Design audit

Design Audit

Here’s why you should go from brown cardboard box to brand experience

Today, more and more of us are buying our products online, and e-commerce has become larger and more important than ever.

This means that customers are less likely to make purchases in person. It also means that packaging has become an important way to communicate with customers. So with customers not coming to the store, the store has to come to the customer’s home. With online purchases, the packaging is typically the customer’s first physical contact with your brand. The packaging therefore becomes the face of the company and is the only time you can put your brand on display in an online context.

You can help add value and enhance the purchase experience for customers when they make purchases online. Good packaging is therefore your chance to improve the customer experience and create a better ROI. 

Six points on the benefits of good packaging design and what it means for the brand and customer experience.

Briefly about the article

Here, we will guide you through the benefits of good packaging design and what it means for the brand and customer experience. You will also get tips on how to create good and effective packaging that makes you stand out to customers.

Here, we will guide you through the benefits of good packaging design and what it means for the brand and customer experience. You will also get tips on how to create good and effective packaging that makes you stand out to customers.

Contents:

  1. Good packaging design creates better customer experiences
  2. Packaging design affects customers’ perception of your brand and purchase decisions
  3. Packaging is of huge significance for brand experience
  4. Achieve positive ROI through your packaging
  5. How can you create better packaging?
  6. Tips on how to design effective packaging that makes you stand out to customers

Good packaging design creates better customer experiences

The rise of e-commerce has given customers new buying prospects.

Because many purchases are made online, it is more difficult for companies to build loyal relationships with customers, and customers can easily find other alternatives online, as the internet allows you to shop all over the world. This means that the competition is even greater when it comes to service and customer satisfaction. Therefore, you have to be able to stand out and make sure the customer experience you provide is just right. 

It’s no longer enough just to create durable packaging that can handle transport, but it’s now also critical to inspire the customer and makes them feel like coming back to your webshop to shop again.

Good packaging:

    • can achieve recognition and positive reactions from the customer
    • can be part of your marketing
    • can reflect your brand image.

There are countless benefits to investing in better e-commerce packaging. Good packaging design pays off, as it can influence customers’ buying behaviour. Up to 1/3 of customers’ buying behaviour is determined by the packaging. Good packaging design can also give the customer a coherent overall experience of the product.

The overall experience is related to the concept of omnichannel, which is highly relevant today. The physical and digital worlds merge and become united in seamless integration. It is important that the customer gets an overall experience, so that there is a connection between the physical product and store, the overall brand image and the first impression, which is the packaging.

If there is no coherence and overall experience, the customer may be confused and may be disappointed with the product as the packaging does not live up to their expectations. The packaging should therefore be considered from the very beginning and be part of your overall strategy. If you don’t think about packaging, the customer ends up with a boring, brown cardboard box and doesn’t get the desired customer experience, which they might have had in a physical store.

Therefore, it is essential for those who work with e-commerce to work out a packaging strategy that gives consumers a purchase experience with a complete and coherent concept. Service, brand, and packaging design must be cohesive. Get tips for a better packaging strategy.

Oleana shipping box

Packaging design affects customers’ perceptions and buying decisions

Packaging is of great significance when it comes to how customers perceive a product’s value and functionality. If the packaging is attractive, this will rub off on the product, which will also seem more attractive. The perception of packaging quality therefore influences the perception of product quality, and this affects buying choices. One study shows that if packaging quality is reduced, a large proportion of consumers will leave the brand or switch to another. 

In a physical store, customers have the opportunity to experience products with all their senses. Take, for example, a candle in a physical store. The designer of the candle has most likely thought about colour, shape and weight. At the same time, the store employees have thought about how to place the candle on the shelf, the combination of other products and how the lighting around the display should be. This involves all of the customer’s senses and has a significant influence on their buying behaviour.

Think about the same situation in e-commerce. Here, you can’t see or feel the product before buying it – and your first encounter with the product is when it arrives in the post in the packaging. It’s important that the website experience is carried over into the physical dimension. The excitement and interest in the product need to continue when the customer unpacks their order.

The overall customer experience can be formed through the senses, such as:

  • scent
  • feel
  • sound
  • appearance


All the elements must therefore be taken into consideration when designing packaging, and it has to match up to the way you want your brand to be perceived.

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FSC label
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Packaging influences the brand experience

A large part of the packaging design revolves around your brand image. The brand experience is not just about the products themselves and the marketing, but also the packaging.


The relationship between the packaging, product and your brand is decisive. Customers can quickly become confused if their ideas about the brand and what they receive don’t match up. It’s important to look at packaging as the product’s outfit. It’s the part you see first, so it’s essential that it reflects your brand. There are many things that influence how your brand is perceived. If the packaging is high-quality and well-designed, this can enhance the brand experience for the customer. It can have an effect on the customer’s loyalty and satisfaction with the brand. 


