If an online sale is already completed, is the packaging in which it arrives actually important? Some business owners may not think so. However, successful entrepreneurs understand the necessity of providing an unforgettable buying experience that extends beyond the check-out cart.

In this increasingly technological society, competition among eCommerce providers is growing. For that reason, online business success is contingent upon standing out. In addition to selling a good product and providing above-average customer service, effective packaging is the key that can make customers completely forget about your competition.

Let's discuss the five reasons why good packaging is so important to eCommerce success:

  1. Improves customer perception of brand quality
  2. Increases customer retention
  3. Adds value to the customer experience
  4. Creates further sale opportunities
  5. Encourages influencer marketing

1. Improve Customer Perception of Brand Quality

Most business owners understand the importance of having a unique, clear brand image for their online stores. After all, a customer only requires less than one second of viewing time to form an opinion on a website. However, what is the role of branding and company image when it comes to packaging?

Simply put, the customer experience does not end after a completed purchase. Rather, order fulfillment, shipping, and even the return procedures are all components of the sales process that affect how a customer views your company.

Packaging, when properly branded, helps maintains a comfortable sense of consistency. Then, when a company demonstrates its harmony in this way, shoppers develop trust and loyalty. Thus, by simply implementing a suitably branded, attractive packaging system, you can ensure customers view your online store as a higher-quality choice over your competition.

2. Increase Customer Retention

Interestingly, research indicates that the majority of online shoppers are left unsatisfied after completing a transaction. However, to achieve success as an eCommerce entrepreneur, you need to ensure that your customers are included in the happier minority. No, this doesn't require an omniscient perspective into complex human emotions. Rather, you simply need to exceed your shoppers' expectations throughout the sales process, including the realm of product packaging.

Attractive, effective packaging is important in ensuring complete customer satisfaction. Plus, when you contribute to a shopper's joy, you solidify their confidence in the decision to shop with you. As a result, you increase conversation rates and retain more customers.

Take some time to consider your current packing methods. Since humans are drawn to beauty, pinpoint and implement visual improvements. Don't hesitate from demonstrating a creative, unique, or fun design, as long as it aligns with your brand. Further, contemplate the purpose of your packaging, and brainstorm ways to increase its functionality.

The aforementioned study explains that repeat customers are easier to upsell and have a higher average order value than first-time buyers. Previous customers are also more likely to share their experience with friends and family via word-of-mouth marketing. Increase your bottom line and retain more customers by taking advantage of the power of packaging!

3. Add Value To Customer Experience

When it comes to delivering a product ordered online, first impressions matter just as much as they do offline. Inevitably, the packaging in which you deliver your product is the first in-person contact a shopper has with your brand. This quickly-formulated opinion has the power to make or break your future business relationship with that customer, despite the actual quality of your merchandise. Take a moment to consider if your packaging is adding to or detracting from the perceived product worth.

To put it in perspective, think about the most recently released smartphone. This high-quality device does not arrive on your doorstep in a boring, plain box with some bubble wrap haphazardly thrown inside. No, the product-developers present it in a well-packaged, properly branded, attractive container because it adds value. High-quality packaging makes you feel as if you are receiving more than you expected.

To thrive in such a competitive market, implementing innovative packaging methods is essential. Utilize this value-enhancing technique to make your customers feel that they have received a phenomenal deal, and that the purchase was totally "worth it." Doing so is not only a necessity to surpass your competition but increases customer loyalty and formulates a positive association of your brand in customers' minds.

4. Create Further Sale Opportunities

Effective marketing in this highly competitive, fast-paced society is not a simple task. Emails remain unopened. Fliers are instantly discarded, and online ads are swiftly closed. In contrast, product packaging is crucial because it is the sole form of marketing that reaches customers 100% of the time.

Consider product packaging as a canvas to display a glimpse of your company's story or purpose. Include brief, relevant pieces of information (whether written or visual) that encourage your target audience to shop again. Keep in mind that the completion of a purchase does not necessarily indicate a shopper is well-informed of the background or purpose of your brand. Utilize this special opportunity to connect with a shopper, and subtly share your most important marketing information.

Ensure that your packaging aligns with the morals of your brand, too. For instance, you should deliver an environmentally-conscious product in observably sustainable, eco-focused packaging materials. On the other hand, entrepreneurs producing trend-setting, fashion-forward products could opt for a modern, unique packaging appearance. Whatever the case, view product packaging as an invaluable method of communicating to customers exactly why they should shop with you again.

5. Encourage Influencer Marketing

Social media plays a large role in our lives today, and no doubt your customers are active online, too. Users upload photos and videos every second of the day regarding the food they eat, the shows they watch, or, most relevant to you, the products they purchase. In fact, merchandise unpacking review videos called "unboxings" are highly popular online. A quick search of the phrase "YouTube Unboxing" results in over 107,000,000 videos.

Considering online media is becoming increasingly visual, the appearance of your goods on camera matters. A product arriving in a charming, funny, or creative package encourages and tempts customers to share a photo. Take advantage of this free influencer marketing by crafting your packaging accordingly. Give the design some careful thought to create a unique package that your customers feel they just have to share. As a result, your brand has the potential to reach thousands of new customers, while you sit back and relax.

How To Implement Successful Product Packaging

Effective packaging is essential to eCommerce success. It allows you to give your customers a high-quality opinion of your brand. Your shoppers will remember a positive first impression, and return to your store months and years down the line. Plus, proper packaging creates precious marketing opportunities, both by word-of-mouth and in a viral, online setting.

Though eCommerce competition is high, your company can stand out and succeed. This article covered the "why" of effective product packaging; your next step is implementing the "how." For invaluable tips in creating successful packaging, be sure to check out our next article in this series: 8 Unique Packaging Ideas To Improve Your eCommerce Business.