E-commerce Branding: Why bad packaging harms your business and how to avoid it

Always value the importance of Packaging

Nowadays, people care about e-commerce packaging as much as the traditional retail one’s. The role packaging plays in the overall online shopping experience reflects your brand image and your customer service. Factors which are the key to brand success for repeat purchases.

From a study of DS smith, we can illustrate the actual landscape with numbers:

  • 1/3 of online shoppers experience poor quality packaging when ordering
  • 1/5 of online shoppers feel angry or upset after receiving products with poor quality packaging.
  • ¼ of online shoppers won’t order again from a retailer who send them a poorly packaged product

Given the highly competitive environment online retailers operate, those numbers reflect the money you are losing if changes are not implemented.

At the Packtory, we know how to help customers lower cost, increase sales and manage risk.  Discover the three steps to e-commerce success, together with few helpful tips.

In 2020, E-commerce sales will represent 15% of total retail sales.

Polymailers are a great way to send products while reflecting your brand

Step 1: Offer more than a product

Offer your customers an experience, a delight. Take into consideration few factors into crafting this unique experience.

For example, you want to buy a flowers bouquet at a store. The bouquet composition and decoration has been carefully thought by the florist. The bouquet will be displayed in all his glory at the store and the shop stuff will provide you assistance on the meaning of each flowers. There might be ambient music playing on the background and touch and smell come into play.

You might have a totally difference experience if the same bouquet happened to be in your local supermarket, near the cashier.

Transfer the journey experienced at the florist into the e-commerce world and it becomes 2D – you are trying to reflect a multi-sensory experience into your website and until the product reach your customers hands. A purchase decision might be influenced by pictures, online reviews or descriptions used. Once the purchase is made, the customer journey is not over! It has begun.

“When a package arrives through the post it is the first point of physical contact with any new purchase.”

Discover our offer of packaging

Once customer receives their new purchase, it is outside of the multi sensory environment described with the florist example. Thus, they can feel deflated, worried that the flowers arrived damaged or worried about recycling the excessive packaging.

Done smart, a well thought packaging safeguard against unhappy customers. It is vital to offer more than a product and plan ahead how it will be packed up to the arrival into customer hands.

Pack it right, Pack it tight.

Packaging is often thought about at the end of the product development journey, but really it should be brought into consideration at the very beginning. The rise in e-commerce is making the need ever more pressing. The most forward thinking businesses are incorporating an omnichannel approach to primary packaging, to avoid overpacking for e-commerce distribution.

Step 2: Use It as a Marketing tool

Not just a packaging methodology, the unwrapping experience has to be nothing less than theatrical, inspiring brand loyalty and aspirations for future purchases.

A high quality, well designed packaging, will make the first impression count.

E-commerce Packaging is a solution to replace the shop floor experience and extend brand messaging into your customer’s homes. Technology and creativity are coming together to help you achieve those goals and increase your brand engagement.

For example, a QR code well located, can make your customers participate in a giveaway or receive extra discounts. Redirect them to your Instagram account for a steady follower base. Those are examples of what can be done with smart packaging design.

Delight your experience-seeking customers, for whom the unboxing experience is something to celebrate and share on social media. Leverage on free marketing by getting viral.

If you decide to market your products by sending it to influencers, the first thing they would do is unboxing the goods in front of his audience. Make them wow.

Example: Honey Packaging for Klein Constantia Farm 

Today’s most ambitious e-commerce businesses want sustainable, affordable packaging solutions that also deliver an exceptional experience.  

Klein Constantia Farm used high quality print to create a wow factor, combined with a secure yet easy-to-open design to ensure instant gratification for customers.

 a The small white box resembles a bee have box with embossed ridges to denote planks of wood & nails. The famous Klein Constantia crest is gold foiled on the front of the box below the diecut slit that has one bee on its way into the box inviting you to open the packaging. The box opens to reveal a, bee covered, honey comb pattern as well as small diecut bees packaged inside each box

Step 3: Take a Sustainable approach

Consumers are more and more environmentally aware and are willing to devote to sustainable goods/brands. In turn, business are changing the way they think about the environment.

“When a package arrives through the post it is the first point of physical contact with any new purchase.”

The Packtory is using recyclable cardboard, woodfree paper and SoyInk for printing. An eco-friendly approach for satisfied customers.

The sustainable approach trend is particularly acute in younger generations, where the percentage increases to almost three in four. As the millennial generation ups its spending power, the trend is only set to continue.

Based on following numbers, a more sustainable approach is now a business necessity:

  • 55% of online shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods
  • 39% of shoppers who have bought something online are concerned about excessive packaging
  • 15% of shoppers worry about how to recycle packaging

A sustainable packaging can be a medium of marketing, and also assures the most positive impact on the environment.

sample of graphic packaging

Example: Sushi takeaway packaging

With the look inspired by its name, Fune, the Japanese word for “ship,” this sushi takeaway packaging uses biodegradable, recyclable, PET-coated cardboard material. Its “hull” serves as the carrier for the reusable soy sauce container. Instead of glue or plastic tape, chopsticks are used as a needle for closing the box, further reducing material wastage.


Done correctly, packaging for e-commerce can have a hugely positive impact on the overall experience, combining to deliver many of the elements that the consumer expects in-store, such as quality material and on-point messaging, right into their homes. A smart use of design and material together with optimised packaging solutions will wow your customers.

The packtory supports brands and retailers on their branding journey.