A surge in online shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an influx in the number of packages being used by retailers. This presents a unique opportunity for eCommerce businesses to improve their customer experience and brand impression through their products’ packaging.
While some aspects of package design may be purely practical, others may be more focused on esthetics. Ideally, however, all elements should form a cohesive and consistent brand experience that will engage new customers, and keep them and returning customers coming back.
Sustainability Pays Off
A large factor in package production is sustainability, the use of environmentally-friendly materials in packaging so that it can be reused indefinitely. Dotcom Distribution’s 2021 eCommerce consumer study found that a majority of consumers favored supporting sustainable brands, and that consumers believed packaging to be more important than any other sustainability factor when deciding whether to purchase from a specific brand.
Because of ongoing environmental concerns, many consumers, especially those part of Generation Z, hold sustainability as a high priority in their online shopping experience. According to the State of Consumer Spending Report, 73% of Gen Zers are willing to pay more for sustainable products; a greater percentage than Millennials (68%), Generation X (55%) and Baby Boomers (42%).
Keep It Simple
It can seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the most effective customer experiences are the simplest. An overly complicated customer journey can frustrate and discourage potential customers, which is why eCommerce websites should aim for minimalism in their functionalities.
This applies to packaging as well; a visually busy design can lead to confusion, and important information or messages to be lost on customers. A minimalistic packaging design also complements sustainable packaging because less inputs such as ink, or other packaging materials, are used in its production.
The Packaging Reflects Your Brand’s Values
Until a few years ago, consumers were rarely aware of what brands stood for, who they supported, and where their materials came from. Yet, over the last few years, consumers have become significantly more “brand-conscious”: they see the views and values of the brands they financially support to be a reflection of their own. A genuine and well-received brand story is important as it can engender trust and garner brand loyalty from customers, building a connection with them. A narrative can be conveyed through packaging in a variety of ways using text, typography, colors, symbols, shapes, and other elements.
Touchless forms of transactions, such as QR codes, have made a recent resurgence in relevancy amidst pandemic conditions. QR codes can be easily applied anywhere on packing, making them a cost-effective way to direct customers to any desired content as they don’t necessitate additional packing material that could add to market and shipping expenses.
To design a package that resonates with customers, the right balance between reusability, simplicity, and authenticity must be struck. However, the best combination is different for every company. eCommerce businesses should use each quality in varying amounts to play to their brand’s strengths and make a unique lasting impression.