Custom packaging: tips for business success post-lockdown

Creating custom packaging can be tricky to get right.

Yet high quality packaging is more critical than ever before in order to win customers. This is because consumer behaviour has been transformed by the pandemic. As a direct result, they have higher expectations about packaging they receive.

As UK businesses re-open this week it’s timely to consider how you can shape your customer’s new needs, with revitalised print.

To help you navigate the future of packaging, and inspire your next designs, we’ve drawn on our expertise to share with you key tips to ensure business success post-lockdown.

E-commerce acceleration drives innovation

The acceleration of e-commerce shopping is a major shift that’s certain to continue beyond the pandemic because consumers have forged new habits.

New customers are purchasing online for the first time ever discovering just how convenient it is; and existing shoppers are buying online, more often.

This is good news for online businesses. However, the endless stream of deliveries to our doorsteps makes it difficult for brands to stand out. This, in addition to the ongoing shortages in cardboard, has seen businesses turning to packaging-led innovation.

1. Paper secondary packaging

Paper packaging presents endless creative ways to innovate.

A standard cardboard box will protect your goods in transit, sure, but its ability to promote your brand on arrival is limited. This is where secondary packaging shines; providing the space to tell your brand’s story.

Take advantage of the unique colour and sensory qualities of printed paper. Original designs, combined with rich colours and tactile finishes, will undoubtedly stir excitement, and make your customers’ unboxing experience all the more immersive.

The secret power of enhanced printed paper is this: it creates an enduring sensory memory which is essential for building brand loyalty; and ultimately sales.

So the next time a customer happens to be browsing online for a product or service you offer, they instinctively recall your brand’s packaging, and return to your website (hopefully to make a repeat purchase!).

2. Eco-friendly packaging

Eco-friendly packaging has never been more at the forefront of the consumer’s mind, considering the deluge of wasteful, plastic packaging we receive on a daily basis.

A recent survey by Accenture found that 2 out of 3 consumers made purchasing decisions based on sustainability because of the pandemic, and were likely to continue to do so.

This suggests the slow shift towards sustainable packaging, now being adopted by major brands, for example Coca Cola’s paper bottle prototype or L’Oreal’s commitment to using paper as an alternative for plastic cosmetics packaging, is likely being fast-tracked.

We love paper and are passionate about advising our clients on practical ways to minimise the environmental footprint of their project.

This is achieved through thoughtful, alternative designs. Not only using recycled papers (did you know virgin fibres can actually be recycled up to 7 x times and are vital for the circular economy of paper?) but taking into account:

  • the product’s lifecycle and recyclability
  • the impact of different printing processes
  • and carbon off-setting approaches (e.g. registering your print with The World Land Trust).

For example, consider replacing unnecessary layers of outer packing with sleeve packaging. A sleek branded paper sleeve reduces waste, is cost-effective, and a novel approach to packaging.

3. Personalised packaging

Personalised packaging and promotional items are an increasingly popular e-commerce strategy.

An effective tactic to drive revenue by utilising customer data, demand for personalised gifts especially has risen during the pandemic as people desire thoughtful gifts to stay connected with loved ones.

Personalised postcards we created recently for a client

We recently worked on a complex personalisation project (with multiple languages) for a client who owns a global e-commerce platform. When purchasing a product as a gift, online customers were able to customise a postcard to be included in the package. They could write their own message, choose the background image, colours, font size and more. 

Transforming this variable data into thousands of unique, high quality postcards undoubtedly added value for our client’s customers. And the recipients of the gifts!

Feeling inspired?

Packaging-led innovation is essential to meeting your customers’ evolving needs. It also ensures your brand remains competitive in the crowded e-commerce space.

At the most basic level, secondary packaging should be functional. But move beyond this to enhance the colour and feel of printed paper, switch to sustainable designs, or add a personalised touch, and your business will reap the benefits.

Get in touch to discuss how we can help refresh your packaging so it’s fit for purpose post-lockdown.