How to Package Your Products for Retail vs Online Stores

đź’ˇ Tips for Packaging for Retail and Online Stores

Brick & Mortar Stores (Retail)
• Consider how your packaging looks in-store
• Choose the right packaging material for your goals
• Create a great box experience for more online exposure

Online Stores (E-Commerce)
• Choose the right protective material when shipping
• Optimize the look of your packaging for online
• Create a great box experience

Maximizing sales and brand visibility of your products often means offering it in both retail and online stores. This may seem overwhelming; however, it’s important to consider your products’ packaging for each environment.

So, you may ask yourself, how do I package my product for retail vs. online stores?

Well, packaging that is effective in an online scenario may not see the same light of day in a retail store, and vice versa.

Making a crucial distinction between your physical and online store will grow your brand visibility and make your customer experience richer overall.

Whether you are trying to maximize both environments (online and offline) or just to upgrade your customer experience through packaging,

Here are the top 3 important considerations when starting to create your own custom packaging for retail and online stores:

Brick & Mortar Stores (Retail)

How Do Brick and Mortar Stores Work?

First, it’s important to consider how brick and mortar stores work before considering how to create your retail packaging effectively.

Brick and mortar stores sell goods and services directly to customers. This means having a physical store to sell and promote your products.

Having your products distributed through brick and mortar stores often means deploying fairly traditional marketing and sales strategies to attract customers to purchase your product. This process involves physical customer interactions, maintenance, and raising brand awareness through other services such as:

  • Customer Service
  • Email newsletters
  • Billboard advertisements
  • Brochures & other printed materials

Some businesses will choose to strictly stick to brick and mortar stores. However, today with the growing trend of e-commerce platforms, most brick and mortar store brands have branched out to online stores while maintaining their physical stores.

While taking advantage of the brick and mortar store environment can be exciting and rewarding, maintaining high sales numbers is increasingly more difficult without an online store as more users transition into online shopping because of its ease.

Although the trend is slowly creeping towards online shopping, that doesn’t mean that retail stores are going to be all phased out as there are still customers that would like to see a physical product before making the decision to purchase.

In summary, having custom packaging tailored to the retail environment is still important to this day and age.

How Do I Package My Products for Retail?

Consider How Your Product is Presented In-store

How your product will be presented goes above and beyond just your average display shelf.

Retailers may want to display your product on a freestanding display, gondola display, entryway display, and much more. Having a good idea of how your product will look in-store will offer guidance to your packaging’s design process.

For retailers, visual merchandising strategy is a huge part of how they maximize sales. The way your packaging sits on shelves and how much space it will utilize is important to consider when designing it for a retail environment.

Source: Shopify

Having a good visual merchandising strategy for your products will ultimately increase your product’s appeal to customers, directly increasing the chance of purchasing your product. This is why your custom packaging is an important component in driving more sales.

With your products displayed in physical stores, your customers can directly interact with it, which can be a big advantage when opting for a more luxurious feel to your packaging. For example, rigid packaging offers an exclusive feel, not just to your product but to your brand.

Make the most of this opportunity by offering a high-end shopping experience through not only your product but your packaging too.

Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of space the retailer will give your product in inventory.

Bulky packaging in-store may be a disadvantage both on-shelf and in-storage. Retailers need space to store your product for inventory purposes.

With limited in-store space, easily stackable packaging may work better in favor of your product.

Source: Packaging of the World

Some distributors and retailers may have specific requirements with regards to your products. This means when planning and designing your packaging, they have to be tailored to certain guidelines.

While this may limit you a little bit with regards to your packaging and product designs,  the design decisions need to be practical for all parties, from manufacturing all the way to the hands of your customers.

Protect Your Product With Packaging

The main function of your packaging is to protect your product from any outside forces that may damage it during the distribution process.

That’s why it’s important to consider appropriate packaging depending on your product, especially for brick and mortar stores.

  • Folding carton offers versatility, with many different finishes available. However, it is the least protective packaging.
  • Corrugated packaging offers maximum protection. However, it is often used for heavier products that require that extra support.
  • Rigid packaging offers a luxurious experience. However, it can be quite fragile.

You don’t have much control over how your product is handled during the distribution process so it’s important to plan ahead and choose the best packaging that works for your product.

Source: PakFactory

Our recommendation is to choose the type of packaging that suits your niche industry and your goals. For example, are you looking to package cosmetics?

If you are, I would choose folding carton or rigid as it’s the best choice for luxurious packaging.

Are you packaging large, heavy and delicate equipment?

Then choose corrugated, as this is the best option for carrying heavy equipment that can potentially be damaged when being handled

Keeping all components of your product intact for the display process of your packaging is very important to building a customer experience in-store.

Protective packaging is not only important for the distribution process of your products, but for the customer experience.

Keeping the design components of your packaging intact and presentable upon arrival for the purpose of customer experience plays an important role in building brand identity, credibility, and sales in-store.

