Are you a start-up, small, or mid-sized business just now beginning to establish yourself in a new market? If so, how can you be sure the customer interactions you’re creating will drive engagement in the future? Are the products you’re delivering to customers standing out above the noise, or does your message get lost in a sea of other voices?
Today, the buyers you are trying to reach are being pulled and pushed from all directions. Flashy ads, catchy slogans, and in-your-face promotions reside around every corner. In fact, data projects that the average consumer is exposed to over 10,000 ads each day (1). And yet, the average consumer’s attention span is just eight seconds (2). So, for the growing business trying to penetrate new markets and expand their customer footprint, the question becomes; how do I differentiate myself to customers in a market already saturated by so many players?
While there is no perfect solution, data and experience indicate that one of the most effective ways to make a lasting impression on your audience is by delivering a customized and efficient buying experience. For instance, in a world where over 50% of all shopping is conducted online (3), businesses are finding that combining personalized packaging alongside 1-2-day delivery for e-commerce purchases goes a long way in creating memorable customer experiences that increase brand loyalty.
But why would this combination make any difference?
For purposes of the discussion, let’s assume you’ve created an innovative, one-of-a-kind product to offer customers. You’ve intentionally and painstakingly run through numerous designs and enhancements to get it just the way you want it. And now, after beginning to offer your product online, you get your first purchase. Exciting stuff! However, when the order arrives to the customer, the product is not the first thing they see. It’s the package.
Of course, practically everyone on earth is familiar with the bland, manila-colored packages that are received in the mail on a daily basis. Although the receipt of the package itself may be enough to instill a sense of excitement among customers, it certainly doesn’t stand out and is nowhere close to matching the innovative design of your actual product. And since the packaging is the first experience your customer has with your product, why let this opportunity go to waste? Instead, consider an alternative approach.
If you’re shipping a soccer jersey, for example, why not have the box it arrives in match the color scheme and design of the jersey contained inside? Or, if it’s custom furniture that you’re delivering, why not customize the packaging to reflect the unique nature of your craftsmanship?
While the product you’re delivering may already be unique, adding a customized package to the scenario creates a lasting impression from the second it is delivered. Leveraging a company like Arka, for example, allows you to quickly and affordably customize your packaging across different products, business lines, or customer types to drive the most personalized consumer experience possible.
In an age where the average consumer attention span is just eight seconds, opportunities for you to catch and keep your customers’ attention may be few and far between. Adding a customized package to go alongside your unique product might be just the answer.
Ok, so now you have the product, and you have the packaging. What’s next? For businesses looking to exceed their customers’ expectations at every step of the buying process, the next phase of the journey involves shipