The good old days: packaging only had a protective function, it consisted mainly of putting the item in a cardboard box, filling the box with stuffing, sealing the whole thing with tape, and attaching a label with no focus on customer experience in terms of brand awareness.
As a matter of fact... this process is now well-deservedly retired. The e-commerce industry is also keen to meet the expectations of consumers in terms of the improvement and appearance of the packaging. And there is plenty to fight for - experts predict that online retail sales will grow to 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025.
These figures are certainly encouraging - but they also mean that competition in the market will undoubtedly increase. According to the principle of thrive or die, you cannot afford to be left behind the competition and not focus enough on consumers' expectations.
This also applies to marketing strategies, including those involving ... custom packaging.
Why should you consider custom packaging as a brand?
According to data collected by IPSOS, more than 70% of American consumers say that their purchase decisions are often dictated by the appearance of the packaging. Interestingly, some 60 percent of shoppers say that when buying a high-end, luxury product, premium packaging is actually a must-have for a brand. As you can see, personalization of packaging and a focus on branding is something you absolutely must not forget.
At the end of the day, a first impression can really only be made once by each business. What is more, in the case of online trading, custom packaging is also the first moment of contact between the customer and the product in reality. I know that running a business is not an easy job and there are times when there is not enough time for almost everything. You need to focus on selling products, taking care of the UX on the website, sending packages, focusing on legal issues, etc. Unfortunately, the decision to overlook the importance of packaging in this process is a mistake. So make a little more effort - and attract customers thanks to boosting customer experience in terms of packaging.
The power of brand identity: increase the brand value
What exactly is custom packaging? Simply put, it is the opposite of stock packaging. It is packaging tailored to the precise needs of the business, in line with its branding, not only in terms of colors or logos printed on the package, but also in terms of shape, size, and other details which can be reproduced on the package.
The custom packaging process is based on style and a customized approach, as well as a perfect fit with the consumer needs described in the paragraph above. Interestingly, this aspect of marketing is not always associated with significantly higher production costs - of course, standard packaging based solely on ordering simple brown cards in bulk for the last mile is easy, inexpensive, and problem-free in most cases. Unfortunately - it is proving outdated for these times. Customers expect something much more, and that something, without a doubt, is branded custom packaging.
It may sound simple at first glance - but the creation of the perfect packaging involves a number of stages needed to be taken by brands, such as engineering, design, mockup - and possible adjustments.
Customer retention vs user-friendly boxes and magical unboxing experience
You may be surprised, but believe me - branded packaging has an impact on customer retention.
Custom packaging boxes can be user-friendly in many ways; let me give me example of two factors: this kind of product packaging ensures the perfect fit for a product if necessary and increases brand loyalty. At the end of the day, the primary function of packaging is to protect - and no one wants to get the eagerly awaited product damaged in transit.
But how do we achieve this? Take a look at this example of packaging designed by In The Bag company. Thanks to this packaging design, you can be sure that the cut size of the packaging guarantees the safety of the product, as it is tailor-made to specific dimensions. In addition, you do not need to invest in additional fillers.
What's more, this particular box is also carbon neutral, which is particularly important in today's environmentally aware consumer climate.
Interestingly, packaging can be a great opportunity to emphasize brand identity thanks to custom boxes. Inside it, you can communicate your brand values and company personality, which will undoubtedly contribute to brand recognition and be a nice surprise for the person opening the package. Seed Health, a producer of advanced probiotics, followed this trend with its packaging developed by PaperFoam. Inside the box you will find the brand claim "For your world within" - and admit it yourself, it is definitely not to be outdone.
An excellent choice for subscription products
The subscription business model has definitely grown in popularity in recent times. According to data compiled by, among others, the consulting firm McKinsey and Company, as many as 15 percent of online shoppers in the USA declare that they subscribe to at least one subscription program.
In the case of subscriptions business model, betting on brand loyalty is basically the bottom line. Acquiring new customers is of course important, but it is just as important if not more so, to take good care of the needs of the existing customers.
One way of achieving this is through custom packaging. In this case, it is definitely worth focusing on the unboxing experience. Packaging designs should remind your customers every time why they decided to invest in your business. Outstanding branding is always a great way to capture customers' attention.
Go for style - vibrant eye-catching colors present on all elements of custom packaging, including even the choice of tissue paper. Enrich a typical package with samples of more expensive products to create a cross-sell (ideal win-win situation). If you are at the beginning of your business journey and can afford it - add a handwritten note to the middle of the order. In short: take care of every detail and make online shoppers feel special. This way thanks to great packaging you'll boost customer satisfaction, increase company value and create long-lasting impressions.
Eco-friendly alternative to traditional packaging
New generations of shoppers are firmly committed to green solutions - so much so that they declare their reluctance to buy from companies not committed to green actions and to pay more for environmentally friendly products. Brands are also following in this footsteps by implementing sustainable product packaging.
And we're not talking about small brands running around as eco-freaks; even giants such as McDonald's are betting on winning customer loyalty by betting on making business greener - the fast food manufacturer has made an official statement that its packaging will be 100% renewable and recycled by 2025.
What is noteworthy is that this approach actually pays off. According to the 2021 Global Buying Green Report by Trivium Packaging, customers expect green practices. 83% of them are willing to pay more for green solutions in Ecommerce. What is more, businesses with a green focus are more attractive to potential investors (results from a global survey of asset owners in 2018 by FTSE Russell).
Custom packaging can also be green and definitely is a factor that can be used to attract customers. And let's face it: there's plenty to choose from on the market. You can opt for biodegradable packaging, recycled packaging or even packaging made from so-called biological sources (including plant-based packaging).
What's more, there are some other factors to decide on implementing sustainable packaging. They are mostly not expensive solutions - so by using different materials for your box you can save money, make your packaging look stunning, and also influence the delivery experience and brand awareness.
The power of customer experience: custom packaging boosts the business
Making your packaging stand out more on the competitors' offer is a must, as well as a careful meeting of customer expectations. As you have probably noticed yourself, working on custom packaging can have a positive impact on the environment, generate more sales, and have a positive effect on the delivery experience.
Happy customers are loyal customers. Companies that care about unboxing experiences create unique value loved by consumers. Creating beautiful and functional boxes is both a matter of logistics and marketing. And as we know, companies that care about these two business elements are doomed to success.