You’ve stretched your creativity to its limit. And spent hours painstakingly bringing it to life. It’s almost as if you’re giving away a part of yourself – when you need to pack a product you’ve created and ship it to a customer.
A customer who has ordered your work – after checking out many options that are available – all of which have been clamouring for her attention. It goes without saying then – that asides of the product that has to live up its promise, it has to reach her safe and sound. In one piece.
And a safe arrival is dependent upon the quality of the external packaging for your one-of-a-kind handcrafted products. And since it is the beginning of the consumer’s experience with the product it has to be both aesthetically appealing and practically sound.
We’ve culled together some tips and trips from experts in the business of shipping handcrafted products to their loyal customers. Which have brought them back rich dividends in the form or repeat customers, glowing reviews and more.
So read on and be inspired.
Treat your packaging as a part of the product creation process
As a solo owner or a partner in a creative business – it is important to minimise the time spent in functional tasks and focus on creating more and expanding your business. At the same time – product packaging needs the same sort of resourcefulness, detailing and effort that goes into the creation of your product. So keep that attitude – and set aside a space, a time and a process to make it happen. Streamline your effort. Research different types of packaging. Test it out. Get help. Invest in tools and materials and keep them in stock. Automate as much of the process as you can. Be strategic, focused and creative. After a point in time – you will find the packaging process coming instinctively to you. And that’s what you need to aim for.
Find your space
You can’t clutter your workspace with packaging materials and equipment. So find space where you can take care of this without infringing upon the creative part of your creative world. Create a corner if you have to. Or set up a shelf.
Get your stuff together
Make a list of packaging materials you need. Order and buy and keep them in stock. Set aside a date / time every fortnight or month to review material inventory. Make a calendar entry so you don’t forget to do this. Invest in quality packing material. It need not be fancy or shiny (mostly) but it would need to withstand the journey to your customer. Buying packing materials in bulk is a good idea to save on costs and get doorstep delivery. Your packaging would need to be appropriate to your product – bulky / fragile / heavy / expensive and more.
Leave your mark
Your brown paper packaging too can make a statement. With your logo in the form of a colorful label. Or a customised stamp that can be used to create a pattern inexpensively. Or a string of twine that artistically holds it together. Making it personal. Making it memorable. A memorable branded experience makes it easier for customers to recall the people they have ordered from in the past and increases the chances of repeat orders.
Easy to open and eco-friendly
One can’t play it too safe. Pilferage, breakage are real possibilities. And yet – packaging must be easy to unwrap. Anything that involves too much effort and struggle is a challenge for a customer who is eager to get through the box and get at his treasure. On the other side – too many boxes, too much bubble wrap, tissue paper, can convey a wasteful impression. Try using newspaper or recycled paper. Explore and you will be rewarded
With a personalised thank you note. Or a small token of appreciation. In turn – request a review or post product usage feedback. A little bit of effort goes a long way in building relationships.
As it is with running a creative business, experience and experimentation are often the best teachers. Once you design and craft the perfect packaging – you can get back to your creative business – and to what you love.