Unboxing. A trendy term that has emerged via social media influencers, and can be a game-changer for your brand.
Why is it so important? Even if your customers aren’t following or being influencers, there are multiple reasons why enhancing the unboxing experience is key to success in today’s crowded eCommerce market. We’ll discuss all these in this article as we detail why you should be focusing on custom eCommerce packaging as a major part of your brand strategy.
In a phrase: it’s all about white space.
White space can be literal or figurative, but it’s always synonymous with opportunity. Whether it’s a gap in literal space – like your packaging – or in the market, like your product or service is addressing, it’s a place where you can find opportunity in a saturated area.
Just like any advertising or business strategy, capitalizing on white space is key to communicating value to, and of, consumers, and in turn you’ll receive:
- Increased engagement and perceived product value due to experience;
- Added hype and excitement for the product already purchased;
- More purchases and brand loyalty.
Since so many eCom brands are being added to the market each day due to the growth of the industry (from 13.36 billion in 2014 to 48.91 billion in 2021, and projected to hit 63.88 by 2024), there’s no time like the present to start doing custom packaging as your next marketing tactic.
What is Custom eCommerce Packaging?
“Design adds value faster than it adds costs.”
– Joel Spolsky, web programmer, writer, and creator of Trello
Custom eCommerce packaging is the way you package and present your product(s), in branded and well-designed packaging, which includes the box, wrapping, tissue paper, or any other materials that surround your product for the purpose of transport, mailing and/or security within the box.
Packaging is essential to eCom because it’s necessary for protection of the product for shipping. But the opportunity goes way beyond the necessary reason, to another necessity for any business: repeat customers. Over 60% of online shoppers in a study said that custom packaging makes them excited about the product and makes the brand seem more valuable.
Because eCommerce is missing a physical storefront and interior space, every white space possible must be utilized for the same purpose – branding, customer recognition and increased loyalty. People need to know who you are, how to differentiate you from the competition, and why they like you and want to return to your eCom store/brand.
Since your online branding is intangible, it is super important to give customers something tangible so they’ll remember you, versus all the other brands and products online. It’s like a crowded marketplace, and you don’t want people to keep walking and forget about you!
Custom Packaging Helps an eCommerce Business Grow
Here are some ways that custom packaging helps an eCommerce business grow:
- Creates a whole experience – unboxing becomes like an in-store experience.
- Enhances customer loyalty by building your relationship with them. Why? According to a study from 2016, over half of eCom buyers in the US believe custom packaging adds value, and said they would become repeat customers of brands with specialized, printed packaging.
- Increases the perceived value of the product, which means that your already valuable, high-quality product will be perceived as such. Without custom packaging, the product is more likely to lose perceived value.
- Leaves an impression that will be shared, on social media and by word of mouth – because great design and personalized experiences are exciting and hold value.
8 Reasons to Customize Your Ecommerce Packaging
1. Customized packaging: Tells the story of the brand
“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”
– Robert L. Peters, designer and author
Advertising is generally a well-known factor in building a business. Two things are of high importance in branding: aesthetics and storytelling. With words, pictures, colors and experiences, a brand can clearly communicate who they are to potential and existing customers.
What your brand does, who it helps, and your core values are your brand story. These can be tangible and intangible – not just your brand colors and logo, but your personality and ethos. Marketing works best when it becomes a two-way relationship between brand and consumer.
One of the best ways to create this ongoing communication is to add custom packaging. It will tell your customers that you value them and their experience, and that there is a relationship that matters to you. It will bring an emotional connection into the picture that will intrigue people and make them want to engage with your brand.
You can use the packaging materials with the design as part of your brand identity and story.
2. Custom Sustainable Product packaging doesn’t Leave Traces Behind
“Packaging represents more consumer daily impressions than any other communications medium.”
– Larry Light, Forbes.com
According to the Global Buying Green Report from 2021, 67% of customers surveyed (which included 15,000 customers in Europe and North and South America) say that recyclable packaging is an important part of their purchasing decision, and also identify as environmentally aware buyers. 83% of Millennial and Gen Z consumers say they’re willing to pay more for sustainably packaged products. 57% of consumers say they would be unlikely to purchase non eco-friendly packaged products. 63% of consumers associate plastic packaging materials with ocean pollution – and plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade.
Eco-friendly packaging does many things for your brand, aside from the obvious of helping the environment. Sustainable packaging builds:
- trust and credibility, especially if your brand claims to have eco-friendly products;
- your reputation as responsible because you care about the environment;
- your brand because packaging is a way of communicating value to your customers.
Many major brands are moving to sustainable packaging. In short, as packages become the main method people use, sustainability is of all-time importance to reduce the impact on the environment. Brands who use eco-friendly materials in packaging will gain higher value and customer loyalty.
3. Offer a special experience to partners
For any kind of loyalty program, influencers, affiliates or other partners, and even employees, specialized custom packaging can be used to deliver a special experience to specific customers. Especially in the case of gifts like custom kits, special packaging design gives partners something to excitedly share online and with others, increasing impressions and brand image and ultimately leading you to sell more products.
According to the dotcom study, 40% of buyers of online products said they would share custom packaged products on social media (versus ones not in branded packaging). This is because bespoke packaging creates exclusivity, which customers crave.
4. Leave a lasting first brand impression with unboxing experiences
Unboxing is when the customer opens the package. This can be uneventful, boring and tedious, or it can be celebratory, like opening a birthday present. This customer unboxing experience all depends on how you design it.
The unboxing experience is the first impression – yes, it happens before the customer even lays eyes on the product! You should design and own the packaging as much as the product itself – and make it the way you show your customers how much you value them, how excited you are about your product and how it will enrich their lives. The emotion that can be evoked through physical packaging will beat online branding every time.
5. Custom packaging is valuable for both B2C and B2B businesses
It seems obvious that bespoke packaging appeals to the individual consumer, making them feel valued and appreciated. Well, the same goes for businesses that are consumers – you can spread your brand message better and let them know how special they are – as a company, and/or as the employees of that company.
6. Adding inserts to custom packages builds your relationship
Not only are there more and more eCommerce brands popping up every day, but it’s way more expensive to gain new customers than to retain existing ones, and while businesses are 50-70% more likely to sell again to previous buyers, they’re only likely to sell to 5-20% of new buyers.
This means that engaging with existing buyers is a great use of time and resources in order to reach that higher percentage. According to Forbes, the key to doing this is to treat the relationship like any other kind of relationship you want to keep long-term; make sure that you don’t take it for granted, and continue to show buyers you value them.
Here are some ideas for custom package inserts:
- Personalized notes
- Product offers
- Feedback opportunities
- Social media handles
7. It’s a way to stand out
How do you tell your customers they matter? It’s important to communicate this to customers, but it should also help you retain and gain more loyal fans. Custom packaging stands out because it’s eye-catching, but there’s another thing: it’s still not being done by most companies.
Even better, it can save you money when replacing some of your traditional advertising. Not only will your existing customers get the package, see that you value them, and become repeat customers, but they will then share it, essentially advertising for you!
8. Customize your mailer to mirror the product inside
When designing custom packaging, branding and design are the first things to figure out in making a first impression and great customer unboxing experience. The next thing to think about is the shape and type of box or mailer you’re going to use to match the type of product being sold. This also includes the inserts that hold the products, the material of the box, and more. Matching the packaging to the product creates even more exclusivity and builds more excitement about the product and your brand.
Want To Customize Your Packaging?
Have you tried customized packaging before? CustomUSB can help you design custom packaging for your products, custom kits, conference gift bags and more. We have a team of design experts ready to help you make the best design for your business and products. With sustainable packaging options, quick turnaround and coordinated venue shipping. Design your customized packaging for eCommerce with us today, and see the CustomUSB difference!