ECommerce businesses have very few physical touch points with their consumers. In fact, the only real physical touchpoint is the shipped package.
This is why shipping for eCommerce is so important.
fCompanies such as Apple, which reportedly has a secret “packaging room”, where hundreds of possible package designs are tested to make sure the consumer’s experience is as good as it can be, show just how much of an effect branded packaging can have.
Their packaging is sleek, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. It reflects the company’s brand and makes sure that consumers get excited when their parcel arrives.
And it works. The proof: we now live in an era where “un-boxing” videos (clips of people unwrapping their parcels) get millions of views!
The popularity of such videos is due to the thrill many consumers feel when they receive a great package – with many even willing to attempt to recreate that thrill vicariously on YouTube.
Still, many eCommerce stores are yet to make the most of this incredible branding opportunity. They may have a great website, lively and active social media channels, fantastic customer service, and the rest, but if their packaging is drab and underwhelming, consumers just won’t get as excited as they could do when the postman delivers their parcel.
Excited customers are the best customers.
They’re likely to leave positive reviews, tell their friends just how great you are, and use you again and again. So make sure you don’t miss out on this great opportunity to delight yours.
A branded packaging experience encompasses packaging and shipping considerations, as well as the presentation of your product. The desired end-result is a memorable and sharable experience for the consumer. And, the more effort you put into your packaging, the more excited your customers are likely to get.
So, what makes for a great branded packaging experience?
Perhaps the most important consideration when it comes to shipping for eCommerce, the box you choose needs to be practical – an appropriate size, shape, and strength – as well as pleasant to look at.
A lot of companies opt for the classic brown or white corrugated box. Some, especially tech and homeware companies, print bright graphics on the sides (often simply pictures of the product as well as the company name and logo). However, this can be expensive, and smaller eCommerce stores conscious of their packaging often opt for something less gaudy and more subtle (which also happens to be cheaper).
FormularyFiftyFive, for example, delivers their soup product in this tasteful brown-paper wrapped box. It’s a great example of how often less is more.
There’s no better way of making your customers feel special than by handwriting a note and putting it in with your product. Of course, this is only really feasible for smaller eCommerce stores (and imitations – “personal” messages printed in a handwritten font – may even have the opposite effect).
The note option is good for startups or companies which don’t process a high volume of sales (and for that reason likely sell expensive goods). You can write a simple thank you, an inspirational quote, or even a little poem or haiku.
The fact is, your customer will appreciate that fact you’re going the extra mile.
Clear tape isn’t your only option nowadays. There are coloured and patterned tapes, and even custom tapes, that can really complement your existing branding.
Just make sure that the tape you use if of a high quality – the most important thing is that your parcel arrives on time and is uncompromised.
People like free stuff, and including a few little freebies can really improve your customer’s unboxing experience. It could be a few stickers with your logo on, a small relatively cheap product from another line, or a gift voucher. Whatever it is, try to make sure that it either complements the product that your customer has purchased – e.g. if they bought bubble bath, perhaps include a sponge – or furthers your existing branding efforts.
Some products may need extra protection during transit. If you’re shipping a particularly valuable product or a product with an awkward size or shape that’s likely to move about during shipping, you may want to consider filler.
Traditional fillers include Styrofoam, foam inserts, air pillows, or bubble wrap. But these options, though each great in their own way, have largely been designed from a purely function point of view. The result: they’re relatively common and just not that attractive. Features that aren’t likely to excite your customers.
Luckily, some prettier alternatives exist, such as crinkle paper and excelsior. Or, if your product only needs a little protection, wrapping it in a few layers of custom-printed or colourful tissue paper may be a plausible option.
When it comes to shipping for eCommerce, it’s good practice to include a receipt in with your shipments. But there’s nothing that says your receipt has to be a boring piece of white paper stuffed down the side of the box.
Placing your receipt in an envelope, or printing it on coloured or branded paper, may make a real difference. You can also experiment with different fonts and text colours, or could even handwrite them. It’s up to you.
ECommerce is competitive. And those operating in the industry should be trying to differentiate themselves in any way possible.
Branded packaging is a great way for ecommerce stores to do this. And, because smaller stores can capitalise on the benefits of personalisation and customised packaging material, branded packaging is a great place them to focus their efforts.
We hope we’ve shown you why branded packaging is important, and given you a few ideas about how to make your own packaging even better.
Of course, if you’ve gone to a lot of effort branding your packaging, you don’t want that work to go to waste by choosing a poor quality courier. As an aggregator of couriers, we can make sure you parcels are delivered in the most appropriate way, by a great company, and for the best price
Are you branding your packaging? If so, let us know what you’re doing with a comment. And tell us what your top tips are.