The business advantages of direct to consumer e-commerce brands have been widely discussed over the last few years as Americans purchase more products online than we do in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Yes, you read that sentence right old school executives! The days of building your sports nutrition or fitness CPG brand solely through GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and the many other traditional brick-and-mortar stores are a thing of the past. Just so I cover my ass, I am not saying that having the traditional retail accounts in your sales channel strategy is a bad thing because it does also give brands some advantages. The biggest advantage that I see is it gives the brand packaging experience and connection a human effect. People still like to touch and look at CPG products right in front of them in their physical form. The argument is always that “Digital isn’t human.” Digital is human. It is just scalable human and people need to start realizing this before their brands become irrelevant. For all those traditional brick-and-mortar focused brands, let me teach you a much overlooked tactic to overcome that on the digital channel.
This tactic is using attractive packaging to create a delightful unwrapping experience that allows your brand to stand out from the crowd. Fancy logo boxes, bubble mailers, and envelopes are the modern-day equivalent to having in-store shelf talkers, trinkets, etc. to help create a brand experience. While the biggest e-commerce companies still send products in generic packaging, smaller hyper-growth direct to consumer brands have been leading the charge to make boxes and envelopes more exciting. The main reason that more brands don’t customize their shipping vessels is it can be complex and expensive to go through companies like Uline. Lately, there are more and more online “shipping accessory” companies focused on this area of the brand experience. When you nail it down, it is a relatively inexpensive way for brands to engage with their customers. As an direct to consumer e-commerce brand, there are very few tactile moments with your customers, so when you get that opportunity, you need to make it count!
Example of above (Photo Credit: @ManSports Instagram)