Original packaging made cheap

Creating a Unique Packaging Experience

22nd April 2020, 12:12pm in Shipping Advice by Eva Malpass

We're always told not to judge a book by its cover, but that's exactly what customers will do! Be sure to spend time on your brand packaging, it's an easy way to create a consumer experience that won't cost a bomb but will keep your brand exciting and in your customers' minds.

The eCommerce industry is rapidly growing and becoming more and more popular every day. In 2017 the industry was worth £2.2 trillion and is set to reach £4.66 trillion by 2021. This offers great potential for small businesses that are looking to expand their sales online, particularly with the rapidly increasing use of online shopping.

But, as buying online becomes saturated with brands, new businesses will need to save money while standing out in the crowd. While the product itself can draw the customer in, the packaging experience can leave a lasting impression and keep them returning!

So, what should small businesses look for when buying product packaging? We've got some tips to help you save!

Why is creating a unique packaging experience important?

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The packaging of your products should create a fluid and unique experience of your brand for the customer. From outside in, the whole process should be exciting and memorable so planning and designing quirky or innovative packaging is really important when building your brand. But there are other reasons to having stand out packaging:

The luxury of it all - if you're product is wrapped in layers of delicate tissue paper, secured with a sticker denoting your company name and tied up in a ribbon your product gains value tenfold. This creates a bespoke experience that will feel like unboxing a present!

Gifted and regifted - The luxury of the packaging can also affect the likelihood of being bought as a gift. If your product comes encased in a beautiful or stylish package people may be more likely to order this as a gift for others as it comes readily wrapped and looking luxurious. Customers will benefit from the exciting aspect of unboxing your product, so they are more likely to buy as a gift for others and remember your brand.

The gift that keeps on giving - Many brands arrive in such beautiful boxing that we cannot help but to keep them as trinket boxes being far too beautiful to recycle! There is your brand, advertising itself and its not even your product, yet it has become so!

Protection! Protection! Protection!- As well as considering the customer's experience of your packaging, you need to make sure your product is well protected. Nothing is more disappointing than receiving a damaged item through the post. Test your chosen packaging – is it puncture resistant? Will it be robust enough to withstand handling in transit with minimal movement inside? Is the product adequately cushioned? Will it be protected in wet weather?

What do I need to include for custom packaging?

There are two main elements you'll want to consider when creating a custom packaging experience. These are:

Exterior printed packaging

Depending on the size of your product(s) its a good idea to research companies that can produce boxes or packaging for you in bulk. Even if your business is small and just starting out, it's always best to buy in bulk. Companies like PackHelp and Progress Packaging can create custom packaging that is designed to fit your product precisely. They specialise in creating unique, branded boxes that save space and money to companies requiring bulk shipping packages so are a great avenue to go down!

If your product would ordinarily fit in a jiffy bag or a padded envelope but you still want to foreground your business branding, try Kilby's custom printed bubble envelopes. They have lots of options to choose from and offer both standard and non-standard sizes alongside bulk buy offers!

Filler materials and promotional add-ons

Filler, tissue paper and insert cards are a great way to surprise and excite your customers. It makes receiving an order from your brand feel like receiving a gift.

Filler options- Packaging fillers are the materials placed inside a box with your product. They can fulfill a few roles in the packaging design:

Minimise movement. These materials stop the product inside from moving excessively. These materials stabilize the product to protect from damage on it's way to the customer. These range from tailor-made partitions or padding that companies like FoldaBox can help with. Simply using coloured packing peanuts, shredded paper or wood excelsior can provide a bespoke feel too.

Aesthetic aspects. Packaging materials that fill space can also add to the luxurious feel of your brand and product. Some of them can also be incorporated into the products use, for example if you sell seeds or gardening products you could use compostable packing peanuts. Inserts are also a great way to hone your companies branding and offer customers discounts on future purchases with you.

Cushioning effects. The product should be surrounded by material. Although your outer packaging should provide sufficient cushioning to protect it during transit, the inside protection will aid in the event of any bumps in the road. Tissue paper can be a great option to provide cushioning and create a unique, well-branded unboxing experience. Companies such as PaperBag can custom print tissue paper for your individual needs to add value as well as that personal company touch to your packaging.

Amelia Boothman, director at the global branding agency, 1HQ said: "Typically, it costs far more to replace damaged goods than pay for adequate protective packaging from the outset. There will be a point when the cost of product damage equates to the cost of protective packaging – this is the 'optimum' packaging specification businesses should work too." So, it's worth a second thought!

Amelia Boothman, director at the global branding agency, 1HQ said: "Typically, it costs far more to replace damaged goods than pay for adequate protective packaging from the outset. There will be a point when the cost of product damage equates to the cost of protective packaging – this is the 'optimum' packaging specification businesses should work too." So, it's worth a second thought!

How can I create a unique unboxing experience for less?

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The 'unboxing' experience has become a powerful marketing tool in recent years - as social media influencers often document receiving products from start to finish, providing original packaging is very useful.

