virginia and California distribution centers. 

We have found that allocating space for specialized product handling is crucial to pre-fulfillment efforts, and it makes easier the process of determining how best to meet your retail partners' labeling and distribution demands. 

Consumer Response

Even the most seasoned of consumers will experience a jolt of pleasure when they see a well-executed package sitting on the shelf. For today's makers, however, the journey to consistently deliver that experience can be fraught with peril.  It’s impossible to control package handling once it leaves your manufacturing facility and enters transit, and if the box is damaged, looks worn, or seems cheap when it arrives, it can dampen the consumer's enthusiasm before she’s even had time to savor it.

Fortunately, though you can't control package handling during transit, you can control how your package weathers potentially rough handling. Ask your order fulfillment company to work with you to design a package that will look great both before and after shipping.

Also consider these key elements of your retail distribution:

1.    Fluting. To maintain a trim appearance without losing strength, some boxes can be manufactured with grooves in the cardboard called fluting. Thick fluting can indicate a high quality box that will stand up under abuse. Consult with your fulfillment team to determine an appropriate quantity of fluting for your packaging.

2.    Closure. How the box is secured prior to shipping significantly impacts how the package will fare during transit. Ask your fulfillment team to demonstrate how they control the quality, strength, and efficacy of their taping and other box closures.

3.    Recycled material. Many companies that focus on a natural, organic, or health-related product line choose recycled packaging materials to support their market’s desire for sustainable options. It’s important to understand that some recycled materials can be less durable than equivalent new materials. If you opt for recycled materials, ask your fulfillment company to select high quality packaging that will provide comparable durability to the new material options.