Online spending is on the rise. ShipStation’s study: The Global Pulse: Ecommerce After COVID-19 found that:
- 42% of consumers expect to spend more in 2021 than they did in 2020
- 65% of consumers say they plan to shop online vs. in-store even after the pandemic ends
- Only 36% of consumers say they have started shopping in stores
Giving your customers the full ‘Branded Experience’ they want when shopping online is so important. Customers care about feeling your brand presence throughout their entire journey with you, at every touchpoint.
And, for online retailers, this includes shipment packaging.
The period between when a shopper places an order and when the order is received is often called the “brand dead zone” — meaning, it’s the time when businesses could connect with customers, but often don’t.
There is a perfect opportunity to seize here, where you can start (and continue) conversations with your customers, delight them with your packaging and enhance your brand. Rather than just sending a boring plain brown box or white envelope.
Especially during the Christmas season, where customers have come to expect personalised touches, and always appreciate being made to feel special. Little extras go a long way!
The power of great packaging
The old adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ is not true when it comes to shipping, delivery and packaging.
Unique and branded shipment packaging might seem unimportant, or an afterthought at first. But customers really care about this stuff, and it should be harnessed as part of the amazing, unique experience you give them.
Good packaging signals a premium product. And Brits use a whopping 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year. While this is a sustainability issue, it clearly shows just (!) how much we care about the outside appearance of a package.
There has been extensive research on packaging experiences, which shows:
- Nearly half of consumers say branded packaging made them more excited about opening the box (Dotcom Distribution)
- 63% consumers agree that the product packaging is as important as brand itself (Packaging of the World)
- 55% of online customers say they will purchase from websites again if their products come in customised packaging (Packaging of the World)
- 30% of businesses reported an increase in revenue after improving packaging (Packaging of the World)
- Sustainable packaging is also a pressing issue for consumers, with 67% placing importance on recyclable packaging for products they buy (Trivium Packaging)
- 74% are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging (Trivium Packaging)
The Unboxing Experience
With the rise of ecommerce, there is a whole market specifically for the delight that people feel when ‘unboxing’ a product or a gift now.
You only have to check out all of the ‘unboxing’ videos on YouTube to see this. In a survey several years ago, 35% of consumers reported viewing unboxing videos. Out of those, 55% claim the video convinced them to purchase the product. And the trend has certainly grown a lot since then!
Shipment packaging is not just an opportunity to differentiate or gain competitive advantage anymore. No, branded packaging is now a customer expectation, and a necessity for your brand.
With that in mind, here are three tips to ensure holiday packaging your customers will love this Christmas.
- Be bold, original and memorable: Make your packaging worth keeping
The shipping box is the first and last thing shoppers see when their item is delivered. And many companies have enhanced their brand with their packaging, deepened their connection with customers, and made a product out of the packaging in itself.
Since shoppers are (hopefully) already excited about receiving their order, you can make their experience even better with an eye-catching, memorable and on-brand box design. You could add things like branded stickers with your logo, as well as a customised shipping label.
Get creative with your packaging to spark engagement and make it worth keeping. A talking point, something unique, something to display or tell friends about. This will do wonders for your brand recognition and relationships with customers.
- Take care of the gift wrapping for them
Holiday shopping is exhausting for many customers, especially if they have a lot of people to buy for. It may seem fun at the start, but it can quickly take a lot of time and effort, especially when they factor in things like gift wrapping.
But many buyers dislike gift wrapping for a variety of reasons. 52% of consumers in the UK cite their main gripe as the time wrapping takes, according to Statista.
So anything you can do to ease pressures for your customers, like offering a gift wrapping service, will go a long way in terms of their satisfaction and loyalty.
- Further enhance your brand and delight shoppers inside the box too
When it comes to packaging that wows customers and strengthens your brand, the inside of your shipping box shouldn’t be neglected. This is a great place to add messaging, as well as to incentivise customers and keep them coming back.
Whether you are including little extras within the box itself, or add branding to the inside of the lid, use it as an opportunity to say hello, showcase your brand’s personality and express your gratitude to the shopper.
Here are a few ideas for what to include in your holiday shipping boxes:
- Announcements about upcoming sales
- Coupons or discount codes
- Customer service contact information
- Personalised and/or handwritten thank you notes
- Product samples
- Small thank you gifts (an opportunity to include extra branded products)
If the shopper is a first-time customer, little touches like this make a great first impression. And if they have bought from you previously, it will only reinforce their decision to return and continue shopping with you.
Harness the power of great packaging
ShipStation makes shipping to your customers efficient and simple. And we understand the value that branded shipping can bring. That’s why our software allows you to print branded shipping and returns labels, quickly and easily.
For more in-depth insights into how to strengthen the brand-customer relationship and create a memorable post-purchase experience, download our free eBook on how to brand your shipping effectively.
How has the pandemic impacted Ecommerce in the UK?
COVID-19 has impacted ecommerce in the UK and around the world. Learn how buyer behaviours have shifted throughout the pandemic and how you can adapt to better meet expectations. Download ShipStation’s research study, The Global Pulse: Ecommerce After COVID-19 for insights.