Your packaging should be brand-centric. This means the outside packaging needs to reflect what's inside – your brand should be seamless inside and out. But this doesn't always have to be outsourced to a professional packaging company. If you're particularly crafty, you can always:

Design your own stamp with just one potato! This way you can save money and produce consistent branding on the outside of your packaging.

Learn how to screenprint at home so you can offer custom hand-made unboxing experiences for your customers.

Dye your own tissue paper for a custom feel. This can save a lot of time and money if you dye in bulk so you have lots to spare for future orders.

Use shredded coloured paper as ribbons to secure and tie together your product. This can be fiddly but the end result will reflect the care and time you put into the product.

You could even save money on thank you notes by incorporating it into the printing process. Make the thank you note a part of the outer packaging, placing it on an internally facing fold for that extra finishing touch! Or simply hand-write a thank you note on a piece of card for a personalised effect.

Little extra goodies that you could include are sweets, little gifts or even a container to keep the product. Say, for example, your product is a set of silver rings you could include a sheer tie bag to keep these inside so the customer has something to carry them in.

Consider sustainability

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Optimising your packaging strategy as a small business has lots of environmental benefits too. Big brands like McDonald's have vowed to be 100% renewable and recyclable by 2025! With millennials making up 62% of online shoppers and pushing brands to become more environmentally responsible, it's never been more important to consider.

Using 100% raw or recycled materials for your packaging is good but packaging that is eco-friendly AND sustainable is better. You can do this by creating product packaging that can be used again by the recipient – either to return to you, for you to use again or for their shipment. This will increase customer loyalty, as you're making the whole process easy!

Take H&M as a good example. They created an 80% recycled paper bag that transforms into a hanger. They understand that reusability and eco-awareness are important considerations for their customers and that does increase their brand loyalty.

When considering your product filler materials, its always better to use sustainable materials when possible. So if you wanted to use bubble-wrap then maybe consider using oxo-degradable bubble-wrap which is made from 100% raw materials and is fully recyclable. Or if you need extra filling to halt movement or aid protection why not use biodegradable packing peanuts. Or you could also shred any unwanted paper you have lying around the house and use that so pad out the inside of your package. There are lots of options to save you money and save the environment at the same time.

Plus, at Interparcel we offer services that are carbon neutral like DPD Local so you can assure your customers that they are receiving a product that is made and delivered with minimal harm to the environment. As customers want brands to be more environmentally conscious, offering these services would be a big influencer in customers trusting and supporting your brand.

Custom shipping solutions are important too!

The last step you can take to optimise your product experience is by offering a range of shipping options that fit your customer's every need. Providing a higher degree of flexibility through a wide range of services is recommended for small businesses as high shipping costs are the most common reason for cart abandonment.

At Interparcel we offer a range of services from Next day Right through to Economy services with everything in between at discounted prices to prevent this from happening, covering every option.

It might be that customers need your products urgently. This is true of many clothing brands, so it's good to offer special shipping services like Same Day, Pre 9am, or maybe Next Day so your customers know you are dedicated to fulfilling their orders no matter the time frame. It's not only the UK we cater for either. We have a range of services for Worldwide shipping so whether you're sending across the country or as far as Australia, we can take care of all your shipments for you.

It's not only the speed of shipping, but the speed of processing these shipments that's important too - Why not try our integrated shipping tools to ship your products, we pull all your addresses, customs shipping requests, and prices in one place through our shipping manager. whatever platform you use, whether it be Etsy, Shopify or Woo commerce (to name a few) we can pull from each or all of them for you so all your orders are ready to despatch saving you hours of having to manually input each shipment. You can even pre select your service preference or selection of services and the system will automatically allocate for you and they'll be ready in your shopping cart to send.

Want to save even more time? now you've nailed your packaging, take a look at our Smart boxing. Save the details of the boxes you'll be using, and every time a sale is pulled in, our system will group the items in as few boxes as possible. Now that really is smart, isn't it!

The whole package

It's sold, it's packed and on the way, but the story isn't complete until it's safely in the hands of the recipient.

Interparcel can optimise your shipments once they're on the way with our full tracking services. Behind the scenes we have sophisticated systems constantly monitoring your parcels journey. Using this information our customers can notify their customers with delivery times and updates. Don't want to do that? then sign up for our text notifications where you can provide your number or the recipients, so they can get an update when a parcel is out for delivery and/or delivered straight to their mobile on the go.

All these automated tools are great, but what if you need a little help and just want to talk it through with someone? We understand that as a small business, particularly in the online sector you don't necessarily work a 9-5 pm. The internet is always open for business! That's why we focus on our Customer service being there to support you as much as we can. Our UK phone line is available until 8 pm Monday - Friday and at the weekends too from 9-1 pm for any help that you need. You can also contact us by live chat or email if you prefer.

So you've got your products, your branding, but it really is worth spending time on your packaging to create an experience that will really get your brand to make a big impression. It doesn't even have to be costly. We know it's not just about making that sale, but the whole user experience right through to delivery. We at Interparcel have all that is needed to help your business grow and grow. Why not leave the shipping to us so you can focus on your product, brand & selling!

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