Packaging Options Your E-Commerce Business Should Consider

The packaging needs of an e-commerce store vary from those of a brick-and-mortar one. Product packaging might help something catch user attention while sitting on a shelf, but you must think about the boxes used to ship e-commerce orders, the packaging inside and the other inclusions you place in the box.

When people receive an order from your online store, is unboxing it an experience? You have an opportunity to make a positive impression. Make people want to order from you again or send others gifts from your digital inventory.

What Should Be Included in an E-Commerce Package?

According to etailinsights, there are approximately 9.1 million online retailers globally, with 2.5 million in the United States. Over time, consumers have come to expect a certain experience when they order from e-commerce stores.

The pandemic forced many people to start ordering online who otherwise would not have. Growth in the e-commerce industry between 2020 and 2022 outpaced what experts previously predicated. The International Trade Commission reported a boost to 18% of market share–up from 13%–in 2020 with an upward trajectory for through at least 2024.

If you want to stand out from the other retailers in your industry, you must pay attention to small details such as packaging options. Here is how to create a positive experience for your customers:

1. Choose a Strong Shipping Container

Think about the items you sell. If they are fragile, you’ll want the strongest container possible. Items such as clothing can go in poly mailers, but don’t go cheap there either. You don’t want to send something in a package that will gather moisture or rip too easily.

Poly mailers are lightweight, reducing your shipping costs. They are also durable enough to withstand the abuses of shipping carriers while still protecting nonperishables and non fragile items.

2. Brand Your Outer Packaging

Adding a brand logo or using a particular color package can make your shipments instantly recognizable to others. People get excited when they receive a black box with pink writing, because they know it’s from BoxyCharm. Fans of Marie Nicole Clothing get excited when the dusty rose poly mailer with their brand name on it arrives.

How can you make your packages stand out for users? The customer experience starts as soon as the item is in hand. Does your outer packaging create a positive first impression?

3. Consider Inner Wrapping

Depending on what you sell, you should make the inside of your package look beautiful, too. For example, you might wrap clothing in pretty tissue paper. If something is breakable or perishable, you’ll use other methods.

Brands such as Hello Fresh utilize frozen pads to keep food fresh en route. If you sell fragile items, you might wrap them carefully in multiple layers of bubble wrap and air pockets. Think through how the user unwraps the box when they open it.

4. Create Workable Outside Labels

The label on the outside of your package must be readable to machines and humans. You want to make sure the order arrives in a timely fashion. Many small businesses try to reduce their carbon footprints, so using a thermal label printer may reduce waste of paper postage where parts of the sheet aren’t used.

Around 70% of companies have carbon reduction goals and want to be more eco-friendly. People care about sustainability and keeping the environment green, so even small steps to reduce the amount of waste can make a difference and create a green-friendly image for your brand.

5. Include Promotional Materials

One of the best ways to bring customers back for follow-up orders is offering them incentives. Include some flyers about upcoming products the user might be interested in purchasing. Offer a discount coupon or free shipping on their next order.

Place promotional items on top of the product but inside any wrapping. This keeps them secure but makes them the first thing the user sees after unboxing.

6. Place the Invoice on Top

People often want to check over their invoice and make sure they were charged correctly and all items arrived. With the supply chain issues of the last few years, people have had many items backordered or not arrive at all. People feel comfortable knowing what is and isn’t in the box.

It’s your choice if you place the invoice at the very top of your box or inside the wrapping. Placing it on top shows who the item came from, if it isn’t already clear from the shipping container. It also reiterates what the person ordered and prevents any misunderstandings.

7. Add Extras

Did someone place a larger order than normal? Include a note thanking them and letting them know how much you appreciate their business. For new customers, you might include a note that welcomes them to your company family and ask if they’d like to learn more. Include a QR code or a few links they can visit to learn about your products.

As an e-commerce company, you probably don’t want to put too much paper into the packaging. You may be trying to reduce the amount of paper you use. A small card with a QR code is the perfect solution that lets you get the message out without using as much paper.

Balance Costs and Experience

Ideally, every time a customer opens a box you shipped to them, they’ll be excited and remember the event. Unfortunately, getting too fancy is also expensive. You may need to balance costs with packaging options. Can you use stickers rather than custom-printed boxes, for example? Maybe you can go with generic tissue paper or cut costs by going with lighter packing materials.

Look for ways to balance the cost of shipping items but still making the entire unboxing as exciting as possible. You want your customers to tell others about your products. The happier they are, the more likely they’ll share their finds with others. Packaging should be functional, exciting and cost-effective all at the same time.

Author Bio

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

How the Live Stream Industry Impacted Web Design (for the Better)

Video content has significantly grown in popularity within the last few years. One of the primary reasons is that video technology has rapidly developed. In fact, video content has become so popular that research by Statista shows video viewership will increase to 248.9 million U.S. viewers in 2022.

However, out of all the video content available online, one of them has had the biggest impact — live streaming videos.

These days, more people are watching live streams. In 2021, live streaming estimated 548.7 billion hours of watch time. That impressively makes it one of the most popular forms of online content.

