How To Ensure Your SME Delivers Like A Major Retailer
It’s common knowledge that e-commerce sites are turning traditional retail on its head. One of the biggest challenges of operating as purely an online retailer, or even establishing an online presence for your SME, will be building up a reliable, trustworthy reputation with your potential customer base. Your online strategy should prioritise clear communication channels, just like if you were a brick and mortar shop and your customers walked in to speak with you or look around.
And when it comes to branding for your e-commerce site, your parcel packaging acts as a display every time they’re sent out in the post, advertising new products or the aesthetic of your business.
In this blog, we’re looking at the best practices for optimal delivery procedures to ensure your customers come back again and again:
Communicating Your Brand
As a new or growing online shop, you might need to get creative with how you communicate and build your brand reputation. Traditional brick-and-mortar shops have the advantage of providing a physical experience for customers, which they can maximise through the environment they create in-store so as to communicate their brand. Customers can gage the value and price point of goods and services based on their surroundings when walking around a physical store, and studies show this will impact their willingness to pay for your products. For online services, getting your marketing materials to effectively communicate your product quality and price points can be a little harder to achieve.
As an online retailer, parcel packaging is one of the only physical representations of your business that your customer is going to see. It is important you are using effective parcel packaging and packaging materials to suit your audience and build your desired brand image, whether you’re a premium or budget brand. Luxury brands can invest in additional layers of packaging to give the impression of a deluxe or superior product. This will subconsciously convey to your clients the value of your brand. Layers of packaging can include printed tissue paper, material bags, branded boxes and even a message printed on deluxe card. This makes unwrapping your luxury goods an experience rather than just a function.
Layers of packaging are also a branded way to protect your product. For example, designer shoe or handbag brands will always provide a plush dust bag. This protects the items in transit and whilst they are in storage, emphasising the quality and value of your products. This does not come as standard with normal purchases and makes the designer brands stand out. Printed tissue paper is the perfect option for SMEs looking to target the luxury market as it is low cost (and we can now offer a minimum of just one ream!), but will still protect delicate items and extend the unpacking experience.
Procedures and Promises
Delivering on time and delivering on your commitments is key for building customer trust in your e-commerce business. Investing in quality delivery procedures and white label tracking portals will show people that you are reliable, and increase your customer lifetime value with people coming back to buy from you again and again. These platforms will allow your customers to track their orders, providing a sense of security in their initial purchase from an otherwise potentially unknown company.
Return on experience (ROX) is the new metric identified in PWC’s annual Global Consumer Insights Survey. Rather than just measuring the success of businesses by their profits, PWC are now recognising the importance of user experience and Customer Lifetime Value. Return on experience measures the investment companies make to improve their customer experience and customer service. This is crucial for online brands that are much more limited in how they connect with customers compared with physical stores on the high street.
You should also consider the reputation of your brand when creating delivery strategies. For example, if you’re an e-commerce brand that promotes sustainability and you do not use recyclable parcel packaging, your customers might doubt the authenticity of your brand message and business.
The Best Channels For Customer Service On Your Parcel Packaging
Businesses can often get caught up with the aesthetic design of their printed mailing bags, and yes, that is a very important factor. But your parcel packaging can still be informative. Parcel packaging can outline the best ways to get in touch with your business should the customer be dissatisfied with the product or there is some other query. Openly encouraging customer communication will improve the overall customer experience; consumers will feel confident that they know how to contact you should they need to and you will appear trustworthy.
The design for this information can still be stylish. Quality graphic designers can effectively communicate through their symbols, icons and visual content in a way that your customers will be able to clearly understand. This will ensure your parcel packaging upholds your brand aesthetic, even if it’s super minimalist, whilst assisting your customers.
Your online or e-customer service does not have to utilise expensive platforms or instant messaging systems. You can simply have your customers follow you on social media and resolve the concern via private messaging. Cheap and easy to implement, this delivery procedure will also help boost your social platform. In fact, Sprout Social recently revealed that 25.1% of consumers follow social channels in order to communicate with the brand. They also reported that 57.5% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand they follow on social media, highlighting how purposeful this channel for communication is. This means if you can drive your existing customers towards your social channels, you can remarket towards them whilst they’re thinking about your brand!
The Value Of Visual Packaging
How your parcel packaging looks is important and is a fun thing to design, but the marketing value should not be overlooked, especially for e-commerce websites. You can utilise parcel packaging to inform your existing clients of upcoming promotions and products you know they are already interested in.
SMEs can capitalise on consumer fueled marketing with printed packaging, too. When packaging looks attractive and impresses your customers, they are more likely to post and promote your branding on social media. Customers can connect and join your community of followers whilst directly promoting your products to likeminded people. Check out our case study of Acne Studio’s effective branding to create aesthetic packaging. Don’t forget that your parcel packaging can also cause a stir online by starting a dialogue!
For engaging and exciting parcel packaging, get in touch with the team here at The Printed Bag Shop!