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The importance of packaging in eCommerce

Published on 13-09-2022|131 Page Views

The packaging is very important in eCommerce. But have you stopped to think why? In today's post we reveal the reason for its importance.

Of all the aspects that revolve around online sales, there is one that is not usually given so much attention: the packaging. Packaging in eCommerce is a really interesting subject; it has to do with the product, but also with the communication strategy adopted, and even with logistics.

But… what is packaging in eCommerce?

Packaging is a very widespread term in English with which, in reality, we are referring to the packaging or container of any product.

So, it is conceivable that, since most products are sold packaged in one way or another, there is no real difference between the packaging if it is bought in a retail store or if it is made in an online store… but it is not exactly like that.

Logistical issues

The first relevant issue is the cost. When you have an adequate policy in this aspect, we are much more efficient in the use of space. And, in logistics, cubic meters are money that goes into storage and a higher cost per shipment, which is known as volumetric weight.

In addition to the volume of the packages, there is something else that makes the difference with the purchase in a physical store, in which almost all the responsibility for the integrity of the packaging ends when the product leaves the warehouse. In eCommerce there is an added step in which we lose control over the treatment of the product.

The transport companies establish that last link between our trade and the client. The implications of this is that many damages can occur related to the incorrect loading or handling of the package. It may be hit by the carrier or the product may collide with other products during transportation.

Therefore, it is possible to work with repackaging which, as its name suggests, is an additional packaging that is added to guarantee the integrity of the shipment.

Strategic issues

Another reason repackaging is used is that it can be used for rebranding and branding when selling third-party items.

A good example is the packaging of Amazon shipments. The brown cardboard boxes with their logo actually contain products sold by different merchants in their marketplace, items that already come in their respective boxes, shrink wrap or blister packs, but which are included inside a second, larger box.

This additional packaging, in addition to being practical, also gives continuity to the feeling of shopping in a single space: you have bought on Amazon and not in the different stores.

In addition to this homogenization of the experience in certain cases, the cosmetic packaging will be part of the shopping experience of the customer of an eCommerce.

Certain highly aspirational brands or, at least, some of the most sought-after and loved by their customers, start by building their branding through packaging.

Users enjoy the experience of purchasing their new product so much that they revel in the act of unboxing it (and even turn it into video content on their social profiles: the famous unboxings).

The fact of buying online generates, let's not say anxiety, but expectations. We await our shipment with some unknowns because we have not had the opportunity to touch the product with our hands. That is why the first impression caused by the container is so important, which has to:

  • Project Solidity – Customers shop online extensively and may even have had some previous bad experience.
  • Give a sense of security – a package must make us feel that what is inside is what we have ordered.
  • Convey quality – careless packaging can be interpreted as little interest in the final product. It is worth spending a little effort to have a good design at this level as well.
  • Consistency with the product – it has to be the preview of what the customer will find when opening the box.

And playing with these variables, the characteristics of the product and the values ​​of the brand, polishing the experience.

EXAMPLE: If we are selling a product whose differential competitive advantage is the sustainability and craftsmanship of its production process, our packaging has to convey that.A box made of ecological material with an organic appearance would make more sense than a heat-sealed plastic bag.

However, another product with a positioning oriented to a higher segment, based on quality, should not use a heat-sealed bag either, but for different reasons. The quality should be transmitted from the materials and the design of the packaging. Let's keep in mind that it is part of the product or, better said, of the shopping experience.


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