Many business owners know about the hype surrounding custom branded boxes. They hear advocates singing the praises of custom-made shipping and product boxes, and they wonder if they're truly worth the investment. It can be a tricky decision, especially since so many eCommerce businesses are on a very tight budget or are trying to increase profits.
Many even dismiss the idea outright without considering it. They know what a tough business eCommerce is and, understandably, believe that spending money making cardboard look prettier when customers will discard it almost immediately anyway is wasteful. After all, you need to run a lean business, keep costs down, and maximize profits to succeed, right?
That's definitely not wrong by any means. However, what if we told you that not only do custom branded boxes increase profits, but they also save you money? Let's go over the difference in cost between generic and custom boxes along with some of the benefits of custom branded boxes to discover how that's possible.
One of the most influential factors for eCommerce business owners is cost. After all, if you could go all out and have top-of-the-line, professional branding on everything your business uses without paying more, you probably wouldn't need to weigh your options, right? So, let's go over the topic of cost and see what we're dealing with.
Unfortunately, branded versus generic shipping costs is one of those tricky topics where the answer depends on a lot of factors. The cost of generic stock boxes will depend on factors like the size, material, and amount. Typically, the bigger the batch, the less you spend on each box. Then, when you get into custom branded boxes, it gets much more complex.
All the same factors that apply to generic boxes also factor into the cost of custom branded boxes. However, additional factors complicate things further. Custom branded boxes can be ordered in any size you need to fit the exact product dimensions of your item. If you sell items of varying sizes, you'll need to buy the right size box for each.
Also, custom branded boxes don't just apply to shipping boxes with your business's name printed on them. Companies can use custom branded product boxes to hold the item, custom branded shipping boxes to mail them, or both. Manufacturers can make custom branded boxes in any size to match your exact needs, and the boxes come in a variety of styles and types.
In addition to choosing the right size and materials, they can also be further customized in many ways. Not only can you add whatever branding you like using different printing techniques and placements, but you can also customize them with elements like dividers or fitted inserts to keep your products safe and in place.
Custom branded boxes don't always have the company's name printed on the box. The term can include boxes with branded elements like stickers, stamps, or tape. More broadly, custom packaging can include branded elements like thank you notes, invoices, coupons, tissue paper, etc. The options are infinite, hence the difficulty in providing exact figures.
Depending on the number of options, combinations, and specifics you choose, custom branded boxes can cost anywhere from a couple of cents extra to a few dollars more per box. Since the price largely depends on how you choose to present your brand and showcase your products, you have some control over the price.
Generally, though, packaging should equal between 3% and 10% of your product cost. Smaller businesses will land closer to 10% due to budget constraints. Larger businesses can save by purchasing in bulk. Brands with a handmade, custom, or vintage aesthetic—like those selling on Etsy—should put more time, effort, and money into making their packaging distinct.
When done correctly, custom branded boxes are absolutely worth the additional cost! Yes, custom branded boxes cost more upfront. However, they also save you a lot of money in both direct and indirect costs. It can seem counterintuitive, but as they say, you have to spend money to make money. Here are some advantages of custom branded boxes to illustrate why the rewards far outweigh the cost.
Firstly, tailor-made boxes reduce shipping costs because they perfectly fit the product, thereby wasting less space. Many carriers use dimensional weight over actual weight, so every inch counts. The costs really add up over time. Many eCommerce businesses also pay for return shipping. It's a near-necessity to stay competitive with big brands like Amazon.
Luckily, custom branded packaging also reduces returns in multiple ways. Firstly, product-tailored packaging reduces the chances of damage during shipping, leading to fewer returns. They also reduce returns by increasing customer satisfaction (more on that in the next section), leaving more money in your pocket.
Consumers prefer unique, eye-catching packages. Attractive, high-quality custom branded boxes can dazzle customers. Positive unboxing experiences delight buyers, often having a priming effect. This promotes a favorable product impression, improving customer experience and satisfaction. Data bears this out as well.
In fact, in a 2016 study, over half of the eCommerce customers said they love opening thoughtfully packaged items. Feeling like they're opening a present increases their excitement. Branded, premium, or gift-like packaging increased the likelihood of future purchases and product recommendations by 40% and 50%, respectively.
Subscription boxes have been unbelievably popular lately. They're often filled with several hand-picked, completely personalized goodies, packed with incredible attention to detail, and wrapped in thoughtfully constructed custom packaging to fit, protect, and display every item perfectly. These boxes beautifully display each product while highlighting how much you're getting. This flawlessly emphasizes the value.
That may not seem important, but expensive-looking packaging increases the perceived value of the product. Customers are willing to pay more for things they perceive as worth more. Then, exhibiting each individual item to draw attention to their number, quality, and beauty will emphasize how much value they're getting, increasing the effect.
Furthermore, the enjoyment of opening a stunning package with intricate details and personal touches makes them associate your brand and products with positive emotions. If they enjoy receiving and opening your items, they're likely to buy again. These factors are what make subscription boxes so popular.
That's why they're perfect for unboxing videos, too. Millions of consumers flock to these videos to watch people open fabulously packaged and meticulously arranged items. Packaging worth making a video about is a marketing gold mine. Customers invest all the time and effort into making what amounts to an ad for your company without costing you a dime.
Then, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of viewers will watch in awe as your perfectly packaged—and memorably branded—products are dramatically unveiled, dazzling the customer and convincing others to buy, as well. When done right, custom branded boxes and packaging can create the kind of viral, word-of-mouth marketing that you just can't buy.
Customers are growing increasingly environmentally conscious. They're searching for ways to be more sustainable, especially since the pandemic began, and you could be one of the eco-friendly sellers they trust.
Shoppers are constantly bombarded with environmental issues; they worry about upholding standards of responsible consumerism. Giving them one less reason to avoid buying your products — and being one purchase that they can actually feel good about — goes a long way.
There's a wide variety of eco-friendly packaging options. Custom branded boxes tailored to your product size reduce waste. Also, designing custom packaging means you choose the materials and features. Instead of getting boxes from your carrier and accepting whatever they offer, you can request 100% recyclable packaging made from recycled materials. Considering the consequences of not switching for your business and the planet, it's definitely the right move.
Many business owners are reluctant to invest in custom boxes and other branded packaging elements. They don't want to increase their operating costs above the bare minimum. However, once you consider the benefits and overall boost in profits, not just the initial price increase, it's clearly the right business and financial decision.
In many ways, they actually cut costs, not raise them. They provide a greatly enhanced customer experience (CX). Data shows that the upgraded CX that premium packaging provides drives customer retention and loyalty. Furthermore, it creates brand advocates who bring in new customers. Perhaps most impressively, thanks to the popularity of unboxing content, customers even create videos and social media posts tantamount to ads.
As you can see, the generic vs. custom branded boxes debate heavily favors custom branded boxes. In fact, some experts would say they're a necessity. Many businesses neglect the post-sale phase. However, what you do next really matters and can even be the difference between massive business success or complete failure.
If you have any questions or want to learn about other ways to save money and improve your business, don't hesitate to contact us.
Eniture Technology specializes in helping e-Commerce merchants grow by providing useful information, digital marketing services, off-the-shelf apps that solve common problems, and custom programming services. Please contact us if you need help growing your online business or implementing the concepts presented in this blog post.
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