The post-purchase experience is an area that is often neglected in ecommerce. Branded packaging is more costly than using stock shipping boxes. So many ecommerce businesses feel that it’s simply not worth the investment.

After all, if your customer has already made a purchase, why does it matter how the package looks when it arrives? But if brand owners only view packaging as a means to get your goods from A to B, they are missing out on a huge opportunity to influence brand perception. Ecommerce businesses have few touchpoints with their audience compared to their brick and mortar counterparts. So, it’s vital that online brands take every opportunity to build a personal connection with their customers.

The biggest touchpoint in ecommerce? When the order finally arrives at their doorstep. This makes the post-sale period critical to your customer retention efforts. Your customers have been eagerly awaiting their purchase for days or even weeks. This makes a memorable brand experience upon delivery the key to creating a lasting impression.

Using branded packaging in ecommerce is an easy way to give your customers an unboxing experience that secures their loyalty to your brand. Once an online fad, unboxing content has become an absolute goldmine for marketing professionals. By encouraging customers to share their brand experiences online, it creates a ton of free publicity. As consumers express a greater desire for unique and engaging retail experiences, unboxing and branding have become inseparable. A plain shipping box simply is not enough. Why? Because it’s impossible to have a well-crafted unboxing with no brand presence. Your identity as a retailer is what turns the exercise into meaningful brand storytelling, which is why branded packaging in ecommerce is a vital ingredient to create an unboxing experience that encourages repeat business.

Branded Ecommerce Packaging Fills the Gap in the Experience

In ecommerce, the relationship between the brand and the customer is entirely virtual. The tangibility offered by brick-and-mortar stores is difficult to replicate in online retail. This is where a memorable unboxing experience is vital to building a personal connection with your customer.

Enhance Brand Image

In the age of Instagram and Pinterest, branded ecommerce packaging has been perfected by luxury brands. Why? Because it’s a marketing strategy that justifies premium pricing. When a retailer charges more for a product, they need to attract customers in ways that their competitors will struggle to match. Moreover, price-conscious consumers will expect that a higher price point entitles them to ‘value-added’ extras. Branded packaging is one of those powerful value-added extras that signifies to your customers that they have invested in a premium-level experience. It’s appealing because it feels exclusive — they are buying a lifestyle, not just a product. Providing a premium unboxing experience massively shapes your customers’ perception of your brand. By making a purchase from your brand feel like a high-value investment, you giving yourself a real edge over competitors.

Retain Customers

The art of retaining customers in ecommerce is tricky, to say the least. This is even truer for smaller and less-established brands. According to Forbes, 60-80% of customers do not return to shop with the same brands, even if the customer experience was positive for consumers to choose from. There are so many brands for consumers to choose from that they rarely go back to the same place twice. Just delivering the goods in a timely manner isn’t enough. If your brand interactions have no ‘wow factor,’ they are unlikely to make repeat purchases. But retaining customers is more than just good business — it creates a much more sustainable marketing strategy. Acquiring new customers can cost up to five times more than retaining your existing base. Branded packaging in ecommerce doesn’t simply make products look nice — it’s a customer retainment strategy in its own right. To build lasting brand loyalty, you need to show that you are willing to go the extra mile. The time investment that goes into creating an attractive unboxing is a sure sign of a brand that values its customers.

Creating a memorable brand experience starts with crafting your narrative. How do you want your customers to receive your product? As seen by the unboxing craze, branded packaging in ecommerce provides a massive opportunity to increase your audience share. Use it as a part of your marketing strategy, not as an afterthought.

4 Easy & Affordable Branded Options

There are many types of branded ecommerce packaging to choose from when building your unboxing experience. If you want to create that ‘wow factor’ when your customer opens the package, you need to consider how best to highlight your product.

  1. Shipping Boxes: When your customer receives your product, you want them to know immediately who it’s from. This helps to build anticipation for the rest of the unboxing and ensures maximum engagement with your brand. Custom printed shipping boxes can be very costly, both due to the amount of ink required and high MOQs. If your average order sizes are small, boxes also may not be practical. Mailer bags are a better option for smaller and lighter weight products. Because they are less bulky, they also help to reduce your shipping costs, another important consideration.
  2. Tissue Paper: Using custom tissue paper to wrap your products adds another exciting step to your unboxing ritual. It adds to the feeling of your customers receiving a ‘gift-like’ purchase, as well as protecting more fragile items.
  3. Tape: Customized packing tape is a very economical way to liven up plain exterior packaging, especially if branded boxes are too costly or impractical, this is a great alternative.
  4. Free Samples: Nothing says “value-added experience” like when a brand treats its customers to a small thank-you gift. Showing how much you value your clientele is an essential part of building brand loyalty and trust. It’s also a great way to promote ‘cross-selling,’ i.e., promoting other product categories, by choosing samples based on what customers have bought previously.