Matching your eCommerce Packaging to your Online Brand

16 June 2020 by
Matching your eCommerce Packaging to your Online Brand
Glenn Izard

For years packaging has been viewed by many as a necessary evil; an area where costs should be kept as low as possible. Of course that was before eCommerce. That was before the online world started booming.

Now it's different.

In this new world of eCommerce, where most transactions are carried out online with no tangible interaction with a brand, the physical delivery of the product has become the first tactile touch point of the sale. This first tangible impression can be the make or break of an online store.

For years high street brands have been investing millions into tangible shopping experiences. Eye-catching store fronts, aroma filled boutiques, in-store displays, and a helpful and personal in-store service are commonplace amongst the prestigious brands. Why then is this not carried forward to the tangible touch points of an online sale?


High street brands have moved with the times to create an eCommerce arm to their company. They've created an online store to match their brand. It has all the bells and whistles and offers a great online shopping experience. It's perfect.

The problem with a website is it is virtual. As humans we need tangible experience to give us confidence. Instinctively we prefer something we've felt and touched. We all know it's easy to make something look good on a screen so we need tangible evidence to give us confidence to hit that 'proceed to checkout' button.

Put yourself in the customers' shoes. Imagine you've overcome your instinct and clicked that proceed to checkout button. You're a little apprehensive right? You don't even for sure know if this order is going to turn up. Is the company you just ordered from even legitimate?

Now fast forward to the day of the delivery. Your parcel arrives. It's a brown box that's a bit battered. It's sealed with brown packing tape. You pick at the corner of the tape for a few seconds and nearly break your nail off. Bother. You run through to the kitchen to grab some scissors. It's pretty difficult to get the point of the scissors in so you apply a bit more pressure. The scissors slip and jab your hand. You wince and run back to the kitchen to get a plaster.

Is this really the way to treat a customer?

The box isn't even open yet. The first tangible experience for the customer has been nothing but friction.

Can you understand when we ask 'Why do established brands carry on this way?'

The 7 Golden Rules for Creating a Memorable Unboxing Experience

It's not difficult to make your customers' unboxing experience frictionless. And doesn't even cost much to make it memorable! Here are 7 golden tips to give you a head start on your competition and make your customers say WOW when they open your parcels.

  1. Inject some Uniqueness: Your online brand is unique, you spent a while designing the logo so it represented something different and special, so why not spend a little time thinking about a unique packaging design. Everyone has rectangular boxes, they are boring. Why not triangular or cylindrical? Why not make even a rectangular box a bit different? Try a slide-together sleeve. Give it a bit of thought and try and match the shape and design to your logo or branding.

  2. Make it Frictionless: You understand the importance of making sure your website is user friendly and the purchasing flow is easy to follow. Think about this in terms of your packaging as well. Your packets need to be easy to open and not require dangerous knives. Add in tear opening strips or peel-easy adhesive to your packaging. Then your customer can easily unpack their exciting new delivery and the experience is not broken by going and finding a pair of scissors or running through to the kitchen to get a knife.

  3. Don't under-pack: if someone has spent a lot of money on your site they obviously think you're worth it! They've looked at your website and thought "these guys look good I'll place the order with them". They'll either be a high class customer expecting quality and luxury, or someone who's worked hard for their money and this purchase is something special for them. Either way they will be expecting more than just a plastic bag. Spend that little extra on them and you'll impress your customers and earn a loyal following.

  4. Consider the texture of your theme: A vintage look site goes well with standard brown packaging with a rough quality print giving a dated look (Hey presto, you're saving money already!). Alternatively if you have a glossy look to your online brand you can use glossy inks and finishes to your cardboard boxes for next to no extra costs. All it takes is a little innovative thinking about what materials would match well with your online brand.

  5. Change your packaging designs Periodically: You change your online adverts regularly to give your site a fresh look so why not do the same with your packaging? It will help give your brand a dynamic feel. Digital printing means you can now change your print designs without any setup costs and even print multiple different designs in one print run! What's more you can change your box styles from one of our stock range so your customer is getting a different style box too!

  6. Get the most from the Print: Using high quality graphics is now cheaper than ever. It used to be a laborious and expensive process to print images on to packaging, but now printing processes have evolved to embrace much more flexibility and higher quality printing. Get really creative with new machine capabilities and get those graphics onto your packaging.

  7. Add the 'little extras': Remember to add in little extras to help them remember and return to your site. A small chocolate bar, a gift voucher, a thank you card? They all add that air of uniqueness to your company. It only has to be small, but if you put some thought into it and give them something that they really like it will make all the difference.

Matching your eCommerce Packaging to your Online Brand
Glenn Izard 16 June 2020
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