Ecommerce is booming, and online sales continue to expand. According to a Smithers Pira study, the ecommerce business is forecast to increase to USD 4.06 trillion in 2020 and even USD 5.30 trillion in 2022*.
But what about the in-store experience? Wasn’t the shop in the street supposed to deliver a more satisfying experience than buying online? The music in the store, the personal service offered by real people, the eye-catching and creative ways that the products are presented … all of these elements make an in-store shopping spree a gratifying experience.
So how can ecommerce compete? The answer is (in) the box.
As the shift to ecommerce continues, savvy retailers are developing a different approach to branding and marketing strategies*. An increasing number of brands and retailers are focusing their attention on the packaging boxes in which their goods are shipped. These innovative boxes are designed to bring the unique in-store experience to customers’ homes, and more. They offer new ways to make an impact on the customer, strengthening brand perception and loyalty.
How can packaging achieve this? Here are five ways a box can make a lasting impression:
1. Say it, see it, feel it … print it
On or inside the box – printing is one of the main techniques to give packaging the wow factor, and leave a strong brand impression. You can brand the packaging and additionally give it a splash of colour(s), add some well-chosen funny, clever, cheeky messages, and create an image that will influence your brand’s perception and leave your customers in awe.
Corrugated cardboard packaging is perfect for high-quality printing.
You can create unique metallic, high gloss or even holographic effects that will boost your brand equity.
2. Bring the showroom to the home
You can turn your corrugated cardboard packaging box into your customer’s personalised showroom. For instance, you can add inserts into the box, not just to keep all of the packaged goods firmly in place, but to showcase your products, so they’re front and centre when the customer first opens the box.
3. Make a lasting impression
Plastic packaging is predominantly single-use. Corrugated cardboard packaging has a different life cycle. Consumers tend to re-use corrugated cardboard packaging, to store goods in the house, for example, or to do crafts with the kids, or to give the cat a new home. There are tons of creative ideas for re-using corrugated cardboard boxes. And consumers are applying them, as you can tell by the many thousands of videos posted on YouTube. (According to the Smithers Pira study*, 49% of users share their experiences with online purchases via social media, including pictures and comments related to packaging – and the trend is still growing.) Consider how powerful it would be if someone uploaded a craft video using a corrugated cardboard packaging box carrying your brand’s logo?
4. Design your box to ensure a second-life application
You can help customers understand the opportunities for re-using a cardboard box, by designing it to support its secondary use and to make that option appealing. Or make it more appealing to use your box than that of the competition. For instance, there are examples of packaging boxes that are designed to turn into a mini circus stage, with all the extras included to transform the box into a little theatre. Add your logo, and your brand is set to last in your customer’s living room for a long while.
Smart packaging design offers a perfect way to create added value, as well as a long-lasting and unique customer experience.
5. Design to impress
Packaging boxes can also be designed to impress, triggering that ‘wow’ reaction when purchasers receive them. Structural design along with printing can transform a simple corrugated cardboard packaging box into art. You can turn a box into a suitcase, for example, and create a ‘shareable’ unboxing experience that could result in viral social recommendations and great exposure for your brand.
You can transform a simple corrugated cardboard packaging box into a suitcase, via printing and design.
* ‘The future of ecommerce packaging to 2022’, by Smithers Pira