The Challenges of e-commerce Packaging

Your store is no longer the only portal for your customers to purchase your products. In fact, many of your consumers may never even step inside your shop. Each day more consumers are opting to shop with their smartphones rather than hop in their cars.

Since the storefronts for your products are shifting online, it is important that your packaging reflects this shift. Creating a memorable packaging experience for online purchases is essential for brand loyalty. Since your customers are not in your store interacting with your salespeople, the product’s packaging needs to speak for itself.

Keep Your Message On-Brand With Memorable Packaging

When you visit a high-end store such as Saks Fifth Avenue the packaging you receive is elaborate and exquisite and so is the store’s e-commerce packaging. The  experience consumers have when your product ships to their home should reflect the in-store tone of your brand.

For example, when a customer opens up their online order from high-end retailer Kate Spade they see beautifully wrapped white and gold tissue paper. Next, once the shopper opens the tissue paper, they see a brightly coloured box embroidered with the Kate Spade logo in gold. Kate Spade delivery boxes also come with a thank you note, receipt, and future offers, all printed on postcard sized pieces of cardstock. These beautiful packaging details reinforce the brand’s playful and upscale image.

E-commerce Packaging Challenges

E-commerce packaging comes with its unique challenges as consumers and distributors have certain e-commerce needs. One of the greatest packaging challenges is the need for compressed and compact packaging. When it comes to e-commerce, bigger is not necessarily better as bulky boxes are a nuisance for the consumer and distributor, so consider creating packaging specifically for your online store that is more flexible, durable and compact than your in-store packaging. Also, consider selling related items in sets to avoid duplicate boxes.

Unique Tote BagAnother challenge is making sure your product stands out if you sell using a third-party distributor like a department store or e-commerce portal like Amazon. When consumers make purchases from Amazon, they often order multiple items from different brands. For example, a customer may order diapers, a pack of t-shirts, a wine opener, and socks all in one order. Since the order is fulfilled through the distributor, the items will likely all in the same box. In these cases, custom delivery boxes with tissue paper may not be an option; however, it is important to still create packaging that will distinguish your brand from the other assortment of products your consumer may receive with their order. The simplest way to do this is to use packaging materials that are recyclable and durable – such as a tote bag for clothing items or a resealable container for cosmetics.

Another way to make your product memorable is to send your buyers a custom message with helpful information, bundled with the packaging. For example, if a consumer buys a purse, you can send them a beautiful thank you note with care instructions and a coupon for 15% off of leather cleaning products. Similarly, if you are a kitchenware company, your packaging should include something that will give your product a value-add like a recipe. E-commerce purchases give you contact information for your consumers you may not necessarily get in-store, so it is important to take advantage of that information to enhance your marketing efforts and ensure repeat purchases.

E-commerce business is booming with no signs of slowing down, so developing a packaging strategy for your business is crucial.