Because people enjoy live streaming content daily, it’s clear that the streaming industry will keep expanding. In fact, the live-streaming market reached $70 billion in 2021, and it continues to grow.

While live streaming has impacted the world, web design is one area that will have a mark.

How Live Streaming Impacted Web Design

In the live stream industry, there are several reasons why it has become so popular. One of them is that streamers can engage with thousands of viewers across the globe in real-time. During a live stream, creators get to communicate with people via live chat — making their streams highly interactive and intriguing to watch.

Additionally, live streaming is cost-efficient. Unlike broadcasting on TV, live streams are entirely free to run on the internet. Plus, they don’t require as much of an expense for production. With lots of savings and the ability to monetize live streaming, this increasingly attracts streamers and has helped many businesses worldwide.

Moreover, it has allowed people to stay connected while the lockdown orders proceeded during the pandemic.

However, streamers are starting to realize the opportunities that live streaming brings when it comes to monetization.

Creators Are Designing Their Own Live-Stream Platforms

Streamers rely heavily on some of the most popular live-streaming platforms, like YouTube, Facebook and Twitch. These networks allow live streamers to be successful with the billions of viewers that use these sites.

However, public networks have limitations — restricting monetization, enforcing strict content guidelines and limiting channel discoverability with the algorithms.

Now live-stream creators look for a place where they have complete control over their content. That’s where web design comes into play because more streamers require their own live-streaming websites. And they need special features to create a successful live-stream site.

Between the popularity of live-streaming and the realization of creating their own platform, web design will have a crucial role in the industry. With more live-stream creators turning to their own platform, they get to:

  • Have creative freedom.
  • Control their income.
  • Reach more people with SEO (search engine optimization).
  • Increase their brand awareness.

Essentially, it empowers you to take control of your live streaming business. That’s why more designers are creating websites for people to achieve their own success. But for you to reap the benefits of your own digital space, you have to incorporate certain web design elements.

Web Design Features Needed in a Live-Stream Website

Web design can help you establish your brand as an influencer or live–streamer. You’ll look more legitimate and professional to your fans, helping you create more opportunities.

However, web design is critical when creating a website. A good live-stream web design uses the right colors, fonts, words, images and graphics to appeal to users.

Here are some elements to consider incorporating when designing your live-stream website.

1. Create an Online Store

You generate as much revenue as you desire with your own website — more than what’s available on social platforms. If you plan on selling items during your live streams, you’ll need to host an online store, so people have a place to buy merchandise.

When designing your e-commerce store, try to keep it simple. The more pop-ups, banner ads and colors you add, the more it takes away the point of closing a sale. Your design should be clean, clear and simple so users can easily find what they want.

2. SEO-Friendly Website

When developing new web pages, you need to ensure you optimize your site with clean, SEO-friendly code. Incorporating SEO into your site allows your streaming brand to appear in Google’s search results. As a result, you show all of your brand’s entire offerings.

Take time creating your site’s code to increase your return on investment. SEO-friendly coding will guide search engine spiders and provide them with a clear picture of your website’s content.

Furthermore, it helps to design a blog page to drive traffic to your website. If you create a blog section, you can target your audience with keywords and answer your user’s with the most common questions.

3. Drive Brand Awareness

A professional-looking website can attract more fans to your live-stream platform. To achieve better results, though, you need good branding. Branding awareness is crucial since it provides credibility in a saturated market and can set you apart from other live-streamers.

To design a brand successfully, you’ll first need to create a brand strategy that defines who you are in your business. Then, you can start incorporating your branding into your live-stream website.

For instance, colors are an essential part of branding. They can stimulate different emotions and associate with other characteristics.

When choosing the right color palette, consider its effects on the human mind. Doing so will help you determine which ones are the right fit for your brand. Once you pick the right colors, you’ll be able to create an attractive logo design and ensure your brand is memorable.

4. Create an Interactive and User-Friendly Experience

Finally, your website will need a user-friendly design. Users expect a lot these days when they interact with websites. Therefore, you need to create a live-streaming website that’s interactive and easy to use.

Some of the important features you’ll need to pay careful attention to when designing your streaming site will include:

  • User registration: Ensure you set up the proper sign-up forms, so users have access to your live streaming content. You can provide various formats for users to log in, including email, Facebook account and a mobile number.
  • Video search: Users will need a place where they can find your previously uploaded content. Consider categorizing your videos by topic, date, video length, genre, most-watched, etc.
  • Video player: For better user experience, provide the options of sharing and embedding videos. Offer related videos, playlist configuration, download buttons and video quality selectors for enhancements.
  • Payment Integration: If you plan on creating a subscription model for your live stream business, ensure you support online payments using third-party integrations.

Kickstart the Design of Your Live-Stream Website

It’s no wonder more streamers are turning to their own platforms. They get freedom and creativity doing it.

However, designing a new website considers usability, attractiveness and optimization. When incorporating live-stream into your web design, consider following the tips above to ensure you enhance the overall experience for your users.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.