When it comes to brand management and online shopping, the packaging used for shipment and delivery is a pretty hot topic. Companies around the world have spent millions on packaging to increase their brand’s reach amongst different markets.

Much like the displays that are used in retail stores to demonstrate how an item might look, be used, or function, the packaging is the first thing that customers come in contact with after they’ve purchased an item. Online customers often don’t experience your brand or company culture at all before purchasing an item.

So how can packaging an item purchased online make your brand more effective? Let’s find out and see what other brands around the world are doing to make the most of the first impressions a package makes.

The History of E-Commerce Packaging

Online shopping has been around for 30 some years now and make no mistake; it will eventually become even more uncommon to shop in stores. Online shopping is easier and often more affordable than shopping in retail locations. Look at Amazon and the growth that they’ve experienced over the past five years. It’s simple to shop on Amazon.com and even easier to purchase things that you might (or might not) need. For a deeper history of how online shopping began, check out this article.

So we know that online shopping is a big deal, but what about professional e-commerce packaging? Who were the pioneers of packaging? To start, we look to Apple, which has an entire marketing department dedicated to packaging its products. Apple has quickly become an icon in the packaging world for the sensory experience that they offer when people open their products. Everything from the textures and graphics they use to the amount of time it takes for the top of the box to come apart from the bottom.

Other companies such as Glossier—a makeup company that learned to dominate online retail—have built loyal fans based on the packaging and the way that their packaging feels like a product in and of itself. Just look at this image of their perfect pink boxes complete with stickers and a pink bubble wrap bag that they add to every order.

Attactively packaged soap.

Using Packaging to Increase Brand Awareness

Even brands that ship their packages through e-commerce companies like Amazon, take the time to include a note with each order. Packaging, in this way, needs to be seen as a marketing tool. Packaging can either increase your brand’s awareness and recognition, or it can be thrown to the wayside. Any great product will stand on its own two feet. But, a truly iconic brand will understand the importance of packaging that product in a way that makes their customer tell all their friends to buy the product as well.

Consider how brands use unboxing videos, Instagram posts, and other social media to boost customer engagement and help market their products. Designing a package has almost become as important as designing a product in the first place. Customers have come to expect that packages be designed with them in mind and that each package is perfectly crafted and assembled for their enjoyment.

How to Design Packaging

When it comes time to approach packaging design, there are a few different ways that you can approach it, but it may be different depending on how large your business is. If you own a large company, you’ll most likely want to have your marketing team handle the design and functionality of the packing. But, if you’re a small business with few employees, it’s essential that you collaborate to create something truly beautiful. Smaller businesses may also outsource their packaging design to a local designer or printing company. Here is a packaging design checklist to help you on your journey:

  • Understand your product and those intended to be purchasing it.

This can be one of the most important steps. Not every package works for every product, so understand the intended audience or customer and then dream up a package that you know they would enjoy and interact positively with.

  • Incorporate brand requirements.

Font selections, colors, and logos need to be considered. Where will they be present, and will the package be entirely congruent with the rest of the brand, or will it be similar and incorporate some different elements? These are important questions to ask as you get started.

  • Additional copy that will be required.

Depending on what the product is, there might be other required copy such as FDA regulations or ingredient information. Make sure you’re aware of any requirements that there might be.

  • Style: likes, dislikes, and preferences.

After you’ve gotten most of the requirements down, you’ll be able to move on to styling the package to your preference. You’ll likely go through a multitude of changes and edits, especially if this is one of the first packages your business is releasing.

  • Releasing your design to the public.

For some brands that are already selling their products on the open market, releasing a new design is a big deal. This is especially true if it’s a redesign of an old packaging concept. But, while this can be one of the more dangerous things that brands do, it can also be the perfect thing to push their business over the top.

These steps are straightforward but contain quite a few layers. If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide, be sure to check this guide out!

Stack of trendy e-commerce packaging.

Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Finally, it’s essential to mention the critical nature of using environmentally friendly packaging. Packaging waste made up 14.5 million tons of plastic in 2017 alone. What’s worse is that only 17% was recovered for sustainable purposes while the other amount was sent to landfills. If packaging waste isn’t lessened soon, there will be an overwhelming amount of used packaging sitting in landfills and the environment all across the world.

Sustainable packaging uses materials that are recycled and/or biodegradable so that you don’t have to worry about where your package might end up after being delivered to your customers. Be sure to look into how you can create an environmentally friendly package while still offering an excellent experience for your customers!

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this post and all that it has to offer for those in the warehouse, shipping, and packaging industries. We’re all about making processes better and creating a more efficient business. If you’re in need of anything warehouse management related, be sure to reach out to us! We’d be happy to help and offer you a free demo of our warehouse management and inventory solution topShelf!

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