6 Ways to build customer loyalty with creative and thoughtful packaging
It’s easy to see why customer loyalty is becoming harder to secure – there’s so much consumer choice out there. If customers do choose to stick with one single brand or retailer, what makes them stick?
Although it can be challenging to attract and retain customers, there are plenty of ways a business can stand out by making the purchase feel special, and that includes how you package your customers order, both with the materials used and in the ways you choose to send your product.
The importance of rewarding and influencing your customers after-purchase experience
Many of the world’s biggest and most successful brands understand that the packaging and after-sales management of their product is a key factor in the overall value proposition. Sight, touch and even smell influence buying decisions. However, not all companies can or need to acquire expensive highly designed packaging in order to create a rewarding, even surprising, after-purchase experience.
Remember that your customer only expects to receive what they purchased from you so why not surprise them by throwing in something extra to make them feel appreciated. This is a great way to build your brand image and another chance to delight a customer.
Package inserts such as personalised notes, discount offers or a small free gift are an affordable and easy way to influence and incentivise your customers feel-good factor towards you as a brand. They have been proved to help increase sales and profits by turning a one-time shopper into a loyal customer. If you get it really right, those customers will not only re-purchase from you but they are highly likely to promote their experience with you to their circle of contacts and social media platforms.
You’ll be surprised at the impact thoughtful packaging can have, so why not up your game, get creative and see how your customers respond?
1. Reward your customer for reusing or recycling
Consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever. The Three R’s of sustainability are engrained into our culture: Reduce, reuse and recycle. They’re pretty easy to understand when it comes to packaging sustainability. Use recycled products and make packaging that is recyclable. Reduce the amount of packaging you’re using. Finally, create processes and designs with reuse in mind.
2. Offer incentives to buy again
Discount codes, information about new products and other promotional material should be included in every package. You don’t want to put too many flyers in there, as it will look messy, but customers will always appreciate a discount code if they are happy with their order. It may persuade them to shop with you again in the near future and therefore increase customer loyalty.
You could also consider using a two-offer approach in which you provide one discount card for your customer and one for them to share with a friend or relative, potentially doubling your reorder rate.
3. Include a thank you
It’s not unusual to thank the customer for their order via email, but have you considered keeping those thank you’s going? It shows you’re willing to put in the extra effort and that you genuinely appreciate their custom. Just a small label or hand signed note can make opening any parcel a joy and create a lasting impression while making your customer feel appreciated.
4. Small gifts and free samples
Free gifts are another great way to boost customer happiness and turn first-time buyers into repeat customers. A small or useful gift is a surprising way to show your customers that you care. Plus, since they will not be expecting anything, the gift doesn’t need to be expensive. Even small and essentially valueless gifts can make a big impact. After all, it’s the thought that counts.
Free samples are a great choice for a couple reasons. They can introduce your customers to other products that you sell which they may not have been aware of previously. If they like it, it not only could increase their loyalty but the value of their loyalty.
The key to valued items is their utility value to the customer’s needs i.e a shoehorn for shoe lovers or, a height chart for growing kids for the mother and baby niche, or a pretty lavender scented bag for protecting the clothing they bought from you. Or merely a bag of the sweet stuff such as love hearts or jelly babies.
5. Make a request for feedback
Because shipping and receiving the package is usually the last step in a successful transaction, it provides a great opportunity to ask you customers for feedback. Add an insert that asks them to write a review or to share their experiences on social media. This is a great way to build brand awareness as well as gather social proof for your products. The more people see your company name out there, the more likely they will be to try your products. But bear in mind, people won’t make the effort unless you reward them accordingly. So perhaps also include a free gift or a discount offer.
6. Think ‘outside’ the box… literally speaking
Not all of your marketing needs to happen in the package. Don’t forget to get creative with your packaging materials.
The default shipping solution are typically plain jiffy bags or cardboard boxes. These are good, practical options but why not take them up a notch. Instead of plain white bags why not print your brand’s logo on the bag giving your company a polished and professional look. Or get really creative and use custom printed pizza boxes, colourful wrapping paper or mailing tubes to make an impression that your customers will be sure to share with their friends. For a cheaper alternative to custom printing, invest in a custom rubber stamp and stamp your logo instead.
Packaging industry studies report that your box forms a first impression within 100 milliseconds so make your first impression a good one.
The Bottom Line
Going above and beyond with your branding and packaging can be the deciding factor in your customers’ minds when they are considering whether or not to purchase from you again. Before you send out your next order take a few minutes to brainstorm some creative ways that will help you leave that lasting impression and give your customers something to tell their friends about.
We have helped a variety of businesses attract more customers this way. We can help fulfil almost anything you can dream up. Our dedicated team in the picking and packing department are here to help so it needn’t cost you any extra time or resources to delight your customers.