Brand in a Box: E-commerce Labels Go Far Beyond Addresses
Packaging Deisgn – Design Your Packaging Strategy to Incorporate Best Practices for Both Brick & Mortar and E-commerce
With e-commerce exploding globally, brands have gained a golden opportunity to strengthen customer engagement by creating stand-out, identifiable labels and label designs for their delivery boxes. Within this burgeoning niche, the ability of labels to help drive brand recognition, consumer loyalty, and customer retention can be a boon; especially to those savvy enough to capitalize on it through cunning and creativity.
There are, however, some caveats. Many brands have chosen to deliberately downplay the attractiveness of boxes delivered to doorsteps to discourage theft. For those choosing to go the understated route, all is not lost. Great opportunity literally lies within.
Super-attractive, brand-identifying labels can be placed in a variety of spots on the inside of the box. For example, on bubble wrap or on any of the boxes or bags placed inside. This can prevent the package from standing out too much on the porch. Then, once safely inside with its intended recipient, makes the customer feel special through a true brand-in-a-box experience.
The Battle for Market Attention
Competition to sell is intense, and companies are continually seeking ways to stand out in the crowded retail landscape – both in the brick & mortar and online space. Different strategies lead to success in these spaces, although there is significant overlap. We advise customers to be strategic about their packaging strategy as a whole, and to incorporate best practices for both brick & mortar and e-commerce.
It’s important to note that while brick & mortar is about standing out on the shelves, in e-commerce the packaging is less about marketing to new leads, and more about building your brand with people who have already bought and received your product. The experience of opening the product and making the customer feel “special” will often drive good reviews, recommendations and repeat purchases. This is the bread and butter of e-commerce, especially when there is no friendly in-store associate or vibrant point-of-purchase display. E-commerce boxes, bags and labels can help create emotional connection.
The point is that e-commerce boxes are no longer necessarily destined for an audience of one – pulling them closer into alignment with brick & mortar packaging.
Extending branding beyond website and in-store experience
Let’s say you have an established brand, but want to create continuity of experience. You also want to ensure repeat business, so it’s best to think about your packaging strategy as a whole. Many brands decide they want a seamless experience. Those that do tend to keep their e-commerce labeling identical to their brick & mortar labeling.
Some brands, however, use the opportunity to expand and differentiate. For example, they may do something like keeping their label colours similar, but changing up the style of print for their online orders. Experimentation, and close and careful monitoring of results, can contribute to increased customer retention and sales.
We think it’s an investment worth making. Brands that research and respect their customers’ values and interests are best positioned to create labels that provide portable yet representative brand experiences. Through them, customer loyalty. Businesses aren’t built on one-off sales, they’re built on repeat patronage. That notion is no less true online than in-store.
Packaging labels can help create a lasting first impression. The colours, shapes and printing techniques chosen can communicate many of the important values and qualities that a brand is trying to espouse and evoke. Although the product ultimately has to prove itself, labels that reflect a brand’s personality can actually provide an emotional lift. This can enhances customers’ overall experience. Provide this lift, and your sales can really take off.
Some Tools of the Trade
Consider one of our favorite tools here at Jet Label: Mosaic Printing. Mosaic is short for HP SmartStream Mosaic, which can create countless unique-to-unit labels from a finite number of original label designs. It has a twofold function of ‘uniquifying’ products to make consumers feel special, while differentiating a brand’s product from competitors. All while staying true to overall brand consistency. On store shelves, the result is a vibrant “different yet consistent” feel that stands out from competitors without being ostentatious.
At Jet Label, we’ve seen increased requests for more personalized brand labels. There’s been an increase in customer requests for specialized packaging that attracts consumers with sight, touch and engagement through the use of unusual varnishes and substrates.
Heading into the Future
It’s clear that bottom line, e-commerce and brick & mortar packaging strategies work best when they are strategically aligned. The good news is that much of today’s advanced technology can beautify both e-commerce and brick & mortar packaging expediently and cost-effectively, and there is growing recognition of the importance of labeling as a valuable branding customer retention tool.
When companies turn their attention to e-commerce they need to incorporate lessons learned from their brick & mortar successes. Customers are much more responsive to packages and labels featuring bold and attractive designs that help tell a brand story. The e-commerce revolution presents a wonderful opportunity for brands to strengthen their bond with customers and engender a feeling of warmth and connection that will make them return again and again.
Pick up a copy of Canadian Packaging magazine this month to see our article on packaging for e-commerce!