A recent Harvard business study revealed some staggering insights into custom packaging benefits. About 95 percent of new products fail because of poor packaging. [1] Four approaches to satisfying customer demands include using collaborative, adaptive, cosmetic and transparent strategies. [2] Most customer demands are easily met with a fully integrated platform and a mix of using some or all of the approaches the Harvard study recommends.

The Importance of Product Packaging

Most people are unduly influenced by how a product is packaged. Customers don’t expect to buy an expensive product wrapped in newspaper even if it saves them money. Packaging can brand a company’s products, tell a story about the company and even promote the sale of dangerous products. Cigarettes ads proved this clearly when banning the Marlboro logo and typeface from cigarette brands in Australia resulted in the biggest decline in smoking in 20 years. [3] Today, eCommerce packaging options include creating custom packages for big customers and distributors.

Branding Products Using the Right Colors and Designs

The demographics of a company’s ideal customer come into play when choosing the right packaging for products. If customers are environmentally concerned, using eco-friendly packaging might be important. Cheap packaging can be made unique by creating a hand-packed look. Masculine colors might complement hand tools, construction equipment and building materials, while expensive or luxury items like perfume come in a rich black (for men’s cologne) or a beautiful floral print (for women’s perfume). It’s important to research customer profiles to find out what type of buyer uses certain products. The automated collection of data in an integrated sales platform can collect and collate sales information to create highly detailed usage reports to design the optimal packaging for each product. Some of the most common packaging choices include: [4]

  • Using white to convey simplicity, purity and safety
  • Choosing light blue for a sense of playfulness
  • Using light or medium green to convey “green” or eco-friendly
  • Packaging products in navy blue to suggest professionalism
  • Packing products in non-traditional shapes to differentiate them from run-of-the-mill competitor offerings
  • Using red to convey a sense of excitement or forbidden luxury
  • Finally, black exudes rich or luxurious

It’s important to step up and take full ownership of the company’s products. Using the intelligence that the sales platform collects, decision-makers can design and create appealing packages for generic products, holiday sales, special events and once-in-a-lifetime products that most customers will never need to order again.

Custom Packaging in B2B Sales

In today’s B2B sales, many customers want customized products and personalized packaging. Each customer is different, and even those ordering the same product for the same reasons might prefer different kinds of packaging. Advances in digital printing technology allow companies to customize and personalize packaging based on customer preferences or requests. There are no tooling costs, so even small companies can create unique packages with custom shapes, colors and graphics.

“Packaging” doesn’t always mean the box or paper it’s rapped in either. There are also big B2B benefits in bundling or packaging products in specially designed bundles or kits to increase sales. [5] It’s easy to promote bundled products by grouping complementary items on the same page and allowing customers to choose their bundles--even to fill a box only partially to get a bigger sale. Everyone has seen the “Customers have also bought…” lists on Amazon. Bundling also allows you to increase each sales order by providing a discount when a customer buys a bundle or a specific quantity.  Sometimes packaging is just the way you sell a product differently than the standard single item.

Integration facilitates these efforts across the board from displaying product combinations to packaging the products creatively. Fulfillment centers can pack the products in partly filled boxes or different packages based on the number of products and modular configurations of box insets. Personalizing the boxes based on customer or distributor requests is easy to handle when integration speeds both the ordering and fulfillment processes. Integration also enables quick comparisons of shipping prices based on weight or box size, often referred to as dimensional weight, which is required by UPS, FedEx, etc. to provide shipping estimates. The sales platform can also generate an accurate timetable for shipping based on the time it takes to produce the boxes or whether they’re already in stock.

Custom Handling & Packaging for B2B eCommerce

It’s important to build a platform where it’s easy to manage custom handling & packaging for global customers. Transforming a company’s capabilities should enable these seven digital imperatives recommended by IBM: [6]

  • Offering customers an Omni channel experience
  • Providing a centralized platform for ordering, requesting custom service and personalizing packages
  • Fostering buyer and supplier relationships to create custom products and packaging
  • Enabling real-time self-service applications
  • Incorporating new technologies to build B2B sales
  • Facilitating more flexible configurations (product bundling and kitting)
  • Leveraging data from internal and external sources to build customer profiles and design relevant packaging

Companies can offer better shipping arrangements with thoughtful packaging designs that increase profitability, offer customers multiple shipping options and allow customers to customize packages for different delivery addresses in split shipping.

The Difference Integration Makes in eCommerce Packaging Options

Integration makes it easy for your company to offer international shipping, calculate duties and taxes, convert currencies and ship large orders using LTL freight. You can extend shipping options by offering split shipping, drop shipping, custom package designs and third-party website connections to popular carriers. Integration generates automatic shipping labels and packing slips that can be used as a checklist during fulfillment, and these can be managed even when shipping from multiple warehouses and drop shippers--which is especially useful when you operate a marketplace platform selling products from many vendors. Give Clarity a call! We’d be happy to help with your integration project.

References:

[1] Hbr.org: Why Most Product Launches Fail

https://hbr.org/2011/04/why-most-product-launches-fail

[2] Hbr.org: The Four Faces of Mass Customization

https://hbr.org/1997/01/the-four-faces-of-mass-customization

[3] Inc.com: Why Your Product's Packaging Is as Important as the Product Itself

https://www.inc.com/joshua-conran/why-your-product-s-packaging-is-as-important-as-the-product-itself.html

[4]Retailminded.com: 4 Reasons Why Product Packaging Is Important

https://retailminded.com/4-reasons-why-product-packaging-is-important/

[5] Bobwp.com: How To Create and Customize WooCommerce Product Bundles or Boxes

https://bobwp.com/create-customize-woocommerce-product-bundles-boxes/

[6] Ibm.com: Seven Imperatives for B2B Digital Transformation Success

https://www.ibm.com/account/reg/us-en/signup?formid=urx-19905&S_PKG=ov61344&cm_mmc=Search_Google-_-IBM+Watson+Customer+Engagement_Watson+Commerce+-+Omni+Channel+Commerce

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