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Want ecommerce success with consumers? Think premium packaging

Article-Want ecommerce success with consumers? Think premium packaging

Want ecommerce success with consumers? Think premium packaging
The effect of packaging on consumer perception for online purchases. Source: Dotcom Distribution study

An exclusive interview about a new ecommerce survey for online shoppers reveals much about what consumers want in packaging, from sustainable packaging and personalized notes to unboxing pleasure.

The continuing need for speed has pushed ecommerce markets into ever more rapid deliveries. But it's not only speedy delivery that drives consumer satisfaction, a new study also underscores the co-starring role package aesthetics play in the customer experience.

According to a newly-released study by Dotcom Distribution, How Fast Delivery and Quality Packaging Drives Customer Loyalty, 87% of online shoppers identified shipping speed as a key factor in the decision to shop with an e-commerce brand again. The study found that 67% of online shoppers would pay more money to get same-day delivery if they needed the package by a deadline, such as an anniversary.

Also, 47% would pay more for same-day delivery simply because they wanted their package more quickly.

Consumers also care about aesthetics, too. In fact, 40% of online shoppers said they would be somewhat more likely or much more likely to purchase from a retailer that offers premium packaging. The same percent of shoppers stated that branded or gift-like packaging affects their perception of the online retailer that shipped the item.

Maria Haggerty, Dotcom ceo, responds to Packaging Digest’s questions about the study and ecommerce packaging.

What was the biggest surprise in the packaging portion?

Haggerty: The biggest surprise was seeing the large year-over-year increase in the number of online shoppers who value upscale packaging.In 2015, 29% of online shoppers said they’d be more likely to engage in repeat purchases if an order came in upscale packaging, but this year, that number was 40%. That 11% increase year over year proves that shoppers seek out, if not expect, a positive and luxurious packaging experience with their order.

That’s a sharp increase—what more can you say about that?

Haggerty: As more brands are embracing upscale packaging, shoppers are latching on and are increasingly making packaging a priority in their experience with the product and the brand. Shoppers want to be convinced that they made the right choice in ordering and that what they chose is upscale and worth the price. Packaging appears to have a very convincing role in that process.

Details like eco-friendly packaging, free extras and personalized notes further elevate the unboxing experience and confirm for the shopper that they have invested in a luxury product, even to the point that they want to share the purchase, its packaging included, on social media. Our 2015 study found that shoppers are 1.5 times more likely to share pictures of branded or gift-like packaging on social than traditional brown boxes.


Specifically, what does "gift-like or premium" packaging look like?

Haggerty: Obviously the specific look and feel varies by brand, but I’d encourage retailers to think outside the plain brown box. Put simply, retailers should give the same consideration to their packaging that they do to their in store experience, brand advertising or website look and feel. Packaging is another opportunity to tell shoppers who you are, what you offer and why you’re unique. Why would you not take advantage of that?

Another aspect to consider is the process of unboxing.

Extending the experience of unwrapping an order, as long as it isn’t inconvenient, makes receiving a package more fun and enjoyable for the shopper. Including special tissue paper, ribbons and free extras ups the anticipation and heightens the experience.

We already know that shoppers want their order as fast as possible and are willing to pay extra to get that.

However, making them slow down and enjoy the experience of unwrapping the box is something that sticks with them and something they’ll seek out again next time.

We’re seeing the trend of shoppers enjoying this so much that they wind up sharing photos or video of the unboxing on social media channels.

In another Dotcom report, Fulfillment & Unboxing Excitement, we find that when consumers have pleasurable experiences, the brain releases dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin causing a boost in mood. Oxytocin is responsible for the increased desire to form bonds, to reduce social fears and to enhance trust and empathy. This leads to less inhibition in online shoppers and the desire to share a personal experience with strangers. A positive unboxing experience makes people want to share it with others, often leading to a social media post. For the brand, this means exposure to potentially thousands of consumers, and therefore an increased brand awareness.


Does this mean that pricier packaging yields better value?

Haggerty: The packaging doesn’t necessarily have to be more expensive to have a bigger impact. What matters is the experience that packaging creates and how it relays your brand promise. We can see from the study that a premium packaging experience is drawing the shopper in and maintaining their loyalty, as 40% said they would be more likely to purchase from a retailer again if their order came in a gift-like or premium package. While some extra touches may cost more than a simple brown box, an investment in the packaging experience pays off in terms of customer loyalty.

Additionally, 44% to shoppers agreed that if upon purchase they were not sure they would keep their purchase, upscale packaging could push them over the edge and confirm that is was in fact worth the price.

Any other advice to share with our audience of packaging professionals?

Haggerty: The online shopping experience needs to stand out because the internet offers so many options all without a physical storefront that used to define a retailer's brand. Now that feeling, experience and brand needs to be communicated to an online audience in other ways. Packaging is proving to be a great avenue to include in that.

Additionally, the findings of this study should help shift brands away from thinking that their responsibilities with customer experience ends once the order is shipped. Shoppers want to be impressed by as many of their touchpoints with a brand as possible, and packaging is shaping up to be one of those touchpoints that should be taken very seriously.

For further information, read the study:How Fast Delivery and Quality Packaging Drives Customer Loyalty.

About Dotcom Distribution                                                               

Dotcom Distribution provides a variety of services to growing brands. The company offers multichannel fulfillment, e-commerce fulfillment, membership and subscription, drop shipments, kitting and assembly, freight management and global logistics. It also houses a full-service e-commerce photography studio that provides clients with high-quality images, allowing brands to better drive conversation rates and enhance the normal customer experience. For more information on Dotcom, its services and its clients, visit


Want to deliver packaging with impact? Consider attending PACKEX Montréal 2016 November 30, 2016 to December 1, 2016


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