Optimize Online Exposure Through Your Packaging

Optimizing online opportunities goes beyond just having an online store alongside brick and mortar.

Customer experience plays a big role in online exposure nowadays. Through social media platforms and influencers, brands have the opportunity to build brand awareness by making their customer experience as high quality as it gets.

How does the customer experience gain you brand exposure?

Social media influencers especially on Instagram and Youtube have popularized this idea of unboxing videos. They offer their first impression of not only the product but the packaging which is more often than not the first aspect discussed in these unboxing videos.

According to Think with Google The amount of time people have spent watching unboxing videos just on their phones is the equivalent of watching the holiday classic “Love Actually” more than 20 million times.

Whether you choose a brick and mortar store, an online store, or both for your sales path, influencers take their time to review the packaging, product, and overall shopping experience, which is a great way to gain exposure for your brand and product.

Customers undoubtedly really enjoy the unboxing experience as it shows the brand’s care and attention to detail. Arguably, they enjoy it more than the actual product!

Focusing on the packaging and unboxing experience has the potential to elevate your brand identity, awareness, and credibility. It also helps potential customers have positive sentiments in anticipation of opening your packaging.

In other words – make your packaging interactive, interesting and innovative.

Online Stores (E-commerce)

How Does E-Commerce Work?

E-commerce seems like it would be less straightforward than brick and mortar. However, it’s much simpler than you might think.

E-commerce refers to the process of purchasing and selling products and services online through the use of a user-friendly online store. Everything from purchasing, transactions, and receipts are all done online.

This retail environment eliminates the need for brick and mortar stores and allows you to do business without the constraint of time and distance.

E-commerce eliminates the display purposes of your product and delivers your product straight to your customers’ laps. In many senses, e-commerce has become more convenient for both businesses and customers.

Especially with Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions sweeping the world, e-commerce has really taken the throne in the business world.

How Do I Package My Products for Online?

Protect Your Product With Packaging

In the e-commerce world, the main function of your packaging is to protect your product from the processing, storing, and shipping stages all the way to the laps of your customers.

Shipping your product directly to your customer can be stressful since you don’t have a good idea of the journey the product may be exposed to. That’s why making your packaging considerations a high priority is important.

Source: PakFactory

The mailing and delivery process is most concerning for your packaging considerations.

We’ve all seen the occasional mailman haul the package at your door without a care in the world, and then proceed to go on and do it to hundreds of other packages.

You can’t control the mailing and delivery process.

However, your packaging is something you do have full control over.

Keeping your products protected and secure from the outside world is a very important aspect of running a successful online business.

It’s important to choose the appropriate materials for your products. It’s not only important for the distribution or mailing process of your products, but for the customer’s experience with their purchase at home.

While corrugated packaging offers your products maximum protection, inserts should also be a consideration for your e-commerce packaging needs.

Pairing your packaging with these inserts mentioned above will offer your product maximum protection and ensure an impeccable customer experience upon arrival.

Consider How Your Product is Presented Online

The online shopping experience takes away from your product slightly until it is delivered to customers’ doors, considering they can’t physically interact with your products before deciding to purchase.

Having high-quality photos, detailed descriptions, and a user-friendly website is crucial to appealing to your customers online. Being fully transparent with your customers online about your product all the way to the delivery builds brand credibility and allows you to build a loyal customer base.

Source: PakFactory

This is why your packaging plays a huge role in the wow factor of your products when it comes to e-commerce and your customers.

Although packaging is important for in-store experiences, it is even more important in the e-commerce world.

Making an instant impact on your customers in their own homes, is crucial to building a brand narrative that speaks even louder than your product.

Creating a memorable unboxing experience is what overtakes the brick and mortar stores shopping experience.

Not only are customers able to open their packages from the comfort of their own couches, but it is delivered to them directly with no hassle of leaving their homes while being able to take in the experience of the product full force.

To make it simple – create a memorable unboxing experience.

Optimize Online Exposure Through Your Packaging

As previously discussed, online exposure is crucial to business success, especially in the e-commerce world.

Ensuring your products and services are accessible through websites and social media platforms allow your potential customer base to grow immensely.

Promoting your products and your packaging designs online allows for full transparency with your customers and builds your brand awareness, credibility, and narrative.

The use of social media again becomes a crucial part of e-commerce. As previously mentioned, unboxing videos have gained a lot of popularity. Optimizing this trend is crucial to the e-commerce world.

This is why your packaging considerations are crucial to e-commerce success. Keeping your products safe is only half the battle.

Making sure your e-commerce packaging stays intact and interactive for the purpose of customer experience and exposure through unboxing videos is essential.

Source: PakFactory

Speak directly to your customers through your packaging. Personalize it with labels and stickers to spruce up your packaging designs and enhance the customer experience of your products and gain more exposure through social media.

Considering the design and strategy of your product’s packaging for retail and ecommerce environments is a key part of helping you increase sales and brand awareness. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with PakFactory.