Packaging is one of the most crucial elements of an eCommerce store and it can determine the level of success your business experiences. The way you package your product goes a long way to attracting potential customers, appealing to your target audience and differentiating your brand from the competition.
With an eCommerce business, you don’t have the benefit of customers being able to pick your products up or to talk to them face to face about your offerings, so you’re reliant on first impressions. That’s where packaging comes in to win new customers, retain existing ones and boost sales.
A rising demand for sustainable packaging
Sustainability has become an increasingly prominent issue for customers in recent years, and consumers want the products they buy to be packaged in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way. eCommerce businesses need to be sure they’re not overpacking their products which will contribute towards excess and unnecessary waste. They also need to ensure that the materials they use are recyclable or compostable to ease the burden placed on our planet.
Sustainable packaging comes in various forms and there are many packaging strategies for eCommerce businesses to try, from shipping in smaller packages to using biodegradable alternatives and plant-based solutions. These options improve your brand’s reputation, lower shipping costs for your business and increase sales.
Increased scrutiny from consumers
With the rise in online purchasing, businesses need to do all they can to connect with consumers on a personal level. In eCommerce, a customer’s perceptions of a brand are primarily based on their initial unboxing experience, so they’ll be checking for packaging damage, whether the item arrives in good condition and how the delivery experience was for them. Damage and faulty goods can negatively affect your reputation and lead to customers going to a different supplier, so the way in which you package your items makes all the difference.
This is even more important with food products. Customers have much higher standards when it comes to consumables, so you need to think about the item you’re selling and how best to package it to preserve the integrity of the product. For example, serving up one of the nation’s most popular drinks, tea bags are sensitive to light and moisture. As such, businesses in this niche need to choose packaging that provides a barrier to these elements to ensure the customer receives the product in the same condition as when you packaged it. Likewise, a company selling bath products needs to be sure the contents of a customer’s orders will remain intact and won’t absorb moisture.
The importance of visual appeal
While it’s true that packaging serves a practical function, there’s also a fantastic opportunity for eCommerce businesses to play with the design of their product and shipping packaging to elevate their brand presence and entice customers to buy. On average, customers form an opinion about a product in just 3 seconds, so you don’t have long to get their attention and keep it. Visuals are essential for representing your brand in the right way and could be the difference between a customer choosing to buy from your online business versus another.
You can use packaging design to convey your unique brand identity and messaging in a clear and concise way, so customers are immediately aware of what your business is about. Make sure your colours and fonts are cohesive with your brand and that you’re clearly displaying your business name, logo and trademarks so consumers instantly know that it’s your brand they’re purchasing from and will recognise your products from their aesthetically appealing designs.
Greater customer loyalty
Great packaging could spell the difference between a customer using your business again or switching to someone else, so it pays to take this into consideration. Consider if someone is purchasing a gift for a friend or relative. The packaging of your product could have a significant impact on whether they’re likely to consider your brand or someone else’s, and whether they’re likely to consider you again in the future.
Customer loyalty is an argument for considering custom packaging for your eCommerce goods, setting your products apart from the rest of the industry and making the design unique to your brand. Custom packaging is an underused marketing tactic that would put you a step ahead of your competition, but it also gives you the opportunity to really hone in on what your customers are looking for and provide it to them. Getting creative with the design, from the size, shape and functionality to colours and finishes, will delight your customers and encourage them to think of your business when they need to make a purchase.
eCommerce businesses have to take packaging into account for a number of reasons, particularly if they want another effective method of boosting their online sales. Packaging plays an important role in protecting the interior items, providing a great service to customers and improving brand reputation and loyalty. There are so many opportunities to make packaging a focal point of a product, from playing with different designs to make your items stand out on the digital shelves to choosing sustainable materials that will give you eco points with consumers.
The main goal when it comes to increasing sales through packaging is to ensure that the style of packaging you choose is suitable for the products you’re sending out to customers and that the appearance matches up with the impression you want to give your customers.