The importance of packaging

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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!

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