fbpx
The importance of packaging

The importance of packaging

Right now eCommerce is booming! August 2021 was the biggest month for Australia Post EVER, surpassing even Christmas last year! So while you may be running off your feet, or seeing a nice little increase it’s important to maintain your standard of quality, especially your packaging.

So why is packaging so important? 

Customer Experience

Yesterday I received 2 parcels in the mail, one was some tile samples and the other was a sparkly pink skirt I had been waiting for! I was obviously far more excited for my sparkly skirt! I’d been watching this brand on Instagram for ages, they have a range of fun, bright coloured clothing. One of those brands that makes you want to buy something just because it looks so fun! So although I had been a long time follower, this was my first time purchasing from them and I was excited! 

Then when the parcels arrived I first opened the tiles, they were in a cute branded brown box with a big pink sticker on it “Instagram Story your unboxing @tilecloud”. How clever is that? Right before you even open it they are encouraging you to whip out your phone and start filming their brand and products. Then on opening they had beautiful custom printed tissue paper and I could tell everything was wrapped with care. It also included a discount code for my order and some tips on planning my tile project. It was a really nice parcel to open even though it was just samples, I enjoyed the experience.

Now the package I was waiting for…. I expected it to come in really bright packaging as the brand is all about bright colours, but much to my surprise, and disappointment, it came in a black plastic postage bag. Now as an environmentally conscious consumer, this was the first disappointment.

Inside the skirt was wrapped in yet another plastic bag with a printed picking slip. It was clear this was either drop shipped or sent from a 3PL without much care.

I was going to write there was nothing else in the bag, however upon further inspection today when I picked it up for the photo I found 2 postcards inside, one with their returns policy and one had info about their business and a coupon for my next order. These were nice, but I didn’t notice them when I first opened the parcel yesterday.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, the skirt was awesome! They delivered on their promise, I purchased the skirt and they sent it to me, but I was left feeling very underwhelmed by the experience of receiving it. What I had perceived was a fun, bright brand that delivered dull and boring plastic packaging with no pizazz! 

With so many people in lockdown we are looking to online shopping to fill the void of going to the shops and getting our retail therapy. When your customers receive their parcel you want them to have a great experience. Nice packaging, a handwritten note and maybe even a surprise as simple as a lollypop can make the experience of receiving their parcel enjoyable, which makes them want to do it again!  

Opening a nice eCommerce parcel is like opening a birthday present to yourself! It makes us feel special and we want to repeat the experience.

Gifting

This year Christmas shopping in person will be harder than ever for most of the country.. Instead of hitting the shops many people will be heading online to purchase for their friends and family. I want my friends to have that great experience from the parcel I send them, I certainly wouldn’t send them anything from the shop above – even though they may like the product.

So by offering a beautifully presented product you straight away put your best foot forward for people to think of giving that experience to someone else. Whenever I receive a great parcel I always make note that it would be a great gift for someone.

To make it even easier for people to use your store for gift giving, be sure to offer direct to recipient shipping with gift wrapping and a personalised message. Even if a store has a great product and nice packaging, I’m not going to waste money and resources shipping the product to me just so I can then wrap it and ship it on to my friend. I want something easy that I can just write the message and the store takes care of the rest. 

You can install a gift wrapping app on your website to make this process simple. 

I recently received a beautiful gift delivered straight from the store she purchased it from. It not only included a handwritten card with my friend’s message, but also a handwritten note from the business owner as well as an extra card and postcard as a surprise gift. The package came in a beautiful pink box and was sent in a biodegradable pink bag – very on brand!

Consumer Generated Content

Consumer generated content (content created by your customers) is great for building trust for your brand and provides you with free content for your socials.

When your customer receives their parcel is the perfect time to encourage them to take a photo or video and post it to their socials, tagging you. You can include a postcard, swing tag or sticker like TileCloud encouraging people to tag you. I recommend going one step further and incentivising them with a competition. 

They obviously like your product as they just purchased it so enticing them with the chance to win more, or a gift voucher is a great way to get them to go to the effort of posting. They will likely also put more thought into the quality of their photo or video.

Consider how much it would cost you for a lifestyle photoshoot each month. For the cost of a product or a gift voucher, I recommend at least $50, you can get a whole lot of customer photos and save yourself the cost.

