E-commerce is seeing exponential growth in the retail industry in the past year, and it is expected to steadily keep growing. According to a forecast report prepared by Forrester Research, online retail sales are expected to reach $34 billion in 2018. Having this in mind, we thought we would share a post on packaging opportunities for companies that have e-commerce websites and/or are thinking about expanding operation to an online channel.
As we mentioned in one of our earlier posts, Incorporating Social Media into Your Packaging, one of the most powerful tools to get the conversation started around a certain topic is through social media. When a consumer posts an update of a package he/she received, it is instantly shared amongst an extensive network of friends and family. They are communicating either advocacy or dissatisfaction for what was just received. For this reason it is important to have online retail packaging that it is attractive and shareable. Allow them to start a conversation around your product by using a hashtag, and interacting directly with people using the tag. By putting social media icons and a call to action, not only are you letting consumers know which social media platforms you participate in, but you are inviting them to follow you. It is important to have a strategy to get people talking about your product and packaging.
As much as you want people to share positive posts about your product, packaging and company, let’s not forget the real goal for packaging: to protect the product. Design packaging that it is attractive to consumers but always keep in mind its functionality and material. The idea is to present the product in a way that is in accordance with your brand, but also to protect the product inside of it when shipping and stocking. SPS, chipboard, folding carton, and corrugated cardboard are some of the types of materials we use for retail packaging. The size of the packaging is also an important consideration. As you are weighing costs when designing packaging, there is no reason for wastage. Not only is it good business practice, but it is also environmentally conscious.
It is also good practice not to unveil the product all at once. With e-commerce you want to create an experience for the consumer. The customer doesn’t have a chance to visit a brick and mortar store and get the full experience, so it is up to the marketer to create this experience through the unveiling of the product. Use branded paper, thank you notes, social media sharing experiences, etc. The idea is to get the customer intrigued about the final product. Be conscious of the fine line between intriguing the customer through unveiling, and over-packaging.
Finally, e-commerce is an industry that is seeing steady growth. There is an opportunity to start conversations about our brand thorough social media incentives, and to create experience though the unveiling process.