Why Isn’t Packaging a Major E-Commerce Draw?

Why Isn’t Packaging a Major E-Commerce Draw?

This Packaging Gateway article talks about the lack of an e-commerce draw there is for packaging design. Their piece says:

Less than 25% of the respondents in the survey identified packaging as a major contributor in fuelling online sales, even as 73.5% opined that e-commerce/online shopping is an important medium for brands and products.

However, does this truly mean that there’s no room to make packaging part of the products’ value when shopping online? Short answer, no. When packaging offers no value, this statistic makes sense. So, outperform your competition by thinking outside the box and create labels and packaging that excites. Don’t just throw together something flashy. Consider the needs of your demographics and how packaging also works to offer them solutions.


What Constitutes E-Commerce Packaging Appeal?

Online images only show so much of a product. For many products, the packaging isn’t even included. However, if label design isn’t an asset to your product, consider the opportunity available. Afterall, brands that go above and beyond to surprise and delight their customers have the competitive edge.

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Offer More Than The Product’s Value

Don’t create a label that accomplishes the bare minimum. Sure, labels offer value no matter what. However, pushing boundaries are required to surprise and excite shoppers. Labels are often overlooked spaces despite the possibilities of creative problem solving being endless. It’s hard to come up with ways to take your design to the next level, so here are some options.

Great Lakes Label’s Video Portfolio

This is a video portfolio of labels created by Great Lakes Label.

Create Beauty in Design With Innovative Labeling Techniques

For some products, the packaging is an exciting part of the product and not simply a protective, informative container. One way to achieve this is through using innovative labeling techniques that shine in the light. There are classic techniques like foiling and embossing or instead try something your competitors aren’t using like the holographic techniques, Motion Coat, and Cast & Cure. When your label is a work of art or makes people want to pick it up, they’ll have yet another reason to buy your products. So, after you incorporate techniques into your design, an e-commerce issue becomes how to best represent the artistry of your labels.

Play With Lighting When Creating Product Photography

Good lighting is everything in product photography. When flatly lighting textural techniques like embossing or tactile coatings they end up looking indistinguishable from the rest of the label. As a result, the unique quality of the design is proven irrelevant. Same goes for any techniques that shine in the light. They need to glisten in product photography so customers know what the product looks like in real life. Not only does it misrepresent your item, but it communicates that an authentic shopping experience isn’t a priority for your brand.

Experiment With Video

Lighting is often still tricky where glare is concerned. So, this is where video steps in to offer better value. Instead of showcasing the product in a single picture, spin it in video form so that customers get a better sense of it as a whole.

Video is also a crucial, popular format to capture shoppers’ attention. More video is consumed online than any other form of media. So use a form that statistically they prefer. This also shows shoppers that your brand puts their needs first and will go above and beyond the competition to provide excellent service.

Unboxing Videos’ Impact

Unboxing videos have been steadily increasing in popularity. It’s no surprise that they highlight the packaging in an honest, unfiltered way, at least when the videos are uploaded by customers. However, not only will your customers share this experience through video, but you should share it as well. When some listings don’t show the label or packaging, this video will make it clear to shoppers what to expect when the item arrives at their doorstep.

Costa Farms Label by Great Lakes LabelOffer Content Value on The Label With Booklet-Style Labels

If consumers don’t find the packaging a major contributor to online sales, then make it so. Offer more value than they get in the grocery store with exclusive e-commerce booklet-style labels. Provide added value through information, translations, or links to digital content. Then, make sure this online special design is promoted through impactful product photography. When customers see that your item goes above and beyond the competition and in-store offerings, they’ll change their mind about the importance of packaging online. In fact, they may find the packaging offers just as much value as the product itself. Afterall, the resources you offer inside helps them use the item.


Great Lakes Label Promotional Holiday Hot Chocolate R&D Design
Great Lakes Label Promotional Holiday Hot Chocolate R&D Design

Link Customers to Added Content Using Labeling Technology

As mentioned above, labels offering linked content also offers value that helps them use the product. So, it enhances your brand perception and makes it more likely that they’ll make a return purchase. There are a few technological options like NFC (Near Field Communication), QR codes, simple URLs, and even hashtags. Yes, hashtags link customers to social media pages with other customer created content. It provides unbiased perspectives and connection.

Why is it Important to Create Authentic and Empathetic Added Value?

Let’s start with the selfish reasoning. When customers better understand how to use your product, see added value in artistic design, or enjoy your blatantly displayed brand values, they’ll buy more. So, while some of these techniques cost money, it earns money too. In fact, it earns loyal customers.

The cold hard fact is that authentic and empathetic value helps your customers which is the point of your business, to begin with.  So, when you give them something your competition isn’t giving them, you’ll be offering genuine care for their needs. As a result, you’ll be helping people live healthier, happier, or easier lives.


Learn more about the labeling solutions Great Lakes Label offers.  We offer a variety of inks and coatings that create a label that excites customers. Download our e-book, The Resource Guide To All Things Inks & Coatings.

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