Scratch does this very well. They are a subscription dog food company and if you post a photo of your dog with their delivery and tag them you could win your next box free (approx $80 value so worth the effort). They offer a weekly competition, however you could do monthly. 

It’s resulted in heaps of great customer pics like these.

Reduce Refunds

In order to reduce returns you can use your packaging to reinforce that your customer has made a good decision with their purchase. All the great info you told them in the lead up to their sale, on your socials and on your website can be mentioned again on your packaging. 

Scratch also does this well reminding the dog parent that the food is ethically sourced, fresher and grain free – all on the shipping box before they open it.

So hopefully this has you thinking about how your products are received. 

If you’re not sure where to start think about:

  • Sending parcels in a branded box or biodegradable bag
  • Using custom branded tissue paper rather than plastic bags (Try https://noissue.com.au/)
  • Include a thank you note 
  • Include a surprise such as a lolly or small product
  • Included something to encourage consumer generated content
  • Include a note such as “Think your friend would love this? We can ship your gifts direct and offer gift wrapping with a personalised note”

 

Written by Karyn Parkinson

Karyn AKA Karyn with a Y is an eCommerce marketing specialist specialising in Facebook ad funnels and website optimisation.

When she's not behind the computer you'll find her at the beach with her fur babies or on the roller derby track as Pink Fury!

How to remove backgrounds from product images using canva

How to remove backgrounds from product images using canva

Whether you’re in lockdown or you’ve got limited resources and a professional photoshoot is off the cards for you, you can use Canva to help create great looking shots of your products for your online store. 

In this blog we’re going to show you how to use Canva to remove, and replace, the background of your photos.

This is a Pro feature of Canva, but we PROMISE it’s well worth the investment just for this feature alone. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial here

You will need a photo of your product to start with. You can use this tip for both model and product-only photos for your online store. 

You do want to make sure you have good non-direct natural lighting for your starting photo. This means natural light that’s coming through a window, or on a balcony, but not directly beams of light coming from the sun. So… maybe the best way to explain it is – your photo is taken in the shade with natural light from the sun (not artificial light from light bulbs)… ok look, I’m not a photographer! Natural non-direct light ok. 

 

Step 1 – In a new design within Canva upload your photo

Step 2 – Go to Effects and select Background Remover

Like magic, it will remove the background of your image for you… 

But, it is a robot so you may have to manually fix up a few bits. You can Restore any parts of the photo that may have accidentally been removed. This is good for things like handbag straps, etc.

And you can Erase any bits that may have been left that you don’t want showing. 

Step 3 – You can now choose the background you want. 

You can select your exact brand colour…

Or select a Background from Canva’s library…

Or choose an image from the photo library…

The above example uses a “model” style photo. You can also use this effect for product-only photos. 

You may like to add a Shadow to make it look more realistic:

You can adjust the angle of the shadow using the slider:

You can also download your image on a transparent background if you need to. You can do this by going to Download, then selecting Transparent Background and then Done.

So there you go… how to use Canva to remove and replace backgrounds of your product photos for your online store.

6 guest expert features you may have missed

6 guest expert features you may have missed

Chances are, you’ve read some of the blogs published here on our website but did you know we’ve also featured as guest experts on other blogs include Afterpay, Xero and Business Chicks?

In today’s blog, we’re going to share a few of these with you just in case you missed them.

 

1. The rise of social commerce with Afterpay

For their article on social commerce, Afterpay approached us to provide our insights on what social commerce is and how retailers get involved.

Click to Karyn’s advice in Afterpay’s article all about social commerce.

2. How to move your bricks-and-mortar store online with Business Chicks

For this article, Business Chicks approached us to provide 10 tips on how to move your bricks-and-mortar store online.

Click to read Megan’s top 10 tips for moving your bricks-and-mortar store online.

3. Xero’s Rebuilding Australia: Unstoppable women thrive working 2,500km apart

Xero was super active in providing support to small businesses in the wake of the pandemic. They delivered a Rebuilding Australia series and asked us to provide our insights into the impact of COVID-19 for our business, our clients and our students.

Click to read how we thrived working 2,500km apart.

This article first featured in the Rebuilding Australia handbook.

4. Stronger and smarter; a small business handbook by Xero

Xero also approached us to provide tips for moving a physical store to an eCommerce store and Megan provided more inspo in Xero’s Stronger and Smarter: a small business handbook.

