The key to customer retention for small businesses is in details. Custom packaging is just one way of standing out from the competition and showing customers you see them as individuals. If you sell on a marketplace, it becomes even more important for the consumer to associate the product with your company and not the umbrella corporation.
According to one survey, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with companies who remembered their preferences and sent them special offers. Anything you can do to add a touch of personalisation ups your odds of retaining them for future orders.
Calculate your retention rate by figuring out how many people are still with your brand after a specified amount of time. The average varies widely, so you have to figure out what is a good rate for you and constantly strive to improve it. Here are some ideas for custom packaging to grab your audience’s attention and keep it.
1. Embrace Their Cause
Get to know your typical customer. What are the causes they most care about? One example would be people who want to keep the environment healthy for future generations. You might start by creating eco-friendly packaging and adding biodegradable labels explaining the benefits.
If your product is natural or organic, environmentalism is a match. Think about what your buyer personas care about most. Some companies label the outside of their box with info on how many donations they make to a cause they care about.
2. Present the Product Like a Gift
Smaller companies have an opportunity to grab the attention of their customers. Make clients fall in love with you by sending them beautiful packages looking more like gifts than orders. Take a page out of the book of some of the more popular food gift basket companies or florists. Order a few items from them and pay attention to how they package the inside of their orders. It’s about more than just the outside box.
3. Save Time With Automation
With online sales hitting more than $396 billion in 2016, it’s more important than ever to fulfill orders quickly. Small businesses should look to automated order fulfillment to meet this goal.
Saving time on grabbing the item from the warehouse and getting it into the box frees up workers to personalize other aspects of the process. They can create a label with the person’s first name to add to the side of the box or tie a pretty ribbon around the product.
4. Gain New Customers With Visibility
Getting your name in front of new customers isn’t always easy. Sure, you can advertise on social media, but people are so used to seeing ads, they often skip over them. Branding the outside of your shipping boxes is another way to get your image out there and grab the interest of people who otherwise might not have heard of you.
The shipping company, delivery people and neighbours all see your logo and message. Make sure your outside packaging is readable from a distance. Some great examples of companies doing this include Chewy.com and HelloFresh.
5. Offer Incentives for Reorders
Don’t overlook custom inserts for your packages. For example, pull the customer’s order history and add a coupon for the item they buy most frequently. Think of how you can reward them for repeat orders with special perks and bonuses. Something as simple as a printed postcard with an offer for 20% off the next order can encourage them to buy from you again.
6. Create an Unboxing Experience
The time people spend watching unboxing videos on Youtube is equivalent to watching the movie “Love Actually” more than 20 million times — a total of nearly 50 million hours.
Consumers grow excited over what’s inside boxes. How can you make it fascinating? Encourage your customers to share their unboxing videos on YouTube and Facebook. Reward loyal customers with samples and gifts.
7. Invest in Custom Papers and Boxes
Think about the little touches, such as branded tissue paper. Tissue paper is an inexpensive addition to your packaging, but it’s another opportunity to get your brand image in front of the customer. It gives the order a custom look and shows you care about the details.
The same is true of your outside box. A mailing package is pretty inexpensive and adding your logo in bulk doesn’t cost a fortune. However, the payoff in brand recognition is priceless. When the person is ready to order again, they’ll likely think of your name.
8. Add a Personal Note
When you first start your business, it’s easy to jot a thank you. Remembering the intimate details becomes more challenging as your order base grows. That’s where customer service software comes in, as it allows you to jot notes in users’ profiles.
With these notes, you can add a nice, handwritten thank you to customers’ orders. Is this the first order? Welcome them to the family. Is this their fifth order? Thank them for their loyalty, and be sure to include some incentives. The personal touch shows you pay attention and want to keep their business.
A Growing Challenge
As more companies become savvy to the benefits of personalisation, customer retention becomes trickier. Make sure you’re hitting all the beats so that your customers remain loyal for years to come. Survey your clients and talk to them about what new things they’d like to see, what offers they care about and their thoughts on your packaging.
Lexie is a digital nomad and UX designer. She enjoys running with her golden doodle and creating new cookie recipes. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.