Aaron Watts from Ignition Search looks at the impact that packaging can have on sales and marketing…

It’s hardly news to marketers that packaging plays a pivotal role in marketing. But with the coming of the ecommerce boom you might imagine that packaging has taken a back seat to clever digital marketing, as products now no longer have to battle it out on the shop shelf.

But the stats tell a different story. For ecommerce sites, packaging is one of the only ways they can communicate with their customers in the concrete world, and this first offline impression can make a huge difference to a brand’s ROI.


Impacting Brand Awareness

Packaging can communicate via every one of the body’s senses, unlike a website. That means, for e-commerce brands, it’s often the first opportunity to make a real world impression with a customer.

Countless studies have shown that the impact of touch, smell (and even taste) has a major effect on memory making and buying decisions.

Touch, for example, has been shown to communicate abstract concepts with buyers– research has shown that hardness can evoke stability while rigidity and roughness can communicate an impression of harshness or difficulty.

A leading researcher on the relationship between senses and thought, Diane Ackerman, has cited Apple’s iPads and iPhones as products that takes advantage of this. The smooth surfaces and round edges are said to communicate a sense of ease.

If your packaging can successfully communicate your brand identity, it is more likely to stick in the head of consumers compared with what they experience during the digital buying cycle, simply because it taps into more senses.

According to research by Keenpac,61% of customers say that quality packaging makes the brand seem more upscale and 50% of consumers get more excited about receiving or opening a package if it comes in premium packaging.

What’s more, if you nail that initial impression then customers are far more likely to talk about your product or share it on social media.


User-generated content proliferates, generating more sales

Four in 10 customers are likely to share an image of a delivery on social media if it comes in unique packaging. This means reaching new audiences and increasing brand awareness without further investment beyond the packaging itself.

If a customer makes a video of opening the product, the returns really start to kick in. Unboxing videos, which are huge on YouTube (since 2010, videos with unboxing in their title have gone up 871%!), impact sales dramatically.

As many as 73% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching an “unboxing” video.

And these unboxing videos always showcase packaging, vloggers open up the product as part of the content.


Increased Customer Loyalty

It’s not just about increasing brand awareness. Quality packaging has been shown to have a significant effect on customer loyalty. Up to 52% of customers are likely to make a repeat purchase from an online seller if they deliver in premium packaging.

Major brands know how effective quality packaging can be. The tiffany blue-egg box has become synonymous with the brand, having first appeared in 1837, and is still working! It has had a huge impact in making Tiffany the iconic brand that it is today.

Packaging isn’t taking a back seat anytime soon. If anything, ecommerce brands need to think through their packaging strategy with renewed focus.

The moment a customer receives a delivery is absolutely pivotal. Get it wrong and you could lose those 52% prepared to make a repeat purchase, or the 25% of customers eager to share your brand on social media and find new customers for you.


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