The shopping experience has changed greatly throughout the twentieth century. From storefronts and personal shopping experiences to online shopping, the industry has had to change the focus on what makes a good sale. When shopping was more about going to the store, it was important for stores to create experiences around the merchandise to lure the shopper. This was exemplified in window displays hoping to pull customers into the store.
The Impression of the Package
These days with online shopping, more importance has fallen to packaging. The experience is had at home unwrapping a product. The better the packaging the better sales. It is the first impression of any product and has a huge impact on whether the sale will be made and repeated.
When stores started to send products and mail merchandise, the brand was already established and the product could come plainly and securely. It is now of importance, especially shipping within the US, that packaging be just as important as the product, if not more.
Many brands that are making their sales on social media platforms are new brands and don’t have an established customer base. Therefore, when they do acquire a customer, the only interaction they will create with said customer is within the packaging and product. If the customer is not impressed with the actual item, there is still a chance they will purchase it again for love of the packaging. The packaging brings a specific story and experience to the otherwise functional object. It is also bringing the story and mission behind products. If a connection is made between store and customer, they will be likely to purchase again. With so much saturation and competition, it is extremely important that shops are able to retain customer sales.
Delivery and the Customer Experience
Not only does packaging create an experience, it needs to make sense for shipping and handling. If a product arrives broken or damaged, it can be a huge deterrent for future sales. The item not only needs to convey a story but have functionality. Custom boxes are essential when a company wants to stand out from the crowd. Custom boxes are created to fit the companies specific items, keeping them safe, clean, and undamaged in the shipping process. Especially for delicate items, a custom cardboard box can create a lot of protection with less plastic and filler.
One of the main complaints of packaging in a modern shopping experience is waste. When a supplier can solve the problem of keeping their product safe, telling their story, and being as sustainable as possible, they have successfully packaged and shipped their product to a very likely repeat customer. With the rise in online orders and products being shipped around the United States and the world, there has been a boost in unsustainable packaging material as well as resources to ship these products. In a marketing world that will only increase its online business, this type of sustainable practice is ever important.
Being Wise With Shipping Materials
Telling the story of a product through packaging is ever important to convey the meaning and intention behind a product. Missing the mark on the packaging, the customer might not experience the product in the intended context. The packaging is the first impression and a lasting impression. In today’s climate of trash, plastic, and styrofoam filling our landfills and oceans, we want the impression of the product to last, not its packaging. Using materials that can have a second or third life, can breakdown easily, or that can be recycled, is extremely important to the success of online shopping and shipping.
With online shopping dominating the foreseeable future, there is a necessity for a focus on the types of packaging being used as the industry grows. The impact is far greater than it used to be when it was sending packages for personal reasons. Much can be learned about efficient packaging from days before online shopping. Keeping costs down, the environment clean, and meaningful consumption should guide packaging the right way. These questions and queries are extremely important when shipping within the United States as well as internationally.