4 Reasons Product Packaging is Important for E-commerce in 2023

22 February 2023 • 6 min read

Originally published September 2020. Updated February 2023.

Product packaging is the final touchpoint with your customer. It’s your last line of marketing, and nailing it often means returning customers. Your packaging contributes to the success of your business more than you might think.

Sure, packaging’s primary utility is to protect the product, but it can also get your brand message across. In the Instagram/TikTok age, appearance and experience is more important than ever. While some customers are looking for the perfect unboxing experience to share, others can be swayed by a small amount of clever packaging.

Many retailers are selling the same products, so providing unique packaging allows you to connect emotionally with your customers. Let’s look at how e-commerce businesses can nail their product packaging in 2023 and win more customers.

1. Packaging provides an emotional connection

Like all good marketing tactics, product packaging should trigger an emotional reaction in your customers. It’s the transition from the digital to the physical for online customers, so understanding how to translate the experience from your site to packaging can trigger a positive emotional response.

Research has shown that consumers form their impression of a brand within 7 seconds and it is very hard to then change this opinion. While your website may have won them over in the first place, when the package is received it starts a new relationship between you and your customer and you’ve got 7 seconds to make it count.

Research has shown that nearly as many consumers (10%) consider a product’s packaging almost as important as the brand itself (12%).

GWP Group

The customer places almost equal weight on what your brand is telling them and what your packaging shows them. That means it’s essential that you land on a positive interaction when your customer first opens that box or parcel.

Sezane is a 100% French brand, with simple products and a very natural and chic universe. For orders, worldwide customers receive a packaging with pastel colors and the word “Merci” or “Thank you”. They’re thanking customers for their business and creating a connection with them by letting the customer know their business is appreciated. It’s a small gesture, but it works.

For your brand to strike an emotional chord, your product’s packaging should reflect your brand’s identity. Don’t neglect the physical just because you are selling products online, customers feel the packaging is as important as the brand itself.

2. Personalized packaging increases customer retention

Good packaging encourages repeat purchases and buyer intent. Going that extra bit to show the customer that this experience is personal to them can win you a lot of repeat business.

It has also been reported that online sellers / businesses that pay due attention to their packaging report, on average, a 30% increase in consumer interest.

GWP Group

Everyone is used to receiving deliveries and packages to their homes these days. And maybe there’s some fatigue setting in here too. Daring to be different and creating a more unique experience can turn a curious customer into an advocate.

Good packaging is a surprise and delight tactic where you go above and beyond the customer’s expectations. This kind of activity will drive customer loyalty and increase your brand’s exposure as happy customers will often share their experience through a variety of ways such as word of mouth, online reviews, or social media.

A small printed message addressed directly to the customer can also be an effective way to tell them all about your business. You have their attention, make the most of it.

3. Good packaging can win you free social marketing

People like to share things that look nice and Instagram is the perfect social network for that. Your customers likely use this social network so sending them items that can be shared can win you some followers and customers.

Unboxing videos or similar preview-style content for what people have received is popular on Instagram. Consumer culture is big on Instagram with brands being tagged and hashtagged on a daily basis. If you’re just getting started on the social network, read our guide to increasing sales on Instagram.

The people who unbox on Instagram are usually influencers who have a lot of subscribers, but everyone likes to share images of nice things they receive. Good packaging can capitalize on this and even include messages like “share a picture and tag us @companyname on Instagram” on your packaging can encourage activity. You can even take it  step further and offer a voucher or prize in exchange for the social content.

Encourage social sharing of these kinds of images with your appealing packaging. Either make it clear that your social profiles are active or offer an incentive for sharing images. Customers won’t want to tag a brand that has inactive profiles or a low following in general.

Use your packaging to tell a story that will naturally lead to someone posting something on social media. Always keep in mind the journey you can bring your customers on. From webstore to delivery to social media and eventually a repeat purchase. That should be the ultimate goal with your bespoke packaging.

4. People are increasingly environment-conscious

Some customers want eco-friendly packaging these days. With growing concerns about the environment, people are becoming more conscious of the amount of packaging needed for products.

However, the choice of packaging should be consistent with your brand and your values. It might not be relevant for all businesses though. For example, if you sell organic or vegan products, then avoiding plastic, polystyrene, and other packaging that is toxic to the planet will make your customers happy. It is very important that you are in line with your values and the expectations of your consumers.

Here’s an example by Puma where they package their shoes in a reusable bag:

Yet, more customers are becoming conscious of product packaging as they purchase more frequently online. As a result, consumers are becoming more interested in environmentally friendly solutions,. Businesses are being forced to think about how to use products and processes that are less harmful to the environment.

Wrapping up

Product packaging is a critical component of e-commerce success. It can help to differentiate your products from competitors, protect them during shipping and delivery, reflect the quality of your brand, and increase customer satisfaction with their purchase.

With careful thought given to how each package looks and functions, online sellers are able to win more sales while also improving their reputation as an established business that cares about its customers’ experiences. Investing in product packaging will pay off over time by helping you create loyal fans who love seeing what’s inside when they receive it!

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