Have you ever waited with anticipation for that special something to show up in the mail only to receive a smashed box with broken pieces inside or liquid dripping out the sides? Packaging has always been a critical component of successful retail products. Packaging is also critical for successful products sold online. However, there are differences between the two types of packaging that should be considered. When a product is displayed in a retail store, it is competing with every other product on the shelf for the consumer’s attention. The boxes are normally shiny, multi-colored, and have foil stamping and embossing. The boxes seem to scream out, in a visual way, “Hey, look at me!” In online sales, the product is sold long before the consumer sees the packaging, but the packaging is still critical to creating a satisfied customer. Here are a few points to consider when choosing packaging for products that are sold online and shipped to the buyer.
Don’t spend too much on your packaging because it won’t be competing against one hundred other packages on the shelf of Wal-Mart or Best Buy. UV coatings, foil stamping, embossing, and other high cost packing enhancers are not needed.
Don’t spend too little on your packaging because it still needs to reflect the quality and value of the product inside. You can use one, two, or four color printing to enhance the package. Do make sure your packaging is sturdy enough to make it through the mail.
Make sure the package is crush proof. Some boxes require an inner structure made of cardboard, foam, or vacuum form plastic to keep them from crushing.
Test your packaging by sending five packages to a few people you know in different parts of the country or, for products that ship internationally, in the world. Have them send the products back to you. How did the packaging hold up? Does it still look good? Is it something you would feel good about receiving for yourself? Did the outer packaging protect the product? If there is any crushing, bad tearing, or product damage; rework your design and test again.
Don’t spend too little, don’t spend too much, test thoroughly, and your packaging will be just right.
Copyright © 2006 Philip Busk