Why Your Packaging Experience Is Just As Important As Your Product

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The feeling when you get home from work and there's a package waiting for you? It's the best, right? I always get a little jump of excitement remembering what it is I ordered a few days before, and tear open the package right away. 

Most people consider the products we order and their packaging completely separate. Which is why it's always a pleasant surprise when a company's packaging is actually memorable. 

The unboxing experience can be a powerful branding tool if you present your products in top-notch packaging. In an era where “unboxing" videos can get millions of views, companies are getting ahead by capitalising on the idea that a brand can get attention before a customer even sees a product.

Being Average Doesn't Cut It

The average customer is actually pretty easy to please, once they've made their decision to buy. They want their purchase to show up on time, in the condition they expected, in the time frame that suits them, with the ability to track or return their item easily.

Few people actually expect branding - which is why putting time and thought into your packaging can be a huge opportunity to build loyal and impressed customers. Building your brand is all about developing your customer loyalty - and getting repeat customers and customer referrals is a huge part of building your bottom line. 

First Impressions Make A Difference

Think of Tiffany & Co. They've spent years building the reputation not just of their jewellery, but of their little blue boxes - and it works. Likewise, Apple is known for its minimalist packaging and crisp design. 

What your customer sees first is important, because a first impression is quick to form and slow to change. If a customer is impressed by your packaging, they're more likely to be in a mindset that whatever comes next is high quality.

Your packaging is important both for new and returning customers. Keeping up customer loyalty is one of the best ways to make repeat sales - which are almost always cheaper than getting new ones.

How Do I Improve My Packaging?

There are plenty of things you can do to improve your packaging. Here we go over some suggestions. 

Attention to detail

Showing you've put in little details is a big plus - from the branded design of your receipt to the way labels are stuck on the box.

On the flip side, being sloppy with your packaging and haphazardly shoving your product in a package is likely to leave a bad impression.

 Trunk Club has incredible branded packaging

Source: Trunk Club

Trunk Club is an example of a store that focuses on detail in their unboxing experience. Everything is packed tightly, wrapped and arranged in a way that makes you feel like you're almost pulling something off a well-attended shelf at the store itself. 

The Box

The first thing the customer gets their hands on is the box - so standing out from the normal white and brown packaging. Although traditional boxes are cheap and sturdy, getting something colourful to replace the drab makes you more memorable. Take Glossier, for example, which is well-known for their brightly printed boxes.  

Make it feel like a gift 

Offering a package that feels like a carefully-wrapped present makes your company much more attractive to people sending far off friends and family a gift. Wrapping your products in some tissue paper and ties adds a level of mystery and excitement. You can even get custom printed tissue with your logo or other design on it. Onomie is a great example of a company that uses tissue paper in all boxes - adding a touch of personality. If you haven't got the budget for every package, consider adding a "gift wrap" add-on and only paying for the extra fun stuff for those that want it.

'Thank You' and custom notes

A handwritten note is the cheapest and most personalised touch you can include in a package. Unfortunately, they're hard to scale. If you've got the capacity, they can go a long way - but if you don't, including an elegant thank you tag is effective too. Colourpop is a cosmetics company that leaves cute thank you postcards, which provides a touch of of sincerity and adds to customer relations.

Discount Codes

Rewarding customers who have bought something from you is a great way to get them to come back. Including a discount code for their next order - or even more effectively, a referral discount code. Referrals give your customers a chance to bring in new people and be rewarded themselves, and is one of the most efficient ways to grow your audience. 

You can also consider partnering with likeminded companies to offer discount codes from others in your packaging. Consider approaching companies which offer complementary products and making an arrangement to give them audience space (your packaging) while taking a commission on sales that come from you. Pact Coffee is a company that delivers freshly roasted beans to customers' doors, while always including discount vouchers for wine companies, food delivery or other gourmet items. 

Free Sample Giveaways

If there's one thing people consistently love, it's a giveaway. Including small samples of other products of yours is an easy way to introduce customers to something they might be interested in buying in the future. Because you already know what your customer likes, or what they're willing to spend, you can add highly targeted products. Want to learn more about upselling? Read here. 

Your customers aren't expecting anything besides their actual product. Including small gifts or sample products is a great way to make them excitedly surprised, and to get them interested in the rest of your collection. 

What Now

The big picture is the customer experience you're building with branding. Your packaging is just one part of it - but it's an important part, too. Interested in learning more about the whole shipping process, and where you can get customised packaging materials? Check it out.

The product packaging is about adding value by exceeding your customer's expectations. You're more likely to get customers to share their experience and come back for more if they're in love with your stuff from the get-go. For more information about growing your business with product and package branding, contact Elkfox today.