Our top 3 tips to make sure your product stands out online.

After placing an order with my favorite pet supply website, I immediately received a message that my delivery would be delayed due to recent high demand. Then we heard from a client who sells primarily through e-commerce sites that sales have tripled in one week! In the wake of the growing pandemic crisis, it’s abundantly clear that the way people shop has dramatically shifted to online. What’s not so clear is when, or even if, consumer habits will shift back to traditional brick-and-mortar. Any brand that hasn’t fully embraced e-retail must finally take the plunge.

If you are still not sure your packaging is up to the e-tail challenge, here are 3 questions you should ask yourself:

How does it look? Of course, looking great and standing out is every package design’s goal, but you must consider that the environment online is very different than the environment on shelf. On most large e-tail sites, the background is bright white, with loads of text all around and your product could be one of tens-of-thousands that appear in a search result. Your “shelf-set” is now a grouping of image thumbnails that may be as tiny as 1” square. Some best practices are to choose colors that contrast well against white so your product thumbnails really pop. Make sure that you view your design options on a sample web page to confirm that they will stand out against your competition. The consumer can’t reach out and touch your product, so sensory cues must be communicated through imagery, as well. This is where the quality of your actual product image becomes so important. We’ve seen too many great designs show up poorly online due to bad photography or low-quality renderings. Remember these images will be literally everywhere, so invest in your imagery, and you will reap the rewards.

What does it say? Since a consumer’s first contact with your product will be a tiny thumbnail, the main brand design elements (brandmark, product name and key benefit) should be easily readable. The goal is to pique their interest and get them to click through to the product page. Make sure you include images of all panels and product information there. Although a customer cannot pick up your package, this is where online offers the greatest advantage – you can provide the equivalent of a product brochure with all of the key benefits, including serving or usage suggestions. The more content you can include will also help your products achieve a top placement in search results. Take full advantage of this opportunity to tell your brand’s unique story AND create an enhanced consumer experience!

How does it get there? Thinking about the functionality and durability of your packaging materials has never been more important. Although most e-commerce sites and marketplaces have improved their packing processes, you cannot ultimately control how your product will be shipped. Consider flexible packaging that can better withstand damages. Flexible printing processes have greatly improved and consumers appreciate the reduced packaging, plus flexible packaging weighs less and is usually easier to ship. Working with designers who understand the “flexo” printing process will greatly improve your chance of success.

Need help making sure your packaging is ready for e-tail? Schedule a free, 30-minute introductory call today!