E-commerce packaging is far more important than what you think. Compared to the offline shopping experience where the shelves, interiors, products themselves are key elements of optimizing customer experience, the packages are the only tangible touch point for e-commerce marketing.
Packages are the first physical contact between the products and the customers. A good package plays an important role in boosting the confidence that the product inside meets customer expectation and therefore developing a positive brand image. It’s sometimes more effective than posting fancy images on your online shop or doing online ads. The enjoyment of seeing an attractive package and the surprise of unboxing influence customers more, because this is real experience.
A recent survey from Dotcom Distribution found 40% of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant with premium packaging. Moreover, if a package is well-designed, both of the online merchants and the customers are willing to share pictures of the package on their social media channels.
Besides the marketing function, a good package also represents good teamwork behind the outstanding service. It is a professional process related to designing, evaluating and producing a container for your products that ensures the products are safely delivered and the unboxing experience is pleasant.
Stemming from the fact that packaging is so important in terms of distribution safety and customer first impression, working with a good packaging partner is a reliable option to help you develop reasonable packaging solutions. There are many processes and details of creating good packaging solutions varied by different products. But most e-commerce packaging creation can be generally divided into 5 aspects:
In order to deliver the good service to the customers who are thousand miles away from you, your packages have to endure most impacts, compression, vibration and drop during transportation and firmly holds the product inside. Therefore, the materials of your packages should be well selected and carefully designed.
You should design your package based on the box types you require. For example, the corrugated boxes are still the most used packaging in product delivery. You need to be familiar with the common corrugated boxes, then you can assign packaging experts to create custom boxes you need.
The common corrugated boxes include:
Roll End Front Tuck with Dust Flaps
Roll End Front Tuck (REFT)
Roll End Front Tuck (REFT) Mailer
Roll End Tuck Top (RETT)
Straight Tuck End (STE)
Reverse Tuck End (RTE)
Tuck Top Auto Bottom
One Piece Folder
Self Locking One Piece Folder
Snap Lock Gift Tote
Regular Slotted Container(Snap Lock Bottom)
Regular Slotted Container(Shipping Box)
Because every product requires a container, the huge demand on boxes will result in spending increase. Good package design can help you reduce the cost. There are direct cost and indirect cost of packaging. The direct cost includes materials and shipping. Many carriers will not only charge you by weight but also charge you by size which determines how much volume your packages are going to take up. The indirect cost refers to the time of labor and the potential product damages. For example, if you adopt boxes with snap lock bottom or auto bottom, the material cost will increase but you will save labor without using tape and the stronger structure prevents the loss of product damages.
A good packaging partner will help you balance the cost and function to keep you and your customers satisfied.
Your packages are a part of the voice of your brand. Using eco-friendly packaging will reflect the social responsibility of your brand and help your customers release the moral concern of consumption. Some eco-friendly packaging can also reduce your cost.
All packages have to survive in front of the distribution cycle stress. Professional packaging testing is inevitable for online merchants. Packaging testing simulates the damages that may experience by the packed goods during their distribution. In order to prove the reliability and durability of your package design, packaging testing is necessary.
You can require your packaging partner to conduct comprehensive packaging testing including load tests, impact tests, stability testing, compression testing, vibration testing, drop tests, clamp tests and acceleration testing.
As people shop online more often than they used to do, there are usually multiple packages accumulated on their doorsteps. If your packages have eye-catching appearance, they will easily stand out among other regular e-commerce mailers, and easily create memorable buying experience.
What you need to do is spent 1-3% of your total campaign funds or revenue on packaging. Within this budget you have plenty of design options. The design can be simply divided into 2 parts: the inside and the outside of your packaging.
For the outside of your packaging, there are some easy solutions to distinguish your packages from ordinary mailers but still maintain your budget around 1%. You could use rubber stamps to customize a blank box or you can use labels or stickers to add a nice pop of customization that is easy to apply. Also, you could use custom tape which is an awesome blend of form and functions.
If your packaging budget is on the higher end of the packaging budget spectrum you can start considering getting a custom printed box and you can play with different finishes and design options to make your brand really stand out.
For the inside of the box, you can add colored void, colored tissue paper or colored crinkle to add a nice pop but not break the budget. If you have more budget, you can do some nifty stuff like play with custom printed tissue paper or butcher paper for wrapping your product or go with some custom printed collateral or notes inside.
But please note that if you find the right design agency you can still get fancy design options at a lower price. With reliable functions and appealing design, you not only deliver a product to your customers, but also provide your customers with happiness.
It’s not difficult to understand the 5 aspects. They are basically common sense, but every aspect should be considered in order to get a good package.