5. How to nail remote working by Business Chicks

And we featured alongside Spell & The Gypsy Collective, Organise.Curate.Design, Liv the CEO of Business Chicks, Icon Group, Your One and Only and Athena Consulting in Business Chicks’ How to Nail Remote Working blog.

Click to read our secrets to working remotely including how we prefer to handle Directors disputes!

6. How to prepare your e-commerce site for the festive season

AfterPay approached us, along with retailer Ginger + Smart, to provide our top tips for preparing for the festive season. Although you may be reading this outside of the festive season ramp up, the tips are still relevant for all your promotions throughout the year.

Click to read Megan’s 7 tips for preparing your online store for the festive season.

So there you have it – 6 great resources to help eCommerce entrepreneurs thrive featuring us, your favourite eCommerce experts 🙂
How the iOS 14.5 Update Is Affecting Facebook Ads

How the iOS 14.5 Update Is Affecting Facebook Ads

They say there is never a right time to have a baby, well they were right! As I was giving birth to my beautiful little girl online store owners, marketers and Facebook staff alike were going into meltdown over the new iOS 14.5 update from Apple and what it would bring. 

For a run down on the update see How to prepare your business for the iOS Update.

It seemed like the worst timing but as luck would have it, I’m back from maternity leave and the sky has yet to fall in! 

Last week (26th April), the Apple iOS 14.5 update started to roll out in Australia. For iPhone owners who run the update they will now be able to choose whether an app can track them and retain their data. It’s this juicy data that has allowed Facebook ads to be so effective as we can re-target website users based on the actions they take such as looking at a product, adding to cart, or even purchasing. 

The update includes a pop up from Apple which asks the user if they give permission for the app to track them or not.

“Facebook” would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies. This will allow Facebook to provide you with a better ads experience.” The user can then choose between “Ask App Not to Track” or “Allow Tracking”.

A clever move by Facebook includes a prior screen, which educates the user before the popup appears. Facebook states that by allowing Facebook to track their app and website activity they will “Show you ads that are more personalized”, “Help keep Facebook free of charge” and “Support businesses that rely on ads to reach customers”. I think the only one that may be truly motivating for the every day user is keeping Facebook free of charge.

The biggest unknown waiting for this update is how many users will allow Facebook to continue to track them, and how many will opt out. As the update is rolled out, only time will tell.

So what will the changes mean for your Facebook ads?

 

Expect Changes From Facebook

Facebook has said to expect changes in their business and advertising tools, campaign set up, targeting, delivery, measurement, and reporting.

I expect there will be changes gradually rolled out as it will take time for users to update their devices and they won’t do it all at once. 

Reporting Changes

The update affects how Facebook can report on user behaviour as they won’t have all the data they had previously. 

Any user that opts out as part of the iOS 14.5 update won’t be reflected in your reporting. So if they click on your ad, go through, and make a purchase, that purchase won’t be reflected in your reporting. 

This is one of the biggest challenges we now face. It’s like going back to the old day of TV and radio where we knew 50% of our advertising was working, we just didn’t know which 50%. What I have always loved about Facebook ads is you could account for every cent spent and know exactly how much it was bringing you back in sales. Not anymore 🙁 

It is now important that you monitor your sales through your own platform’s analytics such as Shopify or WooCommerce. This will be a true reflection of your sales and you will need to estimate how many of those sales came from your Facebook advertising, even if Facebook is not telling you the full story. Apple’s changes affect Google too, so Google Analytics will be affected in the same way.

7 Day Window

Another big change is that Facebook is changing it’s attribution settings to 7 day click through and 1 day view. The old 28 day options and 7 day view are being depreciated..

This means that any reported stats on your ads are based on actions taken within 7 days of clicking on your ad, or within 24 hours of viewing it. Keep in mind however, this data shown does not include iOS users who opted out of tracking.

The default for all new Ad Sets and web event campaigns will be 7-day click-through.

Attribution methodology will shift from Impression Time to Conversion Time.

Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM)

Aggregated Event Measurement refers to the new limit of 8 events you can optimise for, mentioned in our previous blog

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to verify your domain and set up your web events. You can follow our free guide available here

When AEM is fully enforced any ad sets that are optimised for an event that is not selected in your 8 will automatically be paused. Double check your current Ad Sets to make sure they are not optimised for something you haven’t selected in your 8.

Ad sets will also be paused if you don’t have your verified domain selected.

