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Featured Article: Does your postal packaging damage your brand?

Postal packaging has the potential to be a fantastic marketing tool for online retailers, but it's one which is underutilised by many brands. At best, this means missed opportunities to promote your business, while at worse company's risk inadvertently damaging their own brand.

Research we commissioned proves just how attuned consumers are to the impact of packaging - 70% view postal packaging as integral to the customer experience. If packaging is poor quality, 95% sat it negatively impacts on their perception of a company and 50% admit they are more likely to return goods.

When viewed from a consumer's viewpoint, the reason for placing such importance on packaging becomes obvious. For those buying from online-only retailers, packaging may be the first physical contact they have with a brand, while individuals who buy from multi-channel retailers expect the online service to mirror the glossy in-store experience that retailers invest heavily in.

Here are our top tips to develop really effective postal packaging:

  • Think beyond logistics - seek your marketing team's expertise to ensure your packaging reflects your brand. F+F at Tesco's new packaging range mirrors fashion trends while John Lewis has chosen packaging that is of sufficient weight to convey the high quality so associated with the brand.
  • Bridge the gap between online and offline - consider including QR codes, brand messages or social media details to really engage customers.
  • Bespoke packaging is cost effective and fast - UK-based manufacturers can be extremely competitive, boast short shipping times and can reduce your company's carbon footprint.
  • Don't neglect the practicalities - best-fit packaging reduces your overall spend and improves presentation. Packaging that makes returning goods easier enhances the customer experience and is environmentally friendly.
  • Consider the whole order cycle - choosing the right packaging for your business will aid outbound packing, protect the product during posting, delight your customer and streamline the returns process.

As featured on Drapers Online - In Business Section, 16th January 2013


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