We’re all familiar with the characterless packaging from e-commerce behemoth Amazon, not much of an unboxing experience unless you really enjoy perforated tabs. Choosing the right packaging for your products can elevate its worth in the eyes of a consumer, as well as creating another touchpoint for customer satisfaction – not to mention the potential of a social media shout out!
The whole shipping process should be an extension of your brand; if your product is premium, your packaging should be too. If your company prides itself on sustainability, then perhaps don’t opt for multi-layered plastic packaging. You can even go one step further; if you identify loyal customers, why not throw in a little something extra with their order. Be it a coupon for their next visit, some candy, or a handwritten note, it’s these small changes that can turn customers into brand evangelists.
Think about it; the packaging you choose is your customer’s first offline interaction with your brand, so attention should be paid. The right packaging is another part of the process that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Envelopes are economical, fast, and fragile. They offer predictability in shipping price since “if it fits, it ships” for one low rate where distance doesn’t play a factor. The unboxing experience isn’t ideal since it may be mistaken for a bill or spam at first (adverts etc. don’t come in a box!), and delivers a very basic unboxing experience.
Sharon’s favourite since they take on the dimensions of whatever is in the parcel. They store easily since they take up very little warehousing space, one size can go a long way, but they usually arrive quite dirty (we say opt for grey since just like a car, it shows the least amount of dirt). The unboxing experience is very basic with them, though you can get them custom printed for a low price and have a message like “IT’S HERE!” to make the customer feel more excited about their order arrival (although if you experience regular shipping delays, a message like this could absolutely backfire).
For returns, regardless of who is paying the return shipping cost, they are more economical. Since they take on the shape and dimension of whatever is inside, the return shipping cost should (theoretically) be lower. Don’t use polybags for shipping anything fragile since they offer little to no protection.
Offer the best unboxing experience but are the most costly to ship. Boxes always stay the same size, are rigid, and take up the most space in your shipping carrier’s trucks. Unboxing-wise, you can brand the box, include tissue paper, and if the size of the product is right for the box (i.e., not a tiny product in a huge box), it should arrive relatively the same as it was shipped to deliver a beautiful unboxing experience. Shipping in a box can be great when trying to give customers a positive impression of your brand.
A con is they take up significant warehouse space, and whatever is in a return will have the same shipping cost going back since the parcel size remains the same, regardless of how many items are in the return. They are the most robust shipping option, though, and are definitely what you want to pack anything fragile in.
On average, companies will spend between 1-3% of their revenue on custom packaging. Custom packaging can range from something as simple as branded rubber stamps, stickers, and tape to custom printed boxes, tailored messages printed inside the box, branded tissue paper, and other collateral such as note cards. When you consider your packaging as akin to your store front and something to create a unique impression of your brand, it’s easy to understand how the costs can begin to spiral. One essential aspect when deciding to produce custom packaging is to ensure that your shipping partner will work with it, as not all will. If your carrier is happy to ship and the price is right, there’s a lot of fun to be had with customizing your packaging and the opportunity to make a big impact on your customers.
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