IMPORTANT: If you re-order your events, all Ad Sets using the affected events will be paused for 72 hours. Facebook says this is to help minimize the risk of incorrect attribution.

Targeting

Tracking users has been essential to Facebook’s targeting options. Unfortunately for users who opt out, we won’t be able to re-target them as effectively as we used to. 

This affects not only what individual users do on your website, but also interest-based targeting as Facebook can no longer store information from websites they visit to know that a person is interested in horse riding, baby clothing or planning their next holiday.

Expect some of your audience sizes to go down as more people opt out of tracking. 

Another audience that will be affected by the change is lookalike audiences. Users who opt out won’t be able to be included in seed audiences, but even those who opt in under Apple’s new rules can only be used for 7 days. This means seed audiences will need to be based on actions taken in the last 7 days, not 180. This will result in many small businesses not being able to use Lookalike of Purchases as they need a minimum of 100 people in the same country within that 7 day period. To overcome this use, a larger seed audience such as add to cart or view content, or use a seed audience of an email list of purchases.

What To Expect

While all the changes roll out and there is an increase in users updating their iPhones, expect fluctuations in the performance of your ads. So far, our clients haven’t been dramatically affected, however, I have heard stories of others who have. Just be aware a lot is going on in the background and whenever Facebook makes major changes, things break! 

I expect ad delivery and reporting will be affected and Facebook has warned of increased CPAs (cost per acquisition).

What Should You Do

It’s not all doom and gloom, there are still many effective ways to use Facebook advertising, even for iOS users who opt out. 

Focus On Email

It’s time to double down on your email strategy. Use your Facebook ads to get people to your website but then, focus on capturing their emails when they get there. This way you will be able to email them, and also target them with Facebook ads based on an audience made from our email list. 

We recommend using Klaviyo as it allows you to have a custom Facebook audience made with an email list that automatically updates when new subscribers join your list.

You can also use Facebook Lead ads to collect emails from within Facebook and then add those subscribers to your custom audience, and feed them through an email sequence.

With so many people asking for emails, you need to be more creative than offering ‘10% off your first purchase’. Consider running a competition with a monthly winner or a special offer just for subscribers.

Use Videos

Videos are a great way to capture attention in your Facebook ads, but the other great thing about them is you can create audiences of people who have viewed them. One ad strategy we will be testing is running ads top of funnel (to a cold audience) with engaging videos and then re-targeting middle of funnel ads to people who watch those videos, rather than people who view a product on your website. The premise is the same, you are showing further information in an ad to someone who has shown an interest (by watching your video). Here is a free resource featuring 8 types of thumb-stopping video you can create.

Be Patient

There has been a big build up to these changes and the chaos they are going to cause but things are not going to change dramatically overnight. It will take time to see the full effects of the changes and find the best ways to adapt. Be patient and keep an eye on our blog for the latest updates.

Don’t Panic

Things change. Once upon a time Newspapers were the best way to advertise! Along came radio, then TV. Then Netflix turned up and people stopped watching free to air TV and therefore stopped seeing ads. 

Marketing is always the same – the right message to the right person at the right time. The method is what changes, and we need to continue to evolve as the world does. Privacy is a huge issue amongst online apps so I believe Apple is only the first to make this move and others will follow suit. 

We need to adapt to what is working at the time. I still believe Facebook ads will be a powerful marketing tool for eCommerce, we will just start using them in a different way.

 

Need Help? 

If you’d like help to grow your eCommerce store using our latest eCommerce funnels designed to adapt to the latest changes check out our eComm Ignitor program. We can help you sell more on your online store.

Written by Karyn Parkinson

Karyn AKA Karyn with a Y is an eCommerce marketing specialist specialising in Facebook ad funnels and website optimisation.

When she's not behind the computer you'll find her at the beach with her fur babies or on the roller derby track as Pink Fury!

This might be the best product description ever

This might be the best product description ever

I was looking on Marketplace for some bookshelves for my office and I came across – possibly – the best product description I’ve ever seen. 

