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The Power of Premium Packaging: The Ripple Effect

Posted by jtolman to on September 27th, 2013

According to a recent survey released by Dotcom Distribution, online retailers’ packaging can do more than enhance the customer experience.  Products that are ‘attractively packaged’ can actually lead to a ripple of residual marketing effects, which increases online retailers’ overall revenue in the long run.  For ecommerce retailers, packaging is even more important and more valuable than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

The Social Media Ripple Effect of Premium Packaging

The value of packaging extends far beyond a simple casing. The box itself can become a residual marketing promotion, making it a worthwhile investment. According to the Dotcom Distribution survey, there is a 74% chance that 18-25 year olds will share a picture of the packaging on social media.  Brands with a target market of young-adults can especially benefit from using premium packaging as a marketing tool.

Offering premium packaging is an excellent way for online retailers to gain word-of-mouth advertising, the most effective form of marketing, as well as increased customer loyalty.


Image Credit: The Style Box

The 2013 Ecommerce Packaging Survey results from DotCom Distribution show strong opportunities for customer loyalty development simply by using premium packaging.

According to the survey results:

  • 71% of consumers say they expect higher-quality packaging when ordering expensive products online;
  • 9 in 10 consumers have re-used a retailer’s branded box or bag after a purchase;
  • 3 in 10 consumers (35%) have discovered a new brand after seeing a customer carrying the retailer’s packaging in public;
  • Retailers that take a strong interest in their packaging could expect to see a 30% increase in consumer interest in their brand;
  • Nearly 40% of consumers would share a picture of an online order on social media if it came in a unique, branded or gift-like box;
  • Eighty-three percent of those consumers that would share a picture of an attractively packaged online order would do so on Facebook.

“Online retailers should not overlook the importance of premium packaging for their ecommerce products,” said Maria Haggerty, president of Dotcom Distribution. “Customers look for the ‘WOW’ factor when shopping online and when receiving a package, as they miss out on the in-store experience. Premium packaging for online purchases delivers a brand’s in-store experience to an ecommerce customer.”

Customers associate the quality of the product with the quality of the packaging, so it is highly imperative that online retailers do not underestimate the power of packaging.

The DotCom Distribution study also found:

  • 51% of online consumers said they expect to receive online orders in premium packaging from a retailer that typically provides such packaging in its stores;
  • 52% said they are likely to make repeat purchases from an online retailer that delivers orders in premium packaging;
  • 53% said premium packaging is particularly important for online orders of jewelry;
  • 60% said it’s important for retailers to deliver products in “sustainable” packaging, such as packages made with recycled material.

BirchBox is one of the biggest subscription commerce businesses in the ecommerce world right now.  They have set out a brand position with a colored outer box.  In addition, they have figured out that the outer box gets damaged in distribution, so they have added an inner corrugated cardboard box with a foil stamp.  This inner box creates the sense of a more upscale experience.  While an inner box may cost more, the return on investment is evident in their customers’ responses on social media.


This consumer’s response is what every ecommerce store should aim for with their packaging.

Instead of investing time and money into viral marketing campaigns, online businesses can try a different approach by making the product’s packaging itself viral.  The peer-to-peer promotion has an explosive effect when online retailers offer creative or attractive packaging.

Key Takeaways for Online Retailers

Online Retailers can harness the power of premium packaging by remembering these four key takeaways:

  1. Customers will immediately notice premium packaging from the moment it arrives at their doorstep.  They will also be more motivated to re-use the packaging and share it with their friends, acquiring new customers for the brand.
  2. Premium packaging increases loyalty.  Customers will keep purchasing from the retailer based upon their association between quality packaging and quality products.
  3. Customers naturally share attractive packaging on social media accounts, especially young adults.  Retailers can place a friendly note in the package to prompt customers to mention the brand on social media when they share.
  4. Sustainable packaging is always a winner.  Retailers can increase customer satisfaction by offering re-usable packaging.  Customers and mother earth will be happy and the whole world will be a greener place because of it.

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