After launching your online store and spending time on product design and getting the word out about your new venture, you’ve begun generating sales. After the customer clicks “Purchase,” your job is done, right?
You may believe that there’s no real need to spend much time on your ecommerce packaging design. After all, you can just throw the purchased item in a simple corrugated cardboard box or one of those plastic poly mailers and let the product speak for itself.
While this is a common belief among many ecommerce retailers, it’s actually a missed chance for an online business to bolster their brand’s identity.
The importance of ecommerce packaging design for brands
In contrast to brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce businesses don’t have as many opportunities to connect with their customers face to face. The initial physical contact between an online store and clients is generally when they open the package they’ve ordered.
Providing consumers with a positive first impression is beneficial for businesses for numerous reasons.
When you incorporate carefully considered branded packaging, this can help build meaningful relationships with your customers. Because there’s generally no in-person contact involved in ecommerce purchases, it’s essential that customers feel that the company cares about them and appreciates their business.
When they open up a box and find not only high-quality products but well-designed packaging and materials, it’ll make their purchased items all-the-more enjoyable.
In addition, branded ecommerce packaging is a worthwhile form of marketing. In the age of social media where people share anything and everything, delighting customers with top-notch packaging can help boost a company’s online presence.
For example, an influencer might be super excited about your product and share the unboxing of their package in their Instagram Stories. Their followers would see your product, surrounded by high-quality packaging materials and beautiful logo printing, which could bring on a slew of potential new customers.
Finally, your ecommerce packaging design can assist in customer retention. Giving customers a memorable unboxing experience that makes them smile will help keep your business at the forefront of their minds and encourage them to buy from you again.
Elements of packaging design to help strengthen brand identity
There are a multitude of ways in which an ecommerce business can create an unforgettable unboxing experience for their customers with their packaging. While it’s not necessary for an online retailer to use all of these items, incorporating several of them can have a positive influence on brand perception.
1. Shipping container
Whether you’re shipping your products in a box, a bag, or another format, the container is what customers first see when their order arrives. Although plain corrugated cardboard options are generally sufficient for getting your products to customers safely, a bit of extra creativity here can go a long way.
Consider using shipping containers featuring your store’s colors or stunning printing with your logo to make your shipments stand out even more.
In addition, note that many consumers today are concerned about the environment.
They’re interested in shopping with businesses that use responsible practices for everything from product design to packaging. Incorporating recycled boxes or mailers and minimizing the usage of plastic materials are great ways to help the environment and appeal to the eco-conscious consumer.
2. Tissue paper
Boost the excitement of the unboxing ritual by wrapping your products in tissue paper, which makes customers feel as if they’re opening a gift! Custom tissue paper provides an extra touch of luxury and can further strengthen brand identity.
3. Personalized note
It’s no secret that humans crave connection, and this is no different in ecommerce transactions. Adding a personalized handwritten note or card to customers’ orders demonstrates that you care and helps build customer trust and loyalty.
Depending on the size of your business, it may be a little tricky to include a handwritten note with every order. However, doing so lets shoppers know that there’s a real human behind the brand and can give your online store an edge over the competition!
While clear packaging tape works perfectly well for shipping products, colored or customized tape can refresh the look of any container. This may be especially important if you decide to stick with plain cardboard boxes for your packaging due to their lower cost.
Adding free samples to customers’ orders is an excellent way to thank them for their business and encourage them to return to your ecommerce store. By basing the sample on customers’ previous or current purchases, you can increase the chances of cross-selling by piquing their interest in your other products.
For instance, say that your store sells pet supplies, and a customer purchased a bag of cat food. You might add a small sample of that same product in a different flavor or a bag of cat treats to the order, allowing them to catch a glimpse of other amazing products that you offer.
6. Informational material
Depending on the type of products you sell, you may want to include detailed instructions to help ensure a positive user experience. If your goods are relatively new to the market or complicated to use, materials that help educate can go a long way in preventing or lessening customer frustration.
What’s more, this type of action shows shoppers that you are proud of and knowledgeable about your product. It also communicates that their experience with the item is important to you and that you’re doing everything possible to guarantee that they enjoy it.
7. Promotional material
Business cards and discount codes for future purchases are additional options to establish your brand in the minds of your customers.
In addition, even if your store sends email newsletters, adding a printed version to orders can help you to reach more customers.
Regardless of your budget, there are all kinds of ways to promote your business via package inserts. Determine what is most likely to appeal to your target market and let your creative juices flow!
Similar to custom packaging tape, stickers featuring your business logo are a great way to add pizazz to ecommerce packaging. Use them to seal tissue paper or place them on the shipping container itself. You could also include some extra stickers in the package, allowing customers to use them for their own enjoyment.
If you’re on a budget, using stickers rather than custom printing on your orders’ shipping containers can help you to promote your store while saving a few pennies!
Examples of effective branded ecommerce packaging
Even using just a few custom packaging design options when shipping your products can make your business stand out in the minds of consumers. The following companies have developed eye-catching ways to protect and ship their goods, ensuring that their clients will keep coming back for more.
This French clothing business has truly mastered the art of seduction with their packaging and the unboxing experience.
The outside of each box features the customer’s first name (separate from the actual shipping sticker with the address), giving the package a gift-like feel.
Sézane’s boxes also boast beautiful printing on the inside, often including a special message and a design with the company’s current marketing campaign. In addition, the boxes have a call-to-action with a hashtag that encourages customers to share their purchases on social media.
Customers will find their purchases carefully wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a sticker marked with the company logo. These little details all aid in boosting the perceived value of the items as well.
Finally, Sézane lightly sprays each piece of clothing with their branded perfume, which is a brilliant move. Why, you ask?
Customers will associate the scent with the company’s packaging and unboxing experience, making them want to buy more clothing in addition to the perfume itself!
Example of a successful customer experience with Sézane
Dollar Shave Club
This company offers clients a wide range of shaving and other personal care products that they can choose to have shipped every month or a few times a year.
Dollar Shave Club truly understands that product presentation is key when there are so many product options available in the online commerce world.
Customers opening a package from this business will find their products neatly wrapped and packed with care. Combining aesthetics and functionality, the brand’s packaging includes boxes that feature a clutter-free design along with their slogan and amusing quotes, perfect for sharing on social media.
These perfectly packaged orders serve multiple purposes. Yes, they definitely create a fun unboxing experience when customers receive their packages. However, they also assist in keeping products from jostling about and getting damaged during shipment!
Example of effective packaging by Dollar Shave Club
This make-up brand, marketed at Sephora, specializes in making cosmetic products with ultra-sharp designs.
In addition to offering palettes with remarkable colors and scents, each collection has its own story and its own presentation by being linked either to an expression or to a related object.
For example, the brand’s latest mascara, “They’re Real! Magnet,” references a magnet in its design, as the product promises to draw out small lashes with a magnetic force to lengthen them and amplify the look.
However, one of their most memorable types of packaging has been the hat-shaped eyebrow box, which resembles a top hat. The idea behind the product was quite simply "to make one’s eyebrows magical.” The brand therefore decided to offer a magician's hat to accommodate the range. A stroke of genius!
Example of original packaging by Benefit
It’s your turn!
Today, it’s often not enough for companies involved in ecommerce to have an excellent product. They must consider presentation and how customers view the unboxing experience.
Custom ecommerce packaging is a fundamental tool for businesses looking to strengthen their brand identity. Creativity is crucial!
Rather than simply being a way to get your product from point A to point B, the way that you package your orders should be a major selling point for your business.
Use the tips mentioned in this article along with your own imagination to create a spectacular unboxing experience that your customers will love!