A recent study by the European Journal of Scientific Research showed a strong correlation between the design of a product’s packaging and a viewer’s perceived value of the said product.   

So it’s quite safe to say that packaging affects the way your customer feels about your brand. But custom packaging can be slightly overwhelming – more than just putting a logo on a box, but not entirely reinventing the wheel.

Luckily, you’re in the best place to see why implementing branded packaging is only going to help your brand reach its goals. 

In this article, you’ll see

  • Why packaging is more than just a box
  • The role packaging plays in your marketing
  • Packaging and retention

Let’s dive in!

Why custom packaging isn’t just a box

A box is a box – it keeps things safe and then gets thrown out. 

While that statement isn’t incorrect, there’s a lot more to it. 

What do you remember about the last box you got from Amazon? It was a plain, standard box – just with an Amazon logo, right?

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

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True. But it’s still custom packaging. And Amazon does that because Jeff Bezos knows the importance of the first impression for ecommerce brands. 

They want their brand to be associated with that endorphin rush of experiencing something new for the first time. 

When your mailer boxes are the first thing that’s seen, your customer makes that associating naturally and quickly. 

Impressive packaging adds value

Remember the last time you thought “Wow, I really got my money’s worth here”?

It might have been when you went to a new restaurant for the first time and got a lot more food than you thought you would. It might have been when you bought your new lounge suite, and the salesperson threw in a free recliner. 

This is extra value – your perception is that you got a lot more than you paid for. Value-added selling is a potent way to position your product and maintain a premium price. 

And well-designed packaging adds that value to your brand. 

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

Your customer expects to get the product that they paid for, and not a fancy box. It’s this box that helps your customer think “wow I got a lot more than I paid for”.

The end result?

Your customer associates your brand and products with a higher value.

You may already be delivering a lot of value to your customers in the form of freebies like stickers, or a discount for a repeat purchase. But for as little as €0.30 per sale, you can add extra value in the form of an elegant box that pushes home your branding.

Most importantly, nail your first impression by using a box that shows off who you are. A flaky first touch-point isn’t the way to go building customer loyalty.

The unboxing experience

The science behind this seemingly strange trend of ‘unboxing videos’ is due to the fact that we feel the same emotions we feel when opening a surprise gift — even though we know what we’re getting!

The point here is this: with influencer marketing being a potent sales channel; there’s every chance that your product will end up as the focal point of an unboxing video on YouTube.

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

And when that happens, would you rather your product be seen like this:

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

Or this:

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

It’s a pretty obvious answer.

Even if it’s not being filmed, the unboxing experience plays a crucial role in your marketing efforts, at it is the stage for that first impression. It creates a lasting impression in the time between your customer getting their packaging and using the product for the first time.

Make your product look as good as it can be for an unboxing video, by making your unboxing experience worthy of being filmed. 

It’s not just a pretty face

You’ve just spent most of this article reading about the aesthetic appeal of custom packaging. But there’s also a practical side to it – and it’s this practical side that’s most important to your business. 

Why?

Because pretty packaging that doesn’t keep your product safe is going to dig into your back pocket in terms of expensive returns and refunds. Using structurally sound packaging means that a lazy courier can throw your packaging in the back of the van, and everything will still be intact.

Scrunched up newspaper inside your box is a good idea for extra padding – but – well, it’s not going to help your branding too much. 

Bring your entire packaging set up together with a little custom printed tissue paper.

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

Branded tissue paper is excellent for delicate, soft, and high-end products, as it adds a little bit of wow to the unboxing experience. 

If you really want to get value for money and the best security and branding possible, consider value-engineering your packaging. 

In essence, a team of experienced packaging engineers rebuilds your packaging from the ground up. 

This ensures that space is used as best as it can, materials are kept as low as possible and security is the best it can be. 

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

Saving money on packaging supplies is vital for anyone that’s buying packaging, and finding the right packaging for your situation is the first step. 

So you might be pleased to know that a heavy (but secure) corrugated box isn’t always the most economical packaging solution for a lot of products. 

Consider a fashion brand, for example, selling simple t-shirts, sweaters, and various ‘streetwear’. 

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

Their products are durable, flexible, and can survive being thrown around in the back of a courier’s van. A heavy, solid box is not the best solution. 

But a mailing bag is. 

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

Lightweight and small (so it saves storage space in your warehouse), mailing bags can be entirely customised and printed how you want them. 

Furthermore, ecommerce buying habits show that many people buy multiple sizes of the same product and then return the products that don’t fit. 

This makes sense, but sending a product back can be a mild inconvenience for your customer. 

But many custom mailing bags come with a dual self-sealing strip, making it easy for your customer to send an unwanted product back to you using the same packaging. 

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

Using mailing bags that can be custom printed are great, as you can put your branding on it, as you would a standard box. 

But with dual sealing strips, this help’s your brand’s image as it shows you care about your customer’s convenience.

Sustainability

Sustainable packaging is becoming more important for brands as they realised their consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging. 

But ‘eco-friendly’ isn’t a cut and dry term as you think it might be. Many packaging materials are open to greenwashing and sly marketing tactics. 

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

For example, plant-based plastics are made from renewable corn and starch rather than unrenewable petroleum products. 

But a lot of these raw corn and starch ingredients are grown on crops that used to be pristine Amazon rainforest. Being plant-based doesn’t mean it breaks down in the water – which is where a lot of waste does the most damage. 

The best way to combat greenwashing is by education and doing your own research. Certifications are great, but don’t take the manufacturer’s word for it – what are the benefits of FSC certified cardboard?

Custom packaging in ecommerce | ErrandPro: bringing together restaurants, food and beverage (F&B) professionals, and producers

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Sustainable packaging also works hand in hand with your branding, as well as your values. You can sell the most organic products on the planet, but if they’re delivered in single-use plastic packaging, you’ll disappoint your customer immensely. 

Over to you

When you blow your customer’s minds, they’re more than likely to remember your brand and become an advocate. 

While custom packaging isn’t the way to satisfy your customers, it certainly does play a big role. That’s because it shows you’ve thought about your brand beyond the product. You’ve thought about your brand as an experience. 

It’s this experience that makes a product more valuable to your customer, and ultimately, makes the customer more valuable to you Find a wholesale packaging supplier that’s willing to work with you to design your packaging, and put your packaging to work!

About

This guest post was written by Phil Forbes. Phil is a bearded Australian living and working in Warsaw, Poland. When he’s not selling Packhelp’s sexy boxes, he’s at home trying not to kill his plants, or writing about Polish history and culture on expatspoland.com.