It’s easy to look at packaging as a means to an end. After all, what else is it than something disposable that’s meant only to protect a product until it reaches consumers’ hands? Once the item is opened and the customer touches the product he or she ordered, the package is thrown away or recycled. It’s even easier to fall into this line of thinking when you consider e-commerce, where products often arrive inside of an extra carton for added security during shipping.
All of this corrugated cardboard, plastic film and foil is there to serve a specific purpose and nothing more, right? If that’s the only way your marketing plans think about packaging, you may be doing the brand more harm than you know. The packaging your customers’ online orders arrive in represents a golden opportunity to build loyalty and enhance the connection you have with them.
Unfortunately, too many companies with an online presence don’t put the time and effort they should into how they present consumers with their orders. This means that although they may have made the sale once, they hamper their ability to count on each customer for repeat business. It’s said that shoppers usually form their strongest impressions of a brand within the first few moments of encountering it. Once their minds are made up, it’s extremely difficult to bring them around to a different point of view. With that in mind, here are some ideas that you can use to transform your online order packaging from a disposable necessity to a marketing tool in its individual right.
Customize Your Cartons
Creating customized boxes and other packages for shipping orders may be a more expensive option than ordering stock products, but it can be well worth it. Nearly half of people who shop over the Internet say they would be more likely to order again from a brand that uses custom packaging. This has a lot to do with the fact that these boxes communicate how much care and thought went into the packing. When shoppers see a well-thought-out design cradling their precious cargo on their doorsteps, it can go a long way toward building a highly positive impression. Whether this takes the form of custom packing lists and labels, printed logos or decorative tissue paper, customizations can make a big difference. Your packing list lands directly in the hands of your customer, why not use that space for a coupon, referral code or social medial promotion?
E-commerce is extremely convenient in most circumstances, but in its basic form it lacks the human touch. People become attached to their neighborhood stores in part because of the positive interactions they have with the staff. Simply clicking “Add to Cart” and “Confirm Your Order” can’t compare to a warm greeting when they walk through your door or a friendly smile during checkout. Even though one may not be able to recreate these experiences through an online portal, you still have a chance to build a relationship with your packaging. For example, include a handwritten note thanking your customers for their patronage. Just showing that you’re willing to take the time for such a gesture puts your brand on a higher level in their minds and hopefully leads to more orders down the line.
Create a Hook
Giving your customer a little something extra for placing an order is another tried-and-true way to drum up repeat business. You can do this even when shipping an online order. One way to do this is to pack a coupon or discount code into the box with the shipment. It takes virtually no time at all, and a simple add-on such as this can be a powerful motivator for anyone on the fence about placing another order. An additional way to build positive vibes about your company is to include a sample of another product or a small gift as a way of saying “thank you.” Unexpected extra goodies such as these do a lot to help someone feel good about your brand.
The packaging for your online orders does more than you might think. Beyond its utilitarian functions, there’s a lot it can do to generate loyalty and improve your standing with your customer base. To learn more about how you can accomplish this and why it matters for your company, take a look at the accompanying resource.
Infographic created by Chicago Tag & Label