Applications, Colour and branding, Communications

E-commerce annual sales will likely reach $410 billion by 2018, according to Forrester Research. Being able to cut out the expense of retail distribution and increase profitability will continue attract more and more companies to this type of sale. One of the many considerations for companies deciding whether or not to sell direct from the Internet is packaging. Once a product is set to be sold online, and its marketing is done online, why would it still be necessary to have the expense of box design? This is why, by and large, an ecommerce-purchased product will arrive in a plain cardboard box.

But wouldn’t this be an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and make your product experience more impactful?

Customers shopping online don’t necessarily go to the store and touch or pick up their product before they get on their computer or phone to order it (after all, that would eliminate the convenience factor) so you can bet that when the box finally arrives, those first moments will leave a lasting impression. And people are more attentive to that ‘Special Moment’ than ever: unboxing has become sort of a phenomenon on the internet, where people do a play by play description of taking the product out of the packaging and beginning to use it. In the case of ecommerce purchase those expectations are likely even higher.

Why not enhance that bonding moment with your packaging design? Whether the design is simple or elaborate, if it is carefully thought out from the consumer’s point of view, it can generate loyalty. A 2013 eCommerce packaging study found that 52 percent of customers are likely to make repeat purchases from an e-retailer that delivers orders in premium packaging. Think of it as an investment in customer loyalty.

First though, you need to select the appropriate print method for your packaging.

Depending on how much resolution you need and how big your print run will be you’ll have one of the following options:

  • Flexographic printing: Ideal for multiple colour printing, it is a very economical print method. It can be used in small and large production runs and could be ideal for straightforward, bold and simple designs
  • Screen printing: Can give you full colour graphics and higher resolution. It is appropriate for designs that rely on vibrant, impactful colours to make a statement. It is ideal for small to medium production runs
  • Litho-Lamination: Print on paper, which is then applied to the box with adhesive. It can give you very high definition and any colour of the rainbow. Appropriate for high-end products where precision and refinement in design are expected

In my next post I’ll talk about other packaging choices to consider when turning that plain old cardboard box into a memorable customer experience.