It says: 

Selling a bookcase if anyone is interested in not driving all the way to Ikea, dealing with people touching everything, getting lost in the maze of products, carrying the books to the car, driving home, trying to work out how you got it into the car so you can get it out, finally removing it from the car and end up completely exhausted, remembering you still need to get it from the car to the lift, then hoping you can get it all in the lift without the doors closing and potentially losing it, then getting it from the lift to your door and into your house/apartment, one day many days later deciding to build them, getting frustrated and having a domestic, getting back into it, realizing the dog must have eaten one of the pieces even though you know it was you, building minus that piece anyway, telling yourself it will be fine, putting it in place, telling your partner it’s done, they comment why is it slightly twisted, having an argument saying they can build it next time and then having it sit where it will remind you for the rest of time you should have just bought this one and lived happily ever after … you’re welcome.

I was in hysterics reading this! And I’m writing this blog at least 12 months after I took the screenshot of this ad. It was memorable.

When you think of the alternative copy they could have used… they could have ended up with something boring and forgettable just like all the other listings there. 

While images are super important because the human brain processes an image 60,000 times faster than text. When looking at an item in a physical store, customers can pick the item up, look at it from all angles, touch and feel it, and even try it on. They can’t do that when shopping online. So it’s your responsibility to replicate that experience as much as you possibly can. Images are the most powerful way to do that. 

Not only that but 80% of people remember what they see, compared to 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read. 

However… I remembered this ad because the copy (words) made me feel. It evoked an emotion in me and planted itself in my memory. 

The writer of this ad identified the pain-points of the alternative solution (going to Ikea and putting a flatpack together yourself) and they have overcome those pain-points with humour and wit. They painted a picture using only words – “realising the dog must have eaten one of the pieces” – haha!

Seriously, is this not the best ad copy you’ve ever seen?

Now, think about how you can use this ad copy as inspiration to zhuzh up your own product descriptions. 

 

Here are my 3 tips to creating memorable and emotion evoking product descriptions: 

Tip 1: Avoid trying to be too professional or fancy 

Just write like you talk. Pretend you’re talking to a friend if that helps. 

Tip 2: Identify pain-points your customers have

We’re talking about their real pain-points, the ones they don’t want you to know about. Then, overcome them in your copy. 

Tip 3 : Use humour and wit 

If this is within your brand voice, don’t be afraid to bring the lols. Laughter is a great memory anchor. 

I don’t know who to credit this advertising gold to, but if it was you, thanks for the lols. 

How to block people from commenting on your ads or posts

How to block people from commenting on your ads or posts

In a recent podcast we discussed trolls and how if you have an online store, you may have encountered trolls or at least some negative comments along the way. Click here to listen to us chat about what trolls actually are, why they do what they do, how we recommend that you deal with them and avoid fuelling their fire, and more. 

I’ve had a few people ask us “how do I ban someone from my page?” so in today’s blog I’m going to show you! 

You might not actually be being “trolled”. When the same person keeps commenting on your posts with trolly or totally irrelevant content, it could be:

  • A bot
  • A troll
  • Someone from your competition (sadly, this happens)
  • Someone who has too much time on their hands 

Now, while sometimes these comments are nasty or malicious, if they aren’t from your target audience or just completely irrelevant you might not want them on your Facebook ads or posts. 

So what can you do? 

You can continue to hide or delete their comments however if they keep doing it it may be time to ban or block them. 

“When you ban someone from your Page, they’ll still be able to share content from your Page to other places on Facebook, but they’ll no longer be able to publish to your Page, like or comment on your Page’s posts, message your Page or like your Page.” – Facebook

You can easily unban them at any time. 

You need to be an admin of the page you want to block someone from. 

How to ban someone from commenting on my Facebook posts and ads via page settings:

  1. Go to Settings of the page
Facebook page settings

2. Go to People and Other Pages

Pages and other people Facebook

3. Select Banned People and Pages from the drop down menu

Banned people Facebook page settings

4. Select + Ban a Person

Ban a person from your Facebook page

5. Type in the name of the person you want to block. Double check the profile picture matches that of the person you want to block. Once done, select Save.

Like I said, hopefully, you aren’t getting trolled. If you are, it’s really important to remember that trolls throw negative comments at you because, by definition, they’re people who deliberately provoke others online by saying inflammatory and offensive things. They live to make people upset and angry.

It’s just what they do. It’s how you choose to deal with them that matters.

Don’t fuel the fire.

Trolls love it when you engage. It’s fuel to their fire. The only way to kill the fire is by starving it of oxygen. Follow the steps above to ban their butt. 

Become Unstoppable! 

Of course, the best comeback is to become Unstoppable and have a thriving online store in spite of them!

If you want to learn how to sell more on your online store check out my free upcoming training.