Effective Packaging: The Best Way to Make a First Impression

23 July 2018

Many companies that work with e-commerce consider their job to be complete when the customer clicks the ‘purchase’ button. At that moment, the payment details are processed, and items are put into a box and shipped off to the customer. These are standard procedures, and there isn’t much a company can do to improve them – right?

Not so fast. The packaging used on each item, and for the entire order as a whole, are elements that are often overlooked but nevertheless vitally important. In 2016, Shorr Packaging conducted a survey to gauge consumer attitudes toward the types of packaging that were in use. Specifically it wanted to know what areas of packaging to focus on for improvement.

The most popular answer, by far, was that some packages were too hard to open, leading to considerable annoyance on the part of the consumer – not an ideal first impression to give. Excessive or damaged packaging were also frequently cited as reasons for dissatisfaction, and a small number of people mentioned ugly packaging as well. Environmentally-conscious consumers pointed at the non-recyclable materials as an area of concern.

When done right, packaging can be a significant source of positive interaction with your customer base. ‘Unboxing’ videos have surged in popularity in the YouTube era, as eager customers turn on the camera and show their followers how excited they are to discover their nicely presented recent purchases. Companies that put time and thought into creating an easy and aesthetically satisfying unboxing experience are naturally more likely to receive the free publicity that accompanies any unboxing videos that their customers may make.

Provided they are not overly expensive, a few added touches can go a long way. A personalized card or label, colorful tissue paper, and custom-made boxes are just a few of the thoughtful details that many companies choose to add for the benefit of their customers.

In addition, it may seem counterintuitive at first, but ease-of-return is another feature that customers appreciate and that companies can benefit from if they take the time to invest in it. Particularly when selling items via e-commerce, customers may feel the need to return their item for an exchange or a refund. Boxes that can be easily returned to the seller make for a convenient experience that customers appreciate, radically increasing the likelihood that they will return to the same distributor for repeat purchases in the future.

As a business model, e-commerce has enjoyed a level of success that is virtually unparalleled. Sales continue to increase annually at an impressive rate, leading to a level of competition that leaves little room for improvement. In such an environment, the companies that identify overlooked variables, and focus on improving them for increased customer satisfaction, will earn themselves a distinct market advantage. Packaging decisions like the ones outlined above can separate companies that just go through the motions, from those that really invest in their customers’ overall experience – and the customers themselves certainly see the difference.

To stay up to date on the latest innovations in the Corrugated and Folding Carton industry, come to CCE South East Asia from 5-7 September. This exhibition will include workshops, seminars, and plenty of chances for networking among industry manufacturers and suppliers. CCE South East Asia will be held at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center, and is the region’s only event of this type.

Register now for your free ticket here:

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