5 Tips for Great E-Commerce Packaging

56d0285b6f978-Branded tape

You've all heard the phrase, "You eat with your eyes first." When it comes to a fine dining experience, how your meal appears on the plate is just as important as how good it tastes.

The same goes for packaged goods. Marketing and manufacturing companies know this, which is why they invest so much money in making their packaging look appealing. The shelves of grocery stores are packed with brightly colored, whimsical bags, bottles, and boxes all designed to entice you to buy. (Ask yourself, would Oreos be as appealing if they came in a nondescript brown paper bag?)

In the past years, e-commerce companies have picked up on this phenomenon, so much so that they have turned unboxing from a necessary chore into a sought-after experience. Apple, for example, was smart to realize that customers' experience opening their iPhone box was the launchpad event to using their product. Their packaging, for the longest time, is second to none.

If you are an e-commerce business, here are 5 tips for making your packaging stand out from the rest:

  1. Custom-made tape. A boring brown box can really look jazzy when you replace the standard clear packing tape with something a little more creative. There are all sorts of graphics and designs you can choose from; just pick something that represents you and your brand. Try your company logo, mission statement, or even clever text to engage the customer.
  2. Thank-you notes. Great companies go out of their way to show their customers how much they are appreciated. We noticed that e-commerce consumer goods manufacturer Melaleuca.com recently put thank you notes in their boxes. The first thing customer sees, sitting right on top of the products they ordered, is an elegantly designed note thanking them for their business.
  3. Multiple levels of packaging using multiple materials. This may cost you more, but if you are trying to market your products as high-end, this is definitely worth the price. Some companies place their products inside birch boxes, inside a velvet bag, wrapped inside quality tissue paper, inside a shipping box. The textures, colors, and sounds associated with different packaging materials (and opening them) make a customer feel they are getting something truly special. Gone are the days when you can just throw your product into a cardboard box with packing peanuts and call it good.
  4. Ditch the box. If you don't have to put your product in a a square or rectangular package, then why do it? Shipping companies are cool with accepting and delivering cylinders and other shaped packages, which look so cool—especially when they are covering in creative printing.
  5. Second-chance packaging. Let's be honest here: Packaging is a lot of waste. And today's consumers are environmentally conscious. Consider using as much recycled, reused, and reduced packaging material as you can. And proudly announce it to your customers. When they see you care about making the world a better place, and not just about turning a profit, they'll likely be loyal to you for a long time.