For many ecommerce sellers, when it comes to branding the first thought is about what the individual item’s packaging looks like. But these days with so many items being delivered directly to consumers, there can be significant benefits in branding the packaging and shipping elements. Then a customer will see the company’s touch from the moment their product arrives at the front door of a home or business.
Below is a list of ways to enhance a buyer’s experience through custom branded packaging, and different ways for creating a unique look that will stand out.
Visual Branding Elements
Enhancing shipping boxes with branded elements such as a company logo, tagline, or color scheme is probably the most common way a seller can take advantage of the shipping process. This first one may seem obvious, but is often overlooked. With the number of packages that now arrive directly to customers, instead of showing up on retailers shelves, it is important to stand out in different, less traditional way. Anything that can be done to increase awareness of a company’s brand can help them stand out from the crowd.
Seller benefit: By bringing brand recognition to every visual aspect of your product it will ensure your company comes to mind every time someone sees one of your shipments arrive. People who have never heard of your company might become intrigued and check it out if they receive a box with your information on it. This essentially turns your shipping boxes into a new advertising tool. With more and more ecommerce sellers in the marketplace, these creative decisions can give you a competitive advantage that other businesses might be missing.
Plus if you choose to include a website, phone number, instructions or a QR code printed directly on the shipping box (or other visual materials) the process of returning, or placing more orders is made easier and more convenient.
Printing company information on packing tape is an unexpected and great way to include additional information to a branded shipment.
Seller benefit: Adding a website or phone number can be an incredibly cost effective way to provide your customer with easy access to important information. It can an inexpensive way to A/B test the strategy of branded shipping materials, to track what type of information is producing the kind of results the business needs.
This can be another, even less expensive away to allow a seller’s brand to stand out on packaging.
Seller benefit: Similar to branded packing tape, having relevant information on a sticker that goes on the outside of a standard box can provide a convenient and efficient way to add brand awareness, or extra information, to a shipment.
Custom Packaging Inserts
Many retailers find value in adding a catalog, a discount coupon, or other giveaway to their shipments. This can be a great way to motivate a customer to re-order from a seller.
Seller benefit: The benefit of doing this in the shipping box is that it can be updated with any kind of relevant information, quarterly/annual specials, additional incentives, without having to change the actual packaging of the physical product.
This can go hand in hand with visual branded elements, but it is actually somewhat different. With so many packages arriving at customers every day, it really makes sense to stand out in every possible way. Packaging differentiation goes farther than just adding a logo or color to shipping materials; in this case taking the extra step of creating a unique presentation on the outside of a shipment, it could be in textured materials, or unique shape. By associating unique characteristics with their products, brand owners create instant recognition. If there are 10 generic brown boxes, and one with a unique look and color scheme it really helps to separate that company from the rest. It can have a custom size or even a smooth feel, further distinguishing the brand recognition.
Cost Efficient Materials
Often using a custom box size, means the shipping elements are exactly the size they need to be, no bigger. No need to use boxes larger than what the product needs.
Seller benefit: Custom packaging can save money spent on excess packaging. Over time, the added weight and paper consumption can generate significant costs for companies.
It can also help save on shipping costs. Most shipping costs are based on not only the weight, but also the size of the box it ships in. This is known as dimensional weight pricing. If a seller isn’t using custom shipping boxes, chances are that they are paying more than they actually need to for each item they ship. These might not seem like huge considerations, but accumulated over the number of units sold, it can be a considerable savings for any business.
Today’s consumers have a more heightened awareness of the environmental impact that all of their shipping and receiving can have. A seller can choose specifically eco-friendly packaging materials (also called sustainable packaging or green packaging), these can be made from biodegradable, recyclable, non-toxic, or natural materials.
Seller benefit: Promoting the fact that a seller is using recycled materials is another way to build brand image and customer loyalty. It shows that the seller is also aware of the impact, and promotes it as a responsible brand that is working towards reducing its impact on the environment.
A Note on Business-to-Retailer (B2R) or Business-to-Business (B2B) Branded Shipping
If a seller is shipping directly to a retailer, having custom shipping packages can make things easier for the receiving company. Any retailer receiving your company product, likely also receives a number of other products from different brands. By color coding your product, or labeling your boxes with your company name, logo, or information, makes it more efficient for the retailer to receive shipments and sort their inventory accordingly. If a seller uses a “display shipper” than the box can go directly on the shelf. Making things easier for a retailer is a great way to enhance the chance of both repeat, as well as increased orders.
The #1 Seller Benefit: Heightened Value Perception
The ultimate seller benefit to adding any of these branded shipping elements is a heightened experience for customers—and happy customers means happy retailers!
Shipping products in custom boxes, with branded materials, can go a very long way towards creating a more engaging shopping and shipping experience. It creates an appearance that enhances the legitimacy of any company, and gives a great first impression. It can show a higher level of care from the seller, creating a more positive experience for the customer. By a seller showcasing that they care about even the smallest details of shipping, which is often an afterthought, it can enhance a brand’s value in a customer’s mind.
There are many benefits to working with a third party logistics company (3PL), if you are seeking logistics support we’d love to hear from you. You can read DCL’s list of services to learn more, or check out the many companies we work with to ensure great logistics support. Send us a note to connect about how we can help your company grow.