Small businesses are finding big opportunities in today’s growing e-commerce industry. As shopping becomes purely digital, sending goods (and even services) to customers is more important than ever. But there’s a catch. Products are flooding the web and online competition is getting steep. As e-commerce becomes more saturated, how can you stand out?
Well, one option is custom packaging for small businesses…
What is Custom Packaging?
In brick-and-mortar stores, everything we purchase off the shelves comes in a custom-designed package. Candy is presented in a wrapper or bag, ice cream comes in a container—you get the point. These goods have it easy compared to online products. They get to sit in their original bag or box up on a shelf, all safe and sound. While products sent through the mail need a lot of extra packaging to avoid damage.
Protecting products isn’t the only purpose of packaging. Branding is another reason packaging is so important. One of the simplest ways small businesses can enhance their customer experience is by customizing their packaging for shipping purposes. Custom packaging is a simple, yet powerful way to delight customers and stand out from the competition.
Why is Custom Packaging Important?
Imagine you own a small business that manufactures and sells high-end, organic soap. You spend your life making the best quality soap and you’re eager to share it with the world. So, you set up an online store and start sending your product across the country and around the globe. The orders come flying in, and now you need to get your soap in the mail and to your customers. You’re concerned about filling orders and keeping up with manufacturing. You’re not obsessing about shipping the soap, you’ve got bigger issues.
Pinching Pennies Can Actually Turn Out To Be Costly
As a small business, you’re on a tight budget; so, you decide to use generic packaging to send out the orders. You know, the stuff that you can purchase at a post office or local shipping store. It’s usually brown and not very pretty. But that doesn’t matter much because you’re looking at the bottom line.
You pack up your grade A soap bars in a standard sized box (depending on how many bars the customer ordered) and slap on some bubble wrap and tape. You print the shipping label and send it off. Easy. Done.
Generic Packaging Can Alienate Customers
Now, imagine that you are a customer shopping online for organic soap. Something high-end that feels luxurious and fit for a king. You find a soap manufacturer from a neighboring state that sells online. You want to support a “local” small business, so you make a hefty purchase from their website.
A week goes by as you eagerly await for the “man in brown” to deliver. Finally, the package arrives. But wait. Is this the organic soap you ordered? It doesn’t look like anything special. The packaging is bland, ugly even, but you decide to withhold judgment.
You carefully open the box to find your 12 bars of “high-end” soap covered in bubble wrap and tape. You painfully unwrap them to discover that three of the bars are broken. You’re not withholding judgment anymore. You wonder, “How could such a “great” product be such a pain?!”
And, even though you actually do enjoy the soap, you never purchase from that business again because of the initial inconvenience and negative first impression.
Custom Shipping Boxes Create Great First Impressions
Face it, packaging matters for your brand! Competition is tough and customer relationships are fragile. First impressions can make or break a customer’s experience with your product. That’s why custom packaging for small businesses can be critical for success, especially for certain products. Oftentimes, when it comes to competitive, specialty goods, the packaging matters as much as the product itself.
Generic packaging is an easy and affordable way to ship products, but it’s not always the best option for protecting the items. Custom shipping boxes are designed to support the product during shipment while also providing the customer with a memorable first interaction.
Are Custom Shipping Boxes a Good Fit for Your Business?
Now that you’re thinking about customizing your product packages, let’s go over some things to consider before jumping into the design process. First, ask yourself if custom packaging is beneficial for your products or branding initiatives.
Protection & Dependability
Start by going over how many complaints you may have had from customers about your products breaking during shipment. Do your products need protection? Ecommerce industry statistics state that 20% of all returned products are due to damaged goods.
Custom packaging ensures that your product is snug as a bug during transit to your customer by fitting perfectly into a specially designed carrier. If a specially designed box isn’t necessary for your product, you might consider custom-printed packing tape. Just to add a little extra to the customer’s opening experience.
Convenience & Cost Savings
Custom packaging for small businesses takes the guesswork out of packing and shipping your products. With uniform packaging, your team will save time putting shipments together. You’ll even save on shipping costs. Rather than opting for generic packaging that only offers three sizes, you can ensure that your custom package is just the right fit. So, you won’t have to pay extra for shipping all that empty, leftover space inside a generic box.
Plus, your customers will find it easier (and more enjoyable) to open a package that is custom fit for the product. Your customer does not want to open a big box to find a tiny trinket wrapped in multiple layers. It’s a waste of materials and money. And boring!
If your specialty product is a hassle to fit into generic packaging, then custom packaging is definitely a solution for your small business.
Brand Recognition & User Experience
Have you ever watched an unboxing video on Youtube or Facebook? When a customer opens their new purchase on camera, explaining every little detail of the experience. They are quite elaborate and fun to watch. Imagine if your product was the feature of a popular unboxing video. What would the customer point out and discuss about your product’s packaging?
When it comes to branding and user experience, the product is equally as important as the packaging. This is where custom packaging for small businesses can build relationships with the customers. The more they are engaged in their first interaction with the product, the more likely they are to recommend it to someone else.
Take Apple products for example. Everyone in the country would recognize the sleek, white box that iPhones or Macbooks in. Or at least, they would recognize the white Apple sticker (that comes inside each Apple product). Another good example of memorable packaging is Tiffany & Company, which touts a VERY popular bluish-teal packaging. In fact, some people buy Tiffany jewelry primarily for the iconic teal box!
In short, never underestimate the power that packaging can have on a customer’s first experience with your product.
What is the Best Custom Packaging for Your Small Business?
There are many options for customizing your product packaging. Maybe you want to start out small and order some stickers to slap on a generic box. Perhaps custom-printed packing tape will spice up your aesthetics. Or, slather some custom shipping boxes in your brand and make a BIG first impression. Depending on your budget, the possibilities are endless.
If you’re ready to move forward and invest in custom packaging, Print Bind Ship is available for a free consultation.