We’ve all bought products off of Amazon or Shopify and regretted the decision, the moment the item arrived. Why? Because the packaging was too basic and didn’t wow us!
So if you are selling on Amazon or you wish to do so in the future, read along! We are going to talk about how to use packaging that attracts customers and keeps them hooked to keep them coming back for more!
Let’s not be “basic” anymore!
1. Don’t be a Me-too Product
In short, a product created by a company to stop its competitor from capturing the market share is a Me-too product, such as; Pepsi Cola is a me-too of Coca-Cola. Me-too products can be found all around you in the cosmetic industry, garments, food, cell phones, and more.
For a small business, this may be an easy way to make a quick buck without much investment. They saw a product selling very well on Amazon; they just slapped a private label on a similar item without much research or knowledge. And they just want to cash in the high-sales volume in that category. Amazon sellers are infamous for knocking off another’s product by taking the exact same packaging and simply putting a different label on it.
So here’s my tip to you all, don’t be that guy! Not the one knocking-off but don’t be the one being knocked off!
How can you do this, you ask?
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!!
Invest in your brand and packaging. Your brand is the best fence to protect your product. Create a non-me-too product and invest in your brand value by hiring professionals wherever needed. And your rivals won’t be able to steal your customers because they trust your brand and know what you do. Read more about how to build a brand here
2. Don’t be your own designer!
Your next mistake is that you are your own designer. Hey! You are a business owner, an entrepreneur; don’t you already have a ton on your plate?
If you answered yes, read along!
Any and all kinds of designing for your business should be handled by an expert designer. They are the ones who can advise you exactly on how the design can drive sales once you tell them the objective.
Once you’ve found a designer of your choice, discuss the five-year plan for your business with them. What’s your current product portfolio and how can it change over the next few years? Describe your target audience, your potential customer to them and let them assist you in accomplishing the goals.
Don’t just grab an image or pick some colors and say, “that’s my stuff and my designer will edit this to suit my needs.” This will only lead to a portfolio of products that don’t tell a coherent story. Instead, let the designer do their magic.
Your designer should be able to help you increase conversions. They should be able to create a coherent look and feel that tells a consistent story and is focused on sales instead of any short-term goals or needs.
In the long run, you should be able to create a strong brand value for your business.
3. Don’t Fall For Boring, Colorless Labels
Color, as we know it, is the first thing that grabs attention. So use this knowledge to your benefit and dare to stand out. Do not fall for the boring and safe colors like grey, blue, black, and whites. On a macro level, the colors you use can be the outlier that throws the spotlight on your products. Use color as part of your overall brand strategy and within the packaging artwork.
You can use color to make certain call-outs work for you by grabbing the customer’s attention. Make the call-outs you want me to notice, the ones that make your product stand out, big and boisterous. Use contrasting colors to spell out the most important call-outs.
So go ahead and dare to use color even if your own personal style is diametrically opposite. For example, you could choose two opposing colors on the color wheel such as yellow and purple. Anything in yellow is more eye-catching than the text in purple.
Read more about choosing the color for packaging design on my blog emilyannepage.com/starttosold.
4. Not Considering the Placement of Products on Store Shelf
The next most common mistake is that designs are often done without considering where they’re going to be placed on the shelf or the online commerce search page.
Most people finalize designs by looking at them on the computer screen without anything else on the page. It sure looks cool on your computer screen, but what about in the search results?
How do you do that? You take a picture of the place where your brand is going to be placed. It could be in a store, or online on Amazon, or your own shop, or walmart.com. Notice what grabs your attention the most, most often than not it’s the color.
For example, take a screenshot of the page that carries the category you are interested in. Put your picture on the picture of the most attention-grabbing product. It will be like a mock-up, now answer honestly does my product grab attention?
Then look for the fonts and the words, Are they eye-catching? Can you read the most essential call-out?
After color and font, you must pay attention to your pictures. So your pictures should be as large as possible within the predetermined space on the website. Your product should fill up all of the available space.
5. Do Not Use Too Many Call-Outs on Your Packaging
The next mistake businesses make is to have too many call-outs on their packaging. It’s important to have a complex design so customers see your brand as serious and real. People are used to a busy packaging design, but the nature of online commerce means that you can’t expect everybody to read it. Therefore you need to rely on a maximum of three primary call-outs.
These three call-outs are the ones that the people will be able to read when they unbox the package and see and feel the actual product. For an online listing, you will need to rely on just one most important call-out that you will use your accent color for.
6. Do Not Use Identical Structural Packaging from The Co-Packer
Most businesses pick the structure of their packaging based on what their co-packer gives them. That is a good idea for the initial days when you are just beginning out and saving a quick buck is more important than anything else. However, in the long run, you will need to get selective and choose based on what serves your product customers and sales best.
There are several important points to consider when choosing the packaging such as the per-unit shipping cost. So you maximize the shipping space to minimize the per unit shipping cost.
Next, you should consider having sturdy packaging. If you have a fragile bag or a bottle with a crap label, people will lose respect for your brand in the long run. Customers only respect your business as much as you do and a crap label or packaging does not send a positive signal. Choose wisely and stick with something that spells class and structure all rolled into one.
Further, you need to think about the intended use of the product and the packaging both. So you design it to be indestructible through the shipping process. Consider if it’s liquid, dry, or frozen, or if it’s sold in retail, or on your own website, or if you’re doing your own pick and pack, or is it Amazon’s shipping, clustered with other items.
These will determine the durability of the products and the shipping charges which are different on each platform.
Next, think about the recyclability of your packaging. If it’s a product in a resealable bag then test if the bag actually seals and that it will continue to do so time and again. Do not fall for the cheap and easily available bags. Instead, test the ones that you are planning on using. Then think about how the shelf life is affected by it being in a resealable bag versus a container or a bottle. All of this will affect your artwork and call-outs and you need to be very mindful of it all.
Finally, do not change the structure so much that people cannot trust your product enough. People have strong associations to structure when buying products. So you want to be relatable in the beginning. And not be too experimental such that the customer gets thrown off by your packaging and decides to not buy it.
7. Have Really Good Photos
The online commerce search page is the retail shelf of online shopping. When people are searching for products the first thing they experience is photos. Just like color, photos are most important. Have well-lit, close-ups that fill all the space such that people see your product as clear as possible. Packaging is only experienced when people unbox the product but photos are what will drive your sales. Get photos taken professionally and make sure they are cleaned up and enhanced before they go onto your mock-ups. You must be able to read what the product is and it must be larger and easier to read than the brand name.
The best way to close sales is to use the largest text and the brightest photos. Also, make sure your product inside and out of the package is the same. Double-check the photos and the colors because what you see on the screen often does not translate to what you see in print. Check the product and the colors before you finalize on-the-packaging photos.
These are the most basic seven mistakes people make when selling products on platforms like Amazon and Shopify. Don’t be them!
MORE ABOUT START TO SOLD
Whether it’s packaging, product development, brand design, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, or operations and logistics, you’ll get the in-depth, relevant and actionable advice and resources you need, here at the Start to Sold Blog.
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MORE ABOUT EMILY PAGE
Emily is CEO of Pearl Resourcing and has managed and launched multiple 7-figure brands in Costco, Williams-Sonoma, Kroger, and Amazon. She’s bringing you the expertise, resources, and mentors you need so that you can develop products and make them sell.