Extraordinary Experience #14: Don't just ship it; package it.

On-line shopping shouldn’t translate to a “less than” experience.

In the era of the general store, the primary function of a package was getting the product from the manufacturer’s location to the store and then eventually a consumer’s hands. This meant packages more closely resembled brown paper boxes than robin's egg, blue boxes from Tiffany & Co. Today, brand managers have seen the value of the experience a package can offer, to the point where many packages cost more than the product they carry to market.

So, why is my online package experience still lagging behind the rest of the marketing mix? Is it still important to have an engaging experience? Why is an online package delivered to your door “less than” an in-store experience?

Now, some have told me, we don’t want a package to be stolen from your front stoop, so we can’t do much on the package exterior. Agreed, but that’s not the entire experience. There’s plenty to be done on the inside of any package.

This is all fine and good, you say, but show me some examples. Who’s doing it right? Well, few are. Piperlime packages have shown up at our office with some praise and coveting. On the other hand, Ann Taylor has shipped some beautiful fashions that are in no way packaged comparable to the store experience.

Piperlime Package Experience

While these brands offer some contrast, I believe there is an even greater package experience awaiting us soon. So, my answer to, “show me examples” is: let Capsule put our talents to it and we will give you the next generation of thinking. We can offer a list of questions we would use to inspire the effort:

  • Once the goods are delivered safely, what else can the package do?
  • How do we want people to feel when they open the package?
  • What does the package smell like when opened?
  • What is the reveal of the product inside?
  • Does it feel like you’re getting a beautiful gift? How could it?
  • How will it be recycled, reused or reduced?

We would set a new bar, high above what is being done today. Design something that influences all other boxes. Give us the chance, we’re up to the challenge.

Aaron Keller
Managing Principal,


amkovacs said...

The small indie retailers are much better at this than the Big Brands. Indies are much more connected to the experience.

When I had my online gift shop - and I get a similar experience from other small brands - I would always pay extra attention to the details of say,using vibrant colored tissue to wrap purchased items, include a thank you note NOT just the receipt and include an unexpected little gift on larger order. That is as opposed to the larger retailers whose products arrive carelessly floating in unnecessarily huge shipping boxes, missing promised freebie samples, etc... What better way to make a customer feel like just a number on an invoice.

Thanks for making the point!


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