The positive reaction the customer has in relation to the packaging design can therefore also influence their perception of your brand. Therefore, make sure that your packaging reflects your brand through and through – not only in appearance but also with respect to all the surrounding factors, such as the customer’s senses, first impressions, and experience. For example, sustainability may also be a factor. Sustainability can help to brand your business, as it says something about your core values. If your business is sustainable in one way or another, a good way to show it is through your packaging.

shopping online

Get positive ROI via your packaging

In a report by Package Testing & Research, a relationship was found between good packaging experiences and the willingness to pay more for the product. The report is based on an experiment with packaging design that is interesting, eye-catching, practical, and easy to remember in relation to the brand. Here, the focus is on the packaging’s user experience with respect to how much consumers are willing to pay for the product.


Users had to look at both the visual look and the use of the packaging. The result was that as many as 57% of consumers would be happy to pay more for the product if it is packaged in cohesive, good-looking packaging that is both practical (easy to open and close and reusable), but also with an aesthetically pleasing design that provides a unique experience for the customer.

Consumers are therefore undoubtedly willing to pay more for products in better packaging. Bear this in mind when planning your packaging strategy and figuring out how much you want to invest in your e-commerce packaging.

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Willingness to pay more in relation to packaging design.

Packaging is often a minor investment compared to other product costs. Yet we see how much packaging influences consumers’ purchasing decisions time and time again. You should therefore see packaging as an important investment. 

The packaging’s value is always determined by the customer and not the manufacturer or designer. If you don’t receive packaging with the desired quality, experience, and design, you don’t add value, and your investment is lost.

You, therefore, only achieve positive ROI with better packaging that lives up to the customer’s expectations. You can be sure that the packaging lives up to the customer’s expectations by making sure you know their preferences and creating a design that matches the brand’s image and is more than just a brown cardboard box.

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MIxed packaging
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How do you create better packaging?

It can often be difficult to judge what better packaging is, but it’s often related to the properties of the packaging, as these influence customers’ perception of the product and brand quality. When it comes to quality packaging, there are many factors that come into play.

You need to make sure you have a high image resolution, ensure that the print is consistent and that the material itself is durable. This can affect how the packaging feels to the customer.

Today, there are many opportunities to create new and interesting packaging that can have a positive impact on the customer’s overall experience of the product. It’s often a good idea to take the elements present in the physical store as a starting point, including the look, colours, materials, textures, and atmosphere. Again, it is important to see the packaging design as a way to replace the physical store experience. We can therefore conclude that packaging isn’t purely practical, but also a marketing tool that influences how customers perceive the product, how much they are willing to pay for it and how they rate the overall product.

Branded shipping box

Tips for designing effective packaging that makes you stand out to consumers

Use colours and patterns

Several studies on buying behaviour have shown that the colours on the packaging are an important factor when it comes to attracting customers’ attention. If you want successful packaging, it’s important to stand out with your colour choice. The classic, brown cardboard box needs to be rethought, and colours and patterns can help. You can capture the attention of your target audience with a special icon, eye-catching pattern or colour that represents your brand.

Be consistent

However, being eye-catching isn’t enough if your customers have forgotten you by the next time they need to buy something. Therefore, it’s important for your design to be recognizable. Let your brand’s characteristics shine through – right from the product itself to the shipping material. There needs to be a cohesiveness, so that the customer isn’t confused by the exterior and interior of the package. Therefore, make sure that the aforementioned pattern, icon or colour used is the same and on all your packaging – even when you go from one size or type of product to another. Your packaging must be able to recreate the same feeling with the customer, no matter what product and what packaging they are holding in their hands.

Tell a story through your design

As mentioned, unpacking the product should be an experience for the customer, and a good way to create an experience is through storytelling. Therefore, make sure that your packaging somehow incorporates a story. It could be a story of quality or a story of sustainability that you make clear on the packaging.
It could also be a story that relates to the product or the process behind the product. Maybe the product is made of a special material, or perhaps it’s made under good working conditions in South America. Get the story out via the packaging through text, colours, design, etc.

Is your delivery worth unpacking? Read more about unboxing here.

Highlight sustainability

More and more consumers are consciously looking for products and packaging that are sustainable. If your packaging is produced with sustainability in focus, you can look into how this can be expressed on your packaging.
For example, if you have packaging that is made of FSC®-certified material, you can display the certification as part of the design. Then your customers can easily see that you are helping to protect nature by promoting responsible forestry.
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