In 2017, consumers spent a whopping $453 billion on the web.
That’s 13% of total retail sales. Suffice it to say, packages are being dropped off on front porches at an astonishing rate.
As a retailer, you want your product packages to stand out and get noticed.
A boring brown box isn’t going to cut it anymore. With all of the competition out there, customers are taking notice of something that used to be considered a mundane practicality—the packaging of products.
With an online order, your customers have fewer opportunities than in a physical store to interact with your brand, product, and service. So, you really have to impress with your shipping box and all the added elements inside.
It boils down to your customers wanting an experience that makes them feel special.
So inject a little glamour, some mystery, or maybe some irreverent humor into your packaging. The key is to make it a memorable unboxing experience for your customers.
Here are 7 ways to get your packaging noticed:
Simple as it sounds, it really does all start with the box.
Your shipping box is not just a way to get your merchandise to your customer, but it’s a way to promote your overall brand experience. Do it right and your customers will take notice.
Begin with the outer packaging. Your shipping box is your workhorse – It has a practical purpose and needs to be sturdy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with it. Try using the sides of your box to add some eye-catching graphics or clever copy.
There are plenty of options when it comes to customizing your packaging. I’ve written a step-by-step guide to custom boxes and branded packaging, so go read that article for more details on getting started. I’ll keep it brief here.
You can digitally print your design or logo directly on the box, or you can choose less expensive options too. Options include custom stamps, where you can add your logo or other style elements to any size box, or roller stamps that make it look like your box is covered in ribbons.
No matter what business you’re in – whether you’re selling high-end cosmetics, computer parts, kid’s apparel, or discount mattresses – you want people to remember your brand. Branded packaging is a great way to reinforce your brand image.
There are many options to include your logo, at all price points. Logo-printing options include simple logo placement on one side, or a design covering all sides, like Trunk Club uses for their packaging. You can go with custom retail boxes, stickers, ribbons, gloss, custom tape and much more.
The point is to get your brand front and center.
It depends on what you’re selling, but you want to tailor the overall shopping experience to your ideal customer. Figure out who your ideal customer is, by asking yourself questions like:
You want to try to replicate a real-life shopping experience with your packaging. No matter if it’s a ten dollar order, or one worth several thousand dollars, you want to make it feel personal.
A recent study by Epsilon, found that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer a personal experience. Some people may expect a little pampering when they interact with a brand.
Take a store like Design Within Reach, for example, which is a high-end modern furniture store. When I recently visited their showroom, I was offered a bottle of water as I entered. This is a store that sells $6,000 tables (something I’m not in the market for, but they don’t know that). The bottle of water probably cost less than a quarter, but this small gesture made me feel welcomed and encouraged me to take my time exploring their store.
Now obviously, you’re not going to send your customers a bottle of water with their online order, but you can still make them feel acknowledged.
It’s important to include some sort of personal greeting with your orders. This can be as simple as a handwritten thank you note, or even writing a quick greeting with the customer’s name inside the box flap.
You can also offer tailored discounts that reflect your customer’s previous purchases to promote customer loyalty. A study by LoyaltyOne found that 76% of customers thought that receiving personalized discount offers based on their purchase history was important.
The design elements of your box and other packaging materials can really set you apart from the crowd.
Use colors and pattern – but not too much. Patterns can be used as a branding element, either on the outside of the box, or inside on tissue paper or paper wraps. You can try a custom pattern, or something timeless like polka dots or stripes. Some companies cover the entire box in a wrapping paper-like pattern to make it look like a gift.
Colors are another great way to reflect your brand. Think of the vibrant orange packaging that just screams Shutterfly, or the sophisticated robin egg blue color that lets everyone know their gift box is from Tiffany & Co.
Consider fonts in your box design process. You want something easy to read, but with some style. Placement and proportion are important elements. You don’t want your customer straining to read undersized writing, or trying to decipher an overly ornate font.
The inner fill that protects the product and holds it in place is also part of the overall experience, so you want to use consistent brand colors throughout your packaging – whether it’s tissue paper, ribbons or merchandise bags.
Using design elements that reflect your brand is fun, but don’t go overboard. Be sure to leave some white space. Too much color and too many graphics and fonts can overwhelm your packaging and be perceived as unsophisticated.
If done right, your customers may even save your box to store other items. This will serve as a reminder of your company long after the package is opened.
People love to share, so make it easy for them.
Take Kylie Cosmetics, for example. Their cosmetic boxes for the brand’s lipstick boxes and eyeshadow packaging is oozing with sharability. Encourage your customers to share their shopping experience on social media by adding social media handles, QR codes, or hashtags to your packaging.
You can’t beat the free advertising that comes from a happy customer excitedly sharing your product on their social media channels. And word of mouth sharing is arguably the most powerful form of marketing. So hop to it.
It’s undeniable. People love getting free stuff. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant.
So, in your beautiful product box, throw in a few little extras. Here are some things to consider:
You might also want to include a review request – with a thank you note, of course. You can even incentivize your request by giving your customers a chance to win a gift card by submitting a review.
No one wants to receive broken or missing merchandise.
Who knows what happens to your carefully-packed package when it leaves your hands?
It may be casually flung onto a conveyor belt, or have heavy boxes piled on top. You need a strong box to protect whatever’s inside. You may also want to consider using tamper-evident barriers, to further protect your goods.
And, finally. After your customer has excitedly ripped open your package, you don’t want to leave them stuck with getting rid of extraneous packaging. Make it easy for them to dispose of by using recyclable or biodegradable materials.
Traditional retail and eCommerce competition is tight.
To get an edge up, you need to pump up the presentation of your product.
Unique packaging is a great way to make a memorable experience for your customers – and keep them coming back for more.