Brick and mortar stores have the advantage of designing their physical environments to showcase their brand, display their products, interact personally with their customers and take them through the entire purchasing process. They interact with their customrs from start to finish – and some even charge them to pack their products into branded bags before they leave.
Yes, online stores can design their sites to showcase their brand and display their products. The personal interaction unfortunately will always be lacking, with no real tangible benefit to the customer who can’t touch, smell and hear your brand or product. They can only see it. Unless off course you play music in your online store, but there is probably a good reason why I’ve never seen that before…
So, how do you create a memorable and shareable experience for your online customer? By creating an “unboxing experience” that they will never forget, that’s how.
Simply put, when your customer receives their package via a courier company or whatever means you use to get it delivered, you want to make sure that every little detail has been thoroughly considered and designed to make the unboxing experience as memorable as possible.
Yuppiechef, one of South Africa’s largest online stores, is one store that understands the meaning of unboxing and creating an unexpected moment for their customers. Instead of delivering their product in a standard brown box, sealed with standard packaging tape, a Yuppiechef product gets delivered in a beautiful pre-printed box with their logo neatly printed in the middle. The box is solid, giving you the feeling of quality the moment you receive it. The box is not only printed on the outside, but also flood coated in their corporate colour on the inside, a very nice touch that adds to the feeling of quality and attention to detail. Opening the box makes you feel like it’s Christmas all over again, as now you have a branded wrapping paper sleeve sealed with an embossed sticker, making it look like a gift. The nice surprise is that you get a personally hand written card with your purchase (this always amazes me, where do they get the time for this?), however it adds so much meaning to the entire experience and makes you feel that they really care. Once you open the wrapping paper, you are presented with your purchase, neatly packed into the box. I’ve spoken to a few people who use Yuppiechef, and they are always amazed at the unboxing experience, and only have positive things to say about it – which is great for building a brand.
Another local example, is a fairly new store named NicHarry. These guys sell socks. Not your average socks though. Their socks are of the highest quality, made from the best material and, of course, the designs are amazing – so one can expect to pay a premium price for these guys. That said, if I buy a pair or two from their online store, I don’t really expect them to come in a brown bag or, heaven forbid, wrapped in plastic. No sir. For that price I expect them to come in a decent form of packaging that matches the quality of the brand, I would like them to be able to sing a song and make me a cuppa, but I’ll settle for great packaging. Have a look at the beautiful packaging they use to present their socks to you when you receive them. This is yet another good example of how you can capitalise on the unboxing experience.
Why Is This So Important?
Building a brand is about building loyalty and getting your customers to return time and time again. It’s about making the experience they have with your brand as amazing as you possibly can at every single touchpoint.
In a recent survey from Dotcom Distribution they found that 52 percent of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant that delivers premium packaging.
In that same study, Dotcom also found that nearly four out of every ten consumers would share an image of their delivery via social media if it came in a unique package.
Now imagine that? Do your customers share your products via social media? This must be one of the best ways to get your products noticed and mentioned across various social media platforms, and the best thing is, because it’s your user generating the content, it is immediately made more authentic.
A good example of this is a video generated by a user unboxing his purchase from TrunkClub in the States that got 164K views on YouTube – not bad for a user generated video.
What Goes Into Creating Custom Branded Packaging?
Boxes – Use either blank, off the shelf boxes that you decorate with sleeves, stickers or branded tape, or ideally a pre-printed branded box which makes the biggest impression.
Tape – Branded or pre-printed tape with your logo or branding on it.
Wrapping or Tissue paper – Use tissue paper that is in your brand colour, or ultimately printed wrapping paper with your logo as a pattern.
Stamps – Very useful for decorating plain packaging and also very cost effective.
Stickers – The possibilities are endless with stickers, you can print, emboss, foil and even die cut stickers and use them to seal boxes, stick wrapping down, seal envelopes, bags etc.
Swing tags – A very cost effective way to decorate a product and a perfect place to write a handwritten message. You can attach a swing tag to nearly any product.
Cards – A very cost effective way to impress your client, even if you don’t have time to write a personal message to each customer. A beautifully designed thank you card with your branding on goes a long way to making the shopper feel appreciated.
Whether you are a big international retailer or a small local store, adding any of these simple tactics to your online shopping experience will go a long way to winning the hearts of your consumers, and ultimately building your brand.