Modern consumer expectations have placed high importance on using attractive, eco-friendly and secure packaging to deliver products. Indeed, unboxing videos have become an integral part of company influencer strategies.
To illustrate this – both from a design and a logistics perspective – we've created a breakdown of the importance of packaging for the modern business owner.
The Basics of Product Packaging
Whether you sell your products online or in a retail location, your packaging decisions will begin to influence your customer's experience before even the product does. Poor packaging might leave your products unnoticed on a store shelf, or a subpar delivery may leave a product damaged.
These negative associations can overcome the positive results your customers have once they get that product out of the box; after all, there is no shortage of bad Amazon reviews based on fulfilment issues alone.
When you start to consider how to best package your products, you need to take in all the different factors that determine what will be the best option. There are four areas to focus on:
Marketing – Packaging should catch a customer's attention and is an extension of your wider marketing efforts. Many large companies do extensive testing for colours and graphics that will appeal best to their customer base.
Function – One of the most fundamental roles of packaging is to deliver your product to the customer in one piece. Whatever aesthetic decisions you decide upon must be planned around a functional and safe packaging solution
Sales – The packaging is one of the last opportunities you have to make a sale. In addition to getting attention, it should have a compelling case for why a customer should commit to purchasing it.
Differentiation – Use your packaging as an opportunity to differentiate your product from the competition. Find a unique packaging option that will let people know right away that it stands apart.
Let's take a closer look at each of these aspects of packaging and how they can affect sales, delivery and the overall customer experience.
The packaging that protects your products is a great way to create a consistent impression on your customers and communicate the significance of your services. Tie your packaging into your overall marketing results for the best results.
If your product's lifecycle involves sitting on a shelf in a brick and mortar store, it needs to do some work on its own to attract customers. Packaging is your chance to passively promote at all times.
While you might have an effective marketing strategy to reach as many of your target consumers as possible, it is not feasible to expect your advertising materials to reach everyone. Innovative, attractive packaging solutions help your product find customers even past your advertising dollars.
Packaging is one of the best ways to establish your branding. Therefore, packaging consistency is important not only for individual products but across entire product lines.
Think of the iPhone, whose minimalist packaging has defined the experience of receiving the product since its inception. How different would it be without the clear plastic case and clean designs that are associated with the product line?
As one of the best ways to communicate your brand to potential long-term customers, you need to make sure your packaging is in line with the aesthetics and values of your company.
While incorporating marketing elements into your packaging is an important part of your design process, it is also vital that the materials you ship your products in fulfil their primary function – protection. In some products, the packaging is as important as the product itself, so make sure it works.
Your products always undertake a journey to get to the place where they can deliver value to your customers, and packaging is what allows them to take that journey. Packaging has three functions that it must be able to accommodate for:
Storage – Before you sell a product, it is inventory. Packaging must have the ability to be stored, stacked and shipped.
Transportation – Packaging is what will allow your products to be moved from your inventory to the home of your customer.
Protection – You can't prepare for every obstacle the fulfilment process will present you, but you can give your products the best chance possible with good packaging.
These considerations can be even more important in international marketing and shipping, where products might face a much longer journey.
Good packaging lets consumers find any information they need to know about your product. If there is sensitive information such as expiration dates or directions for use that need to be communicated, they should be a part of your product's packaging.
Without information on how to correctly and safely use your products, your customers may not be able to get the full value they expect from what you are offering.
You won't have a chance to reach every customer through your marketing efforts. The packaging that your products use might be both your first and last chance to get someone to buy your product, so you need to make sure you are taking advantage of that window.
Consumers have learned to take in everything about a product when they are trying to decide what to buy. When trying to identify what a premium product is, the price tag isn't the only indicator of superior quality – excellent packaging can communicate just as much.
After all, a premium product enclosed in budget packaging is unlikely to be recognised as such. Ask yourself how you can use the shell of your product to communicate with a customer and secure a sale.
If you do most of your business online, it may seem less important to invest in premium packaging. After all, the marketing worked, and the sale was made, so if the product arrives intact everything should be fine – right?
This is not necessarily the case, however. Packaging puts a physical connection to what – up to a point – is a digital-only experience for the consumer. Beyond that, some brands have made packaging an essential part of the online experience.
Depending on what type of products you sell, it may be hard for them to stand out against your competitors. By taking all the elements of good packaging and using them together, you can make your products stand out.
Packaging is not only vital to your customer's experience – it is important to the retailers that will stock your products. Attractive, well thought out designs will encourage shop owners to promote your products.
For this reason, it is essential to think about the entire chain of fulfilment in your industry. Identify what you want your customers to know while considering the retailer's pain points to give your product the best chance of success.
As eco-friendly packing becomes more of a priority worldwide, your packaging is a significant opportunity to make responsible choices. Stand apart from your competitors by demonstrating your commitment to good packaging in a way they can see, feel and believe.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below!