As a small business owner, you know how to provide good customer service: attention to detail, quick delivery and clear communication. But how much time and effort do you put into the visual side of packaging?
Although a significant part of the customer experience is determined by the product itself, buyer attitude towards your products and you as seller can be boosted by improving the unboxing experience. Using customised packaging can be a real boost to your business — premium packaging will make your brand seem more upscale and make customers more likely to share their product and experience online.
Unboxing videos are a new trend on social media — bloggers and vloggers sharing photos and videos of parcel opening. Frequently these are luxury items, such as phones, beauty boxes and clothing packages. It’s obvious from these that it’s the little extras that make all the difference — personalised notes, free gifts and branded packaging and wrapping paper. Think about the theme of the product you are selling — if you are selling products for children, for example, would a cotton storage bag be a welcome inclusion? Or a large organza bag for a luxury gift?
Social media itself is also obviously important — don’t forget to keep all of your accounts up to date. Building a good rapport with social media users can boost your recognition without you having to do much more than retweet a few posts by your buyers.
Keep an eye out for any issues your buyers are having — they will often take to the internet to share any frustration they have with their purchases. Respond to any of these quickly and, if possible, privately. Remember that a good interaction can turn an irritated customer into a repeat buyer.
Other Little Extras
Don’t forget to include a business card. Some sellers will send a handwritten note or letter; depending on the scale of your business this might be a nice touch. And don’t forget, customers who are given a discount code with their delivery will be encouraged to become repeat customers.
So remember: next time you reach for the plain brown cardboard boxes, is there a way you could make your parcel more memorable?
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So you have the shop and you have the stock. But how do you get those products moving off the shelves?
Sometimes shoppers need a little persuasion to part with their hard-earned cash, especially in the current climate. Use these extra touches to persuade your customers to treat themselves to something special.
The most important element (besides stock) of a brick-and-mortar shop is the fittings. Customers don’t want to buy luxury goods from shabby surroundings or from a blank, bland white room. Fitting out a shop successfully is all down to the unexpected touches — hanging bath products from taps instead of standard hooks, for example. Make sure your displays beg for customer interaction — is your packaging attractive and nice to touch? Does your furniture match the theme of the shop? And if not, is there a way to make it work? A coat of paint can alter the whole feel of a place.
Make sure the sound is appropriate. Are you listening to the radio? Classical music? The sound of the sea? Don’t forget that anything too repetitious is going to drive your customers — and your staff — crazy.
Make sure the shop smells nice and isn’t too overwhelming; for scented products such as candles or perfumes, ensure that the shop scent is neutral to allow sampling. Bear in mind that your packaging should allow the scent to pass through it — large organza bags are a perfect wrapping for anything scented as they encase the product attractively but allow perfumes to pass through.
After thinking about the sounds and smells of your shop, think about the lighting — have you lit your shop to really display your products to their best ability? Should you be investing in some new lighting? For a temporary solution, battery powered LED lights provide great highlighting over a small area, perhaps around a new product. Ideally all of your products should be well lit to allow your customers to take a closer look, and preferably with the sort of packaging that reacts well to lighting rather than causing glare. Organza is perfect for this as light plays attractively on its surface whilst allowing customers to look inside.
A dynamic display is an interesting display. You should be changing your shop window display several times a year to reflect both the seasons and the new products you have coming in. Don’t forget to repeat products from your display near the till so that customers find it easy to buy them.
If you have a display inside a glass case, allow space to display the items properly. Customers can’t pick up items and examine them if they are in a glass case, so they will want to have a close look to appreciate them properly. If possible, keep your glass cases near the till so that they are easy to open quickly.
Don’t forget to add the extra garnishes to make them special. Perhaps, if you package your products in organza bags, change the colour of the bag to reflect the season?
Hand in hand with displays there is also the need to maintain a comfortable atmosphere. We want customers to take a while browsing and pick up things they didn’t necessarily set out to buy. They are also more likely to buy if your staff seem comfortable, so make sure the shop isn’t too hot or too cold and your staff have places to sit.
It is handy to have little products by the till for the customers to look at if there is a queue — if they have access to attractive low-price items they are more likely to buy them on a whim. It’s good to think about the psychology of pricing as well — ending a price with £.99 makes something seem cheaper, so expensive items should be in full pounds to highlight their quality.
Packaging is, as previously mentioned, very important. Don’t forget that in the case of presents, if your branded packaging is attractive or interesting, the customer is more likely to leave the present packaged with your branding when they give it. Paper bags may be cheap, but they will go straight in the bin!
Branded organza bags are a very attractive way to package small and large luxury gifts, allowing the gift to be seen whilst still containing it in an attractive manner. They are flexible, affordable and add an extra touch of luxury to an already desirable present.
These are just a few things that can add your selling power. Ultimately, of course, you know what is best for your business, but why not try something new?
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Running an Etsy store? You might not know it, but packaging is extremely important when it comes to online retailing.
In a recent Dotcom Distribution survey, 61% of online shoppers said that premium packaging makes a brand seem more upscale and 40% said that branded packaging made them more likely to recommend a product to friends. As well as making the package seem more professional, reusable branded packaging guarantees that your brand name will stay with the buyer.
Custom-printed Jewellery Pouches
A simple way to package luxury products, such as jewellery, while still making sure that the product is branded, is to use custom-printed satin pouches. Buyers are more likely to keep the bag to store the jewellery in, making sure that the buyer sees your name every time they wear the item.
Hand Print Your Own Wrapping Paper
Looking for a cheaper and less permanent branding method? Hand-print your own wrapping paper with home-made foam printing blocks and ink or acrylic paint. If you have the time, why not cut a branded printing block to make sure your name is clear to the buyer?
Printed Linen bags for a casual branded look
For a more casual branding experience, custom-printed linen pouches are a great way to ship and store products. Perfect for larger or more masculine items, these bags are more likely to be kept around the house for general use, subtly reminding buyers of your brand.
If you have time on your hands (and nimble fingers!) origami boxes are a very memorable way to ship your products. Only really suitable for small luxury items due to the length of time and skill they take to build, they are nonetheless very eye-catching!
Branded Organza Bags
For an effect similar to the satin bags, large organza bags are a great way to ship larger luxury products such as candles. Available in a wide range of colours, they are likely to be retained for storage and other use.
You could use several of the ideas above to package your store; package an origami jewellery box inside an organza bag, for example, or wrap a linen pouch in custom-printed paper. The important thing is making sure that the customer remembers you and is encouraged to buy from you again.