For Retail Shipping, Packaging and Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand

It’s almost cliché to say that the retail landscape has changed significantly over the past decade or so, as consumer habits seem to fluctuate with each new generation of shopper. Most recently, consumers have been abandoning once popular Sunday trips to the mall or bi-weekly caravans to the grocery store in favor of retail models that bring the store to them.

This is true across the retail spectrum. For shoppers who fear dreaded lines at the grocery store, for instance, many regional grocers have enacted delivery systems that let shoppers buy their produce and perishables online while enjoying same-day delivery. Companies like have been born embracing this model, while even Amazon is getting in on the grocery game.

But, the real game changers in the world of direct mail shopping have been the niche players who appreciate that how they package their products are just as important as what’s inside. Entire retail operations have been born out of delivering regularly scheduled “gifts” to shoppers where the experience of unpacking the order is as much a part of the purchase as the actual goods being delivered.

If you are mapping out a delivery strategy for your retail operation, bear in mind that the package your customer opens up is an extension of your brand’s marketing. Being innovative and memorable with your packaging allows you to better engage with your customers and make an impression that nurtures repeat shoppers.

Take, for instance, the strategy behind the subscription clothing retailer Trunk Club. They have become so effective with how they beautifully package each delivery that their customers are excited to effectively do their marketing for them. There are entire YouTube channels dedicated to people opening up their Trunk Club boxes because their clever, thoughtful display, along with personalized thank-you notes, is so novel compared to how other brands normally ship clothes to customers.

Everlane is another retailer that takes their shipping game a step further. All of their products are wrapped in craft paper and feature thank-you notes that actually encourage shoppers to share their purchases and packages on social media. This packaging model takes into consideration all of the senses: The packaging materials make low-pitched sounds when taken apart, which can increase the product’s perceived value, while the textures of the craft paper create a tactile experience that lend a rooted heritage feel to a relatively new brand.

Direct mail retailers stand to reap serious benefits by creating packaging that interacts with the consumer. By implementing layered micro-interactions into the unwrapping process that better introduce the brand and product – while still adhering to postal standards and product safety – the parcel can act as a tool to unveil what’s within rather than a purely functional container.

However, packaging is only step one in the process. The goods a customer purchases actually need to be delivered in a safe, cost-effective and timely manner for the experience to truly come full circle.

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