5 ways packaging affects your Net Promoter Score

Rob Kaszubowski, Director of Packaging Optimization

February 13, 2018

4 Min Read
5 ways packaging affects your Net Promoter Score
How can packaging influence your Net Promoter Score, which provides a snapshot of customer satisfaction and loyalty? Image: Qualtrics.com.

What’s Net Promoter Score and what’s packaging got to do with it? Turns out NPS is a great indicator of business growth that can be influenced by ecommerce packaging in five ways.

Many analysts agree an organization’s Net Promoter Score can be a great indicator of business growth. Consumer goods companies are constantly looking for their edge and seek a mechanism to gain feedback and insight on their market health and impact of their products upon consumers. There are a number of factors that can contribute to a consumer’s input on a Net Promoter Score survey. We’ve approached this subject from the packaging engineer's perspective and have identified packaging’s ties to NPS below.

What is NPS?

NPS is a survey-based tool many companies employ to understand and quantify their customers’ level of satisfaction and loyalty.

The survey is short and sweet and simply asks, “On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) how likely are you to recommend this product/brand/service to a friend?” A high score (a 9 or 10) is said to predict growth within an organization’s given industry or market. Using the feedback provided, the ultimate goal is to increase your number of “Promoters” while decreasing the number of “Detractors” to help improve your score.

While the metrics are not all encompassing (it does not reveal demographics or geographics, for example), NPS does provide a good snapshot as to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Furthermore, there are several strategies an organization can employ to effectively manage their NPS survey in order to produce higher response rates that ensure data validity.


So how does packaging impact your score?

A great product can help overcome shortcomings or hide a lot of warts, but with many products, the packaging is the first interaction, and thus the first impression, your customers have with your product(s). Here are five ways packaging can impact your NPS score through ecommerce distribution:

1. Out-of-box experience.

Your package should be easy, intuitive, frustration free, simple.

We’ve all been there, searching through a drawer at home trying to find that magical tool, scissors or knife to open a newly arrived package. Even though Amazon’s “Frustration Free Packaging” initiative has been around for years, its push to minimize packaging materials and make products easier to use out of the box continues to grow across all aspects of ecommerce, online orders and shipments.

2. Arrives undamaged.

No one is in business to ship damaged product. To ensure your product arrives with integrity, test your packaged product before you ship it. Know your mode of transportation and the hazards it will see throughout the distribution process. The one thing we know is that your product will not arrive in better shape than when it shipped, so it’s crucial to know how your packaged product will perform under duress. Use ISTA or ASTM test methods and protocols to identify the best method to protect your packaged products.

3. Recyclability.

Have you ever bought a product, only to get stuck with a mound of non-recyclable foam? Studies show a company’s sustainability goals and eco-friendly efforts play a big part in a consumer’s initial and sustained purchases. Any company not employing recyclable or reusable packaging may see their NPS score take a hit.

4. Minimal waste.

You don’t have to look far nowadays to find examples of an ecommerce order that arrives with a tiny product surrounded by tons of excess bubble wrap.  Another personal pet peeve is the over-use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) that can easily fill up my garbage dumpster with a single-item purchase such as a large flat-screen TV. Similar to the point outlined in the previous section, a reduction of these materials demonstrates an organization’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

5. Easy returns.

In this day and age, retailers need to tailor their ecommerce packaging towards the consumer wants. An easy, stress-free way to send back the product you don’t want or shoes that don’t fit likely ensures you’ll buy from that retailer again. Companies that have a sound reverse logistics process and an easy way for consumers to repackage and ship their item will be steps ahead of the competition.

Even if your product is great, failing to address all of these packaging metrics can leave a negative impact on your customer’s overall experience and your Net Promoter Score.

Rob Kaszubowski is Sr. Packaging Consultant at Chainalytics’ Packaging Optimization where he is focused on reducing product damage and implementing packaging cost reduction initiatives.

Connect with Rob on LinkedIn and on Twitter@KazPack1

Main image source: Qualtrics.com


ADM Cleveland 2018 (Mar. 7-8; Cleveland) showcases the latest in robotics, automation, plastics, packaging and design engineering through 5 integrated events including Pack and PLASTEC. For more information, visit ADM Cleveland 2018.


About the Author(s)

Rob Kaszubowski

Director of Packaging Optimization, Chainalytics

Rob Kaszubowski is Director of Packaging Optimization at Chainalytics, where he leads consulting programs to reduce costs and solve complex packaging challenges. He can be reached at [email protected] or 763-772-2455. Connect with Rob on LinkedIn.

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