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Shopping is all about the experience. From the way people use your website to how your store is arranged, how your employees interact with them, the products themselves, and yes, even your retail packaging. Retailers, like you, need secondary packaging to get your goods from your store into consumers’ hands.
It is important to note that the shopping bags a person leaves your store with or the box that contains their online order are more than just a bag and a box. They play an important role in the consumer experience.
While they are different kinds of components, both primary and secondary packaging have an impact on how your audience perceives your brand and products.
Primary packaging is the packaging that is in direct contact with your products, like the can that contains an ice-cold Coke or the tube that holds lipstick. While these components are the last touchpoint in the consumer experience, they are not more important than secondary packaging.
When you think of secondary packaging, a shopping tote or eCommerce box may come to mind. As a packaging procurer, you know that the impact of these components goes beyond their form and function.
Secondary packaging has a multi-dimensional role in your company. When done right, it should:
There is no denying that secondary packaging is a necessity. But why should you choose custom retail packaging? Custom packaging is an integral part of your business strategy. If your packaging is inconsistent with your brand, either in terms of quality or visual design, it can confuse consumers and even cost you business.
Humans are emotional beings. Our buying behaviors are heavily influenced by our perceptions, values, beliefs, and feelings. While secondary packaging may not be the sole reason someone buys a product, if it is not done right, your packaging can detract from the overall experience.
As a marketing tactic, these components are an opportunity to influence new consumers to make a purchase and to keep current ones coming back. For example, one of your fashionable consumers is walking around with a plain, unlabeled bag. People who admire their style will not be able to tell where they shop and you will have missed an opportunity to get your brand in front of people who could have then paid you a visit shortly after.
Secondary packaging is also critical to protecting your merchandise. Without high-quality components, you risk disappointing consumers if your components do not maintain their integrity during shipping and the order gets damaged.
Depending on your business model, you may benefit from certain components more than others. Here are some factors to consider as you think through what secondary packaging to use.
Retail packaging costs can add up if you are not careful, and as the expense manager, it is important to stay on budget. Leveraging an efficient supply chain, sourcing from one vendor, and keeping your approach simple can help. This is one of the benefits of working with a full-service packaging provider – they have the expertise to identify cost-saving opportunities without sacrificing quality or style.
If you have a tighter budget, you may want to use fewer packaging components or opt for a more inexpensive alternative. For example, using a mailer bag instead of a corrugated box to ship eCommerce orders.
Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and these concerns have a direct impact on their buying behavior. Sustainable packaging practices are not one-size-fits-all – from ethically sourced materials to conserving resources and fossil fuels to minimizing waste to positive social impact… the list goes on.
Some brands opt for a minimal packaging approach in order to minimize waste. Some use recycled content in their packaging materials while others have opted to go plastic-free. Sustainability does not look the same for every business, but going green can help you stand out from your competitors.
Whether you are an eCommerce retailer, have a brick-and-mortar storefront, or a combination of both, your business model has a direct impact on the secondary packaging you use.
Your eCommerce orders need to be shipped through the mail, so your components need to be sealed, sturdy, and offer some measure of privacy. Mailer bags and rigid or corrugated boxes will be your go-to. If you choose a box, you may also want to use inserts to hold your products perfectly in place. Some online orders may also need extra padding; void fill, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, air pillows, or foam sheets can help.
Paper shoppers are ideal for retail stores. If you are really looking to elevate the experience, wrap your products in branded tissue paper beforehand. Doubling as an advertising tactic and a free gift with purchase, reusable totes, pouches, and drawstring bags are a smart way to elevate your shopping experience. These reusable bags can also be packed in your eCommerce shipments for a nice finishing touch.
As the packaging procurer for your retail brand, you understand that there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to retail packaging design, creation, and execution. Gaining efficiencies and staying on budget – without sacrificing quality – is key. This is where a full-service packaging service provider, like Edge2Edge, can help.
Contact us to explore the benefits of our extensive supply chain and packaging strategy expertise.