In many of the online business groups I frequent, I see lots of debates about whether or not it’s important to put effort into the packaging of your products when posting to customers. Some say that they spend oodles of time wrapping their products, tying with string and including a handwritten note, while others say they don’t care how they receive the products they purchase themselves, so they just pop the product in a weather-proof bag and off it goes.

Both sides of the argument are completely valid, but I’m here to tell you that in fact it IS important to put extra thought into how you wrap or package your goods before posting them off, and I’m going to outline the three main reasons below.

Your product packaging matters

1. Brand Consistency

Your brand isn’t just your logo or the pictures of your website, it’s every single experience and interaction your customer has with your business. If you sell gorgeous home decor, and your products are stylish, high-end, well made pieces, your customer will expect that style to carry through on all levels of your brand, including your packaging. If it doesn’t, it’s like there’s a glitch in the system, and your customer loses some trust in your brand as a result.  

Good packaging impacts product and brand satisfaction throughout the product lifecycle, from researching an item, to purchase, payment, reception through to discarding.

“Price and quality are predictably the most important components of product satisfaction, but we were surprised that the average consumer ranks packaging almost equal to brand on a list of factors. Think about the investment you make in your brand, versus your products’ packaging — are those two numbers anywhere equal?” – AdAge.com

 

Some packaging samples have arrived! With some Thank You stickers. Trying out some new packaging!

A photo posted by papagenastudio (@papagenastudio) on

2. The value of your product

If you are selling a $200 necklace, it really shouldn’t be turning up on your customer’s doorstep wrapped in a bit of bubble-wrap and a brown paper bag (no matter how pretty the bag is). The higher the dollar value of your product, the more high-end its packaging needs to be (or appear). Conversely, if your product is a hair clip priced at $4, it should not be presented in a velvet lined clam-shell jewellery box. In either scenario there is a disconnect that won’t sit well with the customer.

 

“Madonnen by Sévigné” Packaging @sevigne_jewellery #MadonnenBySévigné #paperbag #packaginglove

A photo posted by Kera Till (@keratill) on

3. Customer satisfaction

Of course there will always be those customers who really couldn’t care what your product is encased in, as long as it turns up in a timely manner and is undamaged. But for every customer happy to receive their order in a simple plastic bag, there is another who would be taken aback with the apparent lack of attention to detail. The thing is, giving some attention to the detail of packaging won’t turn off customer A, but it will satisfy customer B, and good packaging can influence future or repeat purchases from those customers who DO care.

“To drive repeat purchase, packaging needs to satisfy consumers all the way to disposal. If a product’s packaging leaks on the way home, or is too difficult to store or use or dispose of, you can bet that your consumers will consider another brand the next time they shop.” – AdAge.com

 

So good to see the @ibark #harvest #iphonecase out in the wild. #katapultdesign #productdesign #packagingdesign #sustainable

A photo posted by nathanpollock (@nathanpollock) on

Those are the three main reasons why you should be putting thought and care into your packaging choices for your products. It’s important not to go overboard though – your packaging needs to be on point but not overshadow the product itself.

Keep in mind the following:

Practicality matters

If the customer has to spend 20 minutes just unwrapping the damn thing, you’ve probably gone a little too far. Tissue wrap tied with string inside a bag inside a box is too much. Make sure the item is weather proof – you need to be confident it’s not going to turn up soggy! Also look at how long it’s going to take you to wrap – the longer it take to package each product, the less profits you are making because your labour time is increasing. The best packaging is aesthetically pleasing but also efficient to put together.

Cost Matters

If your packaging is costing more than what your product is worth, you’ve definitely got a problem. You might need to purchase packaging materials in bulk to reduce costs, or look at using slightly different materials that are cheaper but look similar to give the same effect. You should of course be incorporating the cost of your packaging into your pricing structure for your products, but if your material costs are really high this could blow your final wholesale or retail price out of the water, which could price your products out of the market.

I’d really like you to take a moment to think about how you currently package or wrap your products, to send to customers directly, or to display in a brick and mortar shop. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does my packaging reflect my business values and brand?
  2. Does my packaging match the perceived value of my product?
  3. Does my packaging add value to my customers experience?
  4. Does my packaging balance practicality, aesthetics and efficient construction?
  5. Is my packaging cost effective?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above but feel a bit stuck on it, pop on over to the Makers’ Co community group and run it past me, I LOVE trying to solve packaging problems!

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