Your boring brown packaging could be more influential than you might think, according to new research from Dotcom Distribution.
The fulfillment and logistics solutions provider has announced the results of its 2013 ecommerce Packaging Survey of U.S. consumers, and the data reveals that premium packaging actually benefits retailers in the areas of customer loyalty, marketing and advertising. In fact, 52 percent of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant that delivers premium packaging, which consists of unique branded-boxes or bags. Moreover, half of consumers expect their online orders to arrive in premium packaging if that same retailer provides branded packaging in-store.
It is also important to note that retailers tend to gain awareness from branded bags or boxes, as 90 percent of consumers re-use branded packaging. Plus, 3 in 10 consumers have discovered a new brand after seeing a customer carrying the retailer's packaging in public. According to the study, investing in premium packaging can result in a gain of 30 percent more business for retailers.
"Online retailers should not overlook the importance of premium packaging for their ecommerce products," said Maria Haggerty, president of Dotcom Distribution. "Customers look for the 'WOW' factor when shopping online and when receiving a package, as they miss out on the in-store experience. Premium packaging for online purchases delivers a brand's in-store experience to an ecommerce customer."
Premium packaging also presents retailers with marketing opportunities, as the Dotcom study found that almost 4 in 10 consumers would share an image of a delivery via social media if it came in a unique package, with 83 percent of those consumers doing so on Facebook. In particular, younger consumers (18-25 year-olds) are active in sharing packaging on social networks. For example, 74 percent of these consumers are likely to share a product via social, with 88 percent of those customers posting to Facebook. This data shows that brands targeting the young-adult market stand to gain the most from implementing branded packaging.
"The value of premium packaging extends far beyond the customer experience into residual marketing effects," said Haggerty. "The experience goes beyond the online order to when the customer actually opens the beautifully wrapped package and shares that experience across social networks. That act of online and social recommendations drives loyalty from your customers and promotes brand awareness."
In addition to eye-catching packaging, retailers also need to take sustainability into consideration. This is because the study found that 60 percent of consumers think it's important or very important that a retailer's packaging is sustainable. Thus, retailers with sustainable packaging are perceived as environmentally friendly, which can be an incentive for some consumers to make a purchase from that retailer over a competitor.
"It's clear that a retailer's packaging choice can have repercussions," said Haggerty. "Our findings show that packaging is not to be overlooked or underestimated for its potential impact on a brand. In the competitive retail environment, delivering a superior customer experience through premium packaging will put a brand ahead of the pack."
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