Among all the facets of online selling, eCommerce packaging is usually overlooked. However, it is a fascinating topic as it’s directly related to the product, communication strategy, and logistics. It is the first touchpoint a consumer has with the brand. Therefore, it plays a critical role in making an impression, creating a recall value, and retaining customers.
From packaging inserts to the outer packaging, the overall presentation is of paramount importance to provide customers with an excellent unboxing experience. But the key here is to select the right eCommerce packaging to protect the products during shipping.
What are the current packaging trends? What are the guidelines to follow? In this guide, we shall discuss everything about the best eCommerce packaging practices.
Importance of Packaging for Online Sellers
In the world of online shopping and digital marketing, the importance of eCommerce packaging is often overlooked. Indeed the quality of the product is very important. But the material in which it is packed and sold plays a massive role in attracting customers. Product packaging plays a vital role in both online as well as brick-and-mortar models.
Besides branding, packaging, and labelling, it also ensures the safety of the products. Additionally, packaging also boosts business goodwill. A customer feels satisfied when he receives the products packed nicely and attractively. This increases the chances of future orders and thus, also increases ROI and ensures business growth.
eCommerce Packaging Guidelines
In order to ensure packaging meets all the purposes, best packaging practices must be followed. Read on to know the best ways to handle all your packaging needs most aptly.
Product Fitted Packaging
The internal packaging (packaging inserts) and the utility packaging should be tight to reduce weight, but without compromising the product’s safety. For example, retail stores generally have hanging tab packaging. However, online packages don’t have those. For an online store, it provides no additional value and would only take more space. Notably, the packaging that fits the products would also save on shipping charges.
A Mix of Rigid and Flexible Packaging
For some products, corrugated boxes can be a bad option. They require more space and may add unnecessary weight during shipment. Instead, you can use flexible packaging like courier bags.
Likewise, for some products, flexible packaging might not be the right packaging type, and corrugated boxes can do well for them. This packaging type can provide safety to fragile products. So, you must use a mix of rigid and flexible packaging. In a nutshell, packaging must be as per the requirements of the product.
Environment-Friendly Void Fillers
Void fillers fill the void or space in packaging to keep the products from rattling around during transit, for example, bubble wrap and tissue papers. Owing to the fact that consumers have become conscious of environment-friendly packaging, you can use void fillers that do not harm the environment.
Many big companies, like Dell and Amazon, are also opting for environment-friendly void fillers such as styrofoam peanuts.
Packaging and Branding
Who said packaging must be dull and boring? Create a pleasant unboxing experience for your customers! Imprint the packaging box with company colours and branded stickers. The point that we want to make here is that your customers must be able to recognize your products from the packaging itself.
Your branding packaging must be compact than in-store packaging. But it must have similar visual designs. Customers must be able to recognize the products when they open the box. There must be a feeling of familiarity.
eCommerce Packaging Trends
Consumer preferences keep evolving, and therefore, there’s a need to keep up with the latest trends. Have a look at the emerging eCommerce packaging trends that you must consider:
Sustainable packaging is a new trend in the market. Consumers are becoming aware of environmental changes and demanding ecological products.
McDonald’s Corporation too announced that by 2025, 100% of its customer packaging would come from recycled and renewed sources. It’s is a good PR step too! You can also consider second-life packaging to increase package sustainability. Notably, consumers who care about the environment are conscious about sustainable packaging and generally prefer to buy products with sustainable packaging.
Reusable packaging trend is growing strong. An ideal packaging is the one that fulfills all its functions and can be used for other purposes as well. The option of reusing the packaging instead of disposing it off can help create minimal waste. So, from a creative point of view, consumers wish to see packaging that goes beyond a cardboard box.
You can make your packaging returnable. Most companies are thinking of using packaging that can be reused if the customers return it. This helps reduce the waste caused by the logistics industry. Apart from being ecological and environment-friendly, it is cost-efficient as well.
eCommerce Friendly Packaging
Shipping cost is one of the significant expenses for online retailers. As eCommerce space continues to grow, new ways to reduce cost are also emerging. One such method is eCommerce friendly packaging. It is the packaging that protects the products and also serves the purpose of packaging for shipping.
If the packaging is inferior, it can damage the product even before reaching the end consumer. Therefore, the packaging needs to be multi-functional—cost-efficient, protect the products, eCommerce friendly, and helpful in branding.
Pleasant Unboxing Experience
Offering a pleasant, unboxing experience is one of the greatest trends.
Promotion of the products has taken a back seat. At the same time, consumer experience is prioritized—the joy and desire of opening the parcel floods in as soon as the customer receives the product. Businesses can offer a delightful experience to the consumer by taking advantage of this moment.
This is just a game of a few seconds between receiving and opening the package. You need to conquer that, which, by the way, can be done easily by offering creative, original, and striking packaging that remains in the memory for the longest time.
Consumers these days look for conceptual and straightforward eCommerce packaging designs. The most common mistake that retailers do is to fill the package with a lot of stickers and labels that distract the consumers. It’s important to know that brand facilitates the purchase decision. And therefore, tags and packaging must not be complicated.
Minimalist packaging will help in focusing on the main thing - content. Send direct and clear messages to your customers. Be transparent in your communication. It is worth mentioning that the customers don’t have any experience with the brand - they haven’t visited the physical store or interacted with the staff. Their only point of contact with the brand is packaging and design. So, keep it simple yet attractive.
Conclusively, the eCommerce packaging material must be environment-friendly. You can also opt for custom eCommerce packaging. Every part of the packaging, from inner packaging to shipping labels, must carry the brand’s message. But it must be simple, straightforward, and easy to read.
The Final Say
The primary purpose of packaging is to protect the items until the consumer opens it. It must offer a memorable experience to the consumers and yet should be cost-effective. And when it comes to packaging designs and utility, follow the latest eCommerce packaging solution trends to stay ahead of the competition.