Marketing Tips

The secret weapon your eCommerce marketing overlooks.

April 19, 2022
minute read
Opened eCommerce box with a glowing light coming out of it

The past two years have seen a sharp rise in eCommerce sales, up 47% since 2019. This has many retailers celebrating a new, more efficient way to reach consumers, especially in the wake of a pandemic retail environment. 

While many retailers are celebrating the 88% higher profit margin compared to traditional brick and mortar store environments, seller beware: their eCommerce buying experience could be coming at a dramatic cost. 

As the shopping experience evolves, so must your strategy.

Heading into a retail store certainly offers shoppers a couple of perks, particularly a connected branded experience beyond just the purchased item – the music, the smells, the architecture and store aesthetic, and how you’re treated by the employees. 

an eCommerce box with plain kraft paper next to a luxury retail bag filled with tissue paper printed with a fun geometric pattern
Average eCommerce experience compared to in-store retail experience

Retailers spend millions of dollars designing their in-store experiences for a specifically curated experience, an investment they have no trouble making since their stores are an extension of their brand (if not the core of the brand itself).

However, much of this is lost with an eCommerce purchase, which comes at a great cost.

In a previous post, we shared that 41% of online purchases can end up returned. This is a staggering number if you’re a retailer, especially if you consider the average return cost of $15 for shipping and handling.  

Why are eCommerce returns so high? 

Generic packaging lacks the emotional experience that an in-store visit delivers. 

“When consumers have a positive experience they become likely to spend 140% more than customers with a negative experience.”

Harvard Business Review

The unboxing experience can make or break your eCommerce sales.

How do you feel when opening an item you just received in the mail when the presentation lacks appeal, creativity, or brand recognition? 

When customers have a lackluster in-home experience, they are more likely to return the item, less likely to recommend your brand to a friend, and may even choose to shop with a competitor next time. 

Imagine someone coming into a generically-designed store with no branded elements, items laid out in no particular format without any signage, and leaving with their items in a plain plastic bag. Brown boxes and plain paper void fill is this experience at home.

Personalizing the unboxing experience is the best secret weapon you’re not considering – yet.

an eCommerce box with geometric patterns printed on it

Branded Packaging: A worthwhile marketing investment.

Retailers have no trouble justifying spending billions of dollars each year on advertising, trying to get in front of their customers. Yet, when it comes to some of the most important emotional exchanges with their customers, they often drop the ball – especially in an increasingly eCommerce-driven retail environment. 

“Packaging is potentially one of the better value-for-money last-mile improvements for online retailers. The added cost to the retailer of premium packaging to the retailer was less than 10¢ per shipment.”

J Bus Logist

Branded materials are not just a packaging cost but a marketing investment. When customers receive their products in branded packaging, they are 6.6% less likely to return them. 

Not to mention, word travels fast amongst happy customers – or unhappy ones. Customer referrals are the best way for businesses to thrive with passive marketing. By utilizing doorstep branding, your business can improve customer loyalty and passively earn you new consumers.

Repeat, loyal customers are also less expensive than new customers, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a positive brand image, and thus, your customer will be thrilled with their experience. 

an unhappy customer opening a box filled with plastic compared to a happy customer opening a box with tissue paper

Customers demand recyclable and sustainable packaging.

It turns out that going green can create a real competitive advantage for your business. 

73% of consumers feel that products packaged in paper-based packaging feel more premium. 

Mono-material packaging eliminates plastic in your packaging to ensure that the entire shipping container is entirely paper. This allows your customers to recycle the contents instead of just throwing them away. 

Compared to packing peanuts, plastic, styrofoam, etc., paper is the most sustainable option to deliver your goods to your customers. And believe it or not, this doesn’t limit your packaging options or creativity when it comes to your packaging. 

68 color dots showing all of SatinWrap's stock colors
68 FSC® certified SatinWrap solid colors

At Seaman Paper, for instance, we offer a variety of different sustainably produced packaging, including 68 FSC® certified colors of tissue paper. 

Our SatinWrap® and custom prints are How2Recycle® certified and made with up to 75% recycled materials. To go the extra mile, we offer white and kraft papers made out of 100% recycled fibers. 

Along with enhancing your brand, our sustainable processes such as fiber sourcing, and energy, water, and waste management are constantly on the forefront of our minds to ensure we are doing our part.

Seaman Paper is here to help.

With such a volatile retail environment armed with more choices than consumers can reasonably make, it is important that your customers choose you. 

Seaman Paper is here to assist you with your newest marketing investment: Bringing the storefront experience to the doorstep.

We offer a variety of different paper products to deliver your customer the best unboxing experience. By introducing custom packaging, you are bringing creativity and a unique feel to your customers when they purchase something online, much like they would in-store. 

Click here to learn more about custom branded tissue paper.