Let’s face it: Whether you need groceries, clothing, electronics or furniture, everyone is ordering online today. Virtual shopping gives customers incomparable convenience. You can shop in the middle of the night or while waiting in line. You can browse sales in bed and purchase products on the go.
Online ordering also offers efficiency. Through the Internet, it is possible to compare prices, explore a large number of product options and find great deals, all without having to leave your home. Because it is so easy to type in a search term, find a product and click “buy,” many consumers love online shopping — and many businesses benefit.
However, there is one trick some brands still miss: the marketing opportunities inherent in packaging. If you are still sending orders in plain cardboard boxes, you could be wasting a chance to build your customer base. Here is what you need to know.
Why Does Online Order Packaging Matter?
If your business is like most, you are probably aware of the value of e-commerce; what you may not know is the potential of packaging. Here’s the thing: While online shopping makes it easier for consumers to find you, it also gives you more competition and thus a greater need to set yourself apart. Why should buyers keep coming to you? What is the appeal of your business?
Consider this: Every time that you pack an order to ship, it is a golden opportunity to make a strong impression, connect with your customer and, in the process, build the kind of loyalty that keeps them coming back to you. In fact, if you want to create stronger bonds with customers and create loyal relationships with your audience, packaging is a great place to start. Why? Here’s a look:
#1. Packaging protects your merchandise
This first point may be the most obvious, but it is still important. Building loyalty with your customers starts with satisfying their desires. If someone orders a product and it arrives banged, bruised or otherwise damaged, that creates a negative experience with your brand. Successful packaging should prevent this.
You want to package products in such a way that minimizes the potential for lost revenue. The goal is to get merchandise to the customer as safely and cost-effectively as possible.
#2. Packaging communicates a sense of your brand
Given that first impressions typically form in mere seconds — and are then hard to change — most marketing professionals pay a lot of attention to the little details. Details are important when it comes to packaging, too, just as it is with logos, advertising, brick-and-mortar store fronts and so on.
While your customers may have already seen your website when they place an order, the package you send could be their first physical interaction with your business. You want good branding and a sense of personalization to strike a chord right away and create a connection point with you.
#3. Packaging invites connection
Sending a product to a customer’s home is the perfect chance to create more connection with your brand. Whether you include a personal note with the purchase or you throw in a few product samples, your packaging can build on your existing relationship.
#4. Custom packaging stands out
Research shows that most online shoppers are impressed by custom packaging. In fact, over half say they are more likely to buy again from a brand that custom-packages what it sells. When businesses put a little more care into their packaging, it reinforces branding and encourages repeat business.
The bottom line is that e-commerce packaging carries a lot of potential for companies, especially in terms of building relationships with customers that encourage loyalty and continued business. This is why finding ways to deliver better, more personalized, memorable online order packaging is so important.
How to Use Packaging to Connect With Customers
There are lots of ways to make the most of your online ordering packaging, from creating custom boxes to including handwritten notes. Anything you can do to show a little extra care and delight the customer could go a long way.
To inspire you with the possibilities, here are some ideas to consider:
Custom-design your boxes
Since most brands are sending orders in plain cardboard boxes, one great way to stand out is to design boxes that are customized with your logo and name. Then, the moment a buyer sees your package, it is a reinforcement of your messaging and a reminder that you go the extra mile.
Include a handwritten note of thanks
Thanking buyers for their orders turns generic packages into personal ones, especially if the notes have been written by hand.
Ask for a product review
In the e-commerce world, ratings go a long way toward influencing purchases. Anything you can do to drive more good reviews is a business boost. Why not start by asking in your order packaging for your existing customers to leave online reviews?
Add a small gift
Customers tend to associate positive feelings with brands that overdeliver and exceed expectations. Adding a small gift to a package — such as a sweet treat, a small drawing or other little item — is a great way to wow your recipient.
Give a free sample
Reward a customer’s business with a free sample of another product. This could serve not only as a small gift, but also invites the buyer to see what’s great about your other products. The risk-free trial could be a simple way to stimulate more sales.
Put a coupon code or discount in the package
Another way to invite repeat purchases is by including a coupon in the order, for use on the customer’s next buy.
The beauty of personalized, custom packaging is that it doesn’t take a ton of money or time to dramatically impact the way your customer feels about your brand. Take advantage of the opportunity that online orders provide and make the most of your packaging — strengthening relationships and encouraging repeat business in the process.
If you are interested in learning more about how to drive customer loyalty through online order packaging, take a look at the attached resource. It highlights some relevant statistics about online shopping and includes some of the best ways to create wow-worthy packaging for your audience.
About the Author!
Miriam Tovar is the Marketing Manager for Chicago Tag & Label, which manufactures custom forms and labels. She has 12 years of experience in the industry and focuses on delivering innovative print solutions to a broad range of industries including retail, ecommerce, distribution and medical.