In a sales cycle, service does not end when the customer pays for the product. It is a continuous process that follows the customer’s journey until they have used the product and shared their experience with other potential customers. This is why successful businesses pay special attention to all points of interaction with their customers, ensuring satisfaction every step of the way.
For an eCommerce store that wants to scale, this is even more critical because the customers cannot physically see or touch the product that they are paying for. They have to make decisions based on trust, or as influenced by feedback from other customers. However, there is one detail that eCommerce stores often overlook when running their business – their packaging.
You may not realize it, but the packaging is actually your store’s first physical interaction with the customer. The packaging you use is part of the customer’s experience with your store and could influence what they say when they talk to other people about you.
An impressive packaging could even inspire them to do an “unboxing”, which means free advertising and even new leads for your store. On the other hand, badly packaged orders may cause your customer to be disappointed and to talk badly about your store before they even get to see or use the product.
With packaging being an important part of your eCommerce business, it is time to pay more attention to how it should be done. Here, we share five effective packaging tips for your eCommerce store:
1. Use Custom Boxes and Envelopes
Bring your customer experience up a notch by using custom boxes and envelopes. Go beyond the usual logo and hire a freelance graphic design agency that can assist you in creating designs that your customers can appreciate and relate to.
Doing this will already set you apart from the competition and create a happy memory for the customer that they would want to repeat and talk about. Customization also allows you to fit your products snugly inside the packaging, adding an extra layer of security during transit.
2. Include Free Promotional Products
Giving away something for free may not sound like a good business decision on the surface, and you may think this is just an extra expense that would affect your bottom line.
But you can also look at it as an investment – a calculated assumption that after trying the sample, your customer would love the product and buy it from your store, thus giving you more business in the future. It also plays on human psychology as people feel a natural inclination to return a favor.
After receiving something extra from your store at no cost to them, your customers would feel an urge to do something nice for you in return like buying again in the future or leaving positive feedback to drive other customers to your store. It doesn’t have to be a free pricey product – something as simple as promotional pens, stickers, or notepads will do the trick.
3. Make it Secure
No matter how good your product or packaging is, it will all be wasted if the customer receives it in bad condition.
Although there is no surefire way to guarantee that your packages will remain in perfect condition, you can minimize possible damages by implementing safety measures. When preparing the package, keep in mind that it will pass through many hands from the time you release it until it gets delivered.
During this time, it can get tossed and thrown around, dropped down chutes, get rained on, or pressed down under other packages. To prevent or at least reduce damage to your package, first ensure that the outer layer is covered by a durable material like a polybag.
If you are shipping a breakable item, surround it with bubble wrap or corrugated roll then fill the empty spaces inside the package with kraft paper, air cushions, or foam chips to protect it in case of heavy impact.
4. Create an Unboxing Experience With Packaging
Aside from using custom boxes or envelopes and adding free items in your package, you can also level up the customer’s experience with your store by adding flair to the arrangement of the product inside.
Instead of simply stuffing the products inside the box, add a few artsy touches to surprise the customer upon opening. Use a custom tissue paper, sticker, or packing tape with cute or meaningful designs to create a visual feast that your customer will remember and may even want to share on social media.
5. Write a Custom Note
Finally, cap off the customer’s journey with a personalized note from you or your team.
With the eCommerce process being detached and impersonal, you can create a sense of closeness with your customer by sending a custom note thanking them for their support and letting them know that you appreciate the trust they have placed in your store.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.