Packaging can be theater, it can create a story, Steve Jobs once said.
A sentence that sums it all up.
Among other things, as a store owner, you need to be a storyteller.
Your online store needs to have an authentic story wrapped around your brand that slowly reveals in front of your visitors and buyers.
A story passed to your customers in amazing sequences that unfold and astound them.
Creating a total work of art has to be your prerogative when directing your own spectacle.
The one that will start with the first click and end up with a breathtaking final act – unwrapping newly arrived gift.
Why making a big deal out of a box?
If you are the sceptic one, the one that believes that inside is what matters, and that investing time, money, and all other vital resources, into something that will be ripped off in a moment, is plain stupid and unnecessary – you might want to reconsider.
From the moment first package was prepared to be sent off, the need to figure out a way to protect a product became a must.
A yellow bag and a bubble wrap most definitely did their job successfully reaffirming their position in wrapping business while entertaining everyone for couple of hours, for decades now.
Why rethinking everything than?
It is simple – buyer’s needs have changed and evolved setting up a challenge to all store owners out there somewhere along the way.
And falling on deaf ears would mean regressing, or even worse, staying put while everyone else is scaling.
But the need to rethink packaging was influenced by something far more larger – the need to deliver experience that is memorable, unique, creative, imaginative and different than the one offered by your competitors.
The need to make every act an art work of their own.
Is it only a box?
But at the same time it is an infinite canvas waiting for your creativity to blossom and defuse your brand colours, shapes and logos all over them.
It is a serious talk your customers have with your brand.
You probably know that already, especially if you decided to buy your fourth pair of Nikes for your evening running ritual.
You know that if you told your friends you are never going back to Android again.
Identifying with a brand starts on your online store and ends up with taking down the ribbons, pulling out handwritten notes and asking someone to take a photo.
Ends up with your customers becoming loyal to your online store and returning over and over again.
The truth is that every single detail is important.
Giving loads of attention to your banners, slideshows or product descriptions completely justifies the need to do the same thing with your packaging.
Another great thing is that you don’t even have to invest loads of effort into encouraging your customers to post their unboxing videos on social media.
According to Wall Street Journal – “62 percent of people who watch unboxing videos are researching a product they’re considering buying”.
Not only that, but unboxing videos are making they way to conquer Snapchat too.
Digiday states that Snapchat is taking over slowly, becoming a place where more and more unboxing videos are shared.
Short form made sure influencers kick out what is unnecessary giving to customers concise and creative showcase of their unboxing experience. Neat!
Possible issues and how to overcome them
You might be prone to giving up and stick to old safe ways, and your enthusiasm might have vanished with the first packaging price list you have checked online.
If you are a small store owner budget is probably one of your biggest concerns. And with good reason.
You can easily calculate the amount you can afford to spend on packaging without affecting your margins. All you have to do is take into account average order value on your online store, costs of packaging and do the math on how much you can afford.
If end result is close to breaking your heart, you truly have to find a workaround.
Outsourcing a company and creating branded custom package can be difficult with limited budget.
The thing is that good ideas are more valuable than any budget out there.
Use the fact that you cannot afford posh packages and create your own.
All you need is brown paper, some washy tape, ribbons or rope and you are all set to make that bag shine and win over your customers with simple yet effective design.
Potential problems occur once you start brainstorming which type of box to use.
They are naturally slightly heavier than everything else you might think of using, and can increase your shipping costs affecting your pricing and margins.
Great thing is – it doesn’t have to be a box.
Simply do your research, brainstorm a bit and you will find great ideas that will hold your products nicely wrapped and safe without affecting your shipping rates.
Creativity will save the day!
Huge number of DIY tutorials, ideas and Pinterest boards will lead your way into creating something innovative and imaginative. Something that will make your buyers truly gasp from excitement.
This one can be tricky as you are not the one holding the products when your customers place an order. And getting a supplier to decorate your packaging can ultimately deliver sketchy results. If you get them to do it at all.
However, as a small business owner you can pair up with a supplier that is equally small and willing to grow.
It is the same logic you apply when finding influencers or bloggers for collaboration.
You won’t exactly get a famous blogger to feature your product easily. Same goes for suppliers.
Pair up with someone willing to use your package and create strong bonds that will allow both sides to grow.
You have to take advantage of every single opportunity out there and transform it into a marketing channel for your online store.
Thank you cards will leave plenty of room to both – write a note and print out a coupon code for their next purchase. It will be a great gesture accompanied with an incentive that no one will ignore.
Use custom made stamps to give your brown bags a great and creative logo representation.
Encourage your customers to share their unboxing video via social media and feature it on your online store.
Options are truly endless, and paired with great enthusiasm and backed with creativity and advice from those with more experience, you will soon stand before your package equally excited as your customers will be upon receiving your product.