Marketing

Using Brand Packaging in Ecommerce to Attract and Retain Customers

Besides having a product arrive to your customers' destination safely, the packaging must match your store's value proposition.

Amanda Pofahl

Latin American Market Expert
January 26 2018 · 5 min read

Brand packaging is one of the most critical components of product design and marketing. The brand’s impact on the customer goes from the moment they got acquainted to the business to the moment they receive their product. Therefore, packaging is a key attribute to both consumer acquisition and retention.

Packaging is really important in ecommerce, as customers make emotion-based decisions within milliseconds after looking at your offering.

It is the quality, the elements, the logo and the design of the package that makes customers curious about the brand philosophy.

Take for example Trunk Club. The company that hand-selects clothing for men and curates fashion choices under cardboard “trunks”, has received a massive fan following because of its innovative branding. The company, 5 years later, was purchased by Nordstrom for more than USD 350 million.

Customer Acquisition

It takes less than 50 milliseconds for a customer to make a judgement about your product. Let that sink in for a moment. Since customers make flash decisions using the information presented to them, it’s important to reach them strategically. Offering unique branded packaging is a smart way to differentiate your business.

Research conducted by EY suggests that the packaging industry is making steady improvements concerning the quality of materials used to provide innovative branding and packaging strategies to ecommerce players.

This has helped many online store managers to offer a personalized, cost-effective packaging experience to their customers. Brand packaging has finally become a customer acquisition tool and not just a delivery mechanism in the ecommerce space.

One in five consumers have watched an unboxing video on YouTube, according to Google!

Another great example is the brand Loot Crate. When it comes to branding and packaging strategies, Loot Crate takes the cake. With a subscription ecommerce model, their boxes are a fundamental component of their customers’ experience. This is how the startup became one of the fastest growing companies achieving more than USD 160 million in revenue during 2016.

By making customers feel like they are having a unique experience, Loot Crate did not have much trouble convincing them to pay to become premium customers in order to have access to exclusive treatment.

Customer Retention

Brand packaging is also a key attribute when it comes to customer retention, which is key to growing your business. Just look at the success of the ecommerce giant Dollar Shave Club, which was bought for $1B+ by Unilever, because it was more profitable for them to buy than to compete with the new, trending company.

About 25% of customers retain almost 4 years after they started using it (almost lifetime).. Second Measure

The secret to their success? The packaging. They had some of the best brand packaging online, which reaffirmed the brand proposition of caring for customers.

Consumers that receive their product in an aesthetical manner are more likely to repeat their purchases than those that receive it in a plain box.

Developing Differentiation

When the brand packaging speaks to the target audience, the differentiation is clearer. Even if you are not selling your a customer an exclusive product, a customized brand package solution could be a differentiator from your competitors.

Customization of language, text, font, design, local content, etc. has helped many brands cement their market positioning. Similar to how Starbucks customizes its cups, ecommerce brands in various niches are customizing their delivery mechanisms to ensure that customers are happy.

International Packaging

If you’re always competing on price and are considering expanding to international markets, then branded packaging is the best way to differentiate your business from others and gain margin share.

Concerning international markets, online stores need to understand local requirements, cultures, and preferences to be able to determine the best way to sell their products and build customer trust when entering a new market.

With local brands dominating the market, ecommerce store managers that are aiming for international expansion must invest in ways to distinguish their store from its competitors even more and this must obviously include brand packaging.

International markets need unique designs, specifications and delivery mechanisms that global ecommerce managers must engage with. Some of the best brand packaging have inserts, coupons, and various other marketing materials so that the consumer goes online sooner, and the international sales cycle is cut shorter.

To build a global ecommerce brand, it is important to capture key markets, such as, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Argentina being chief among them.

Laws, Logistics, and Governance

There are multiple laws surrounding packaging innovations that you must be aware of. Secondary features, such as packaging, warranties and services, especially when entering cross-border trade, need to be thoroughly reviewed beforehand. Keep in mind that one region may have different regulations from another. The WTO and NAFTA are actively working with international sales and trade agencies to ensure that these laws are in place long term.

You can find the most suitable option and start surprising your customers with appealing packages that they will not want to throw away using brand packaging services like PackWire and PackLane, or you can talk to packaging providers across China using Alibaba.com.

When it comes to the logistics of it all, you can talk to the experts at UPS, FedEx, and other shipping agencies for their solutions regarding customized packaging as well.

Conclusion

Ideally, what you’re looking for is a customized experience for your customers, who will not face any difficulty while interacting with your unique package design. The box is opened, the customer is excited, and they will shop again at your store. 

It is time to go global.

See how easy it is to become an international ecommerce merchant by reading our e-book on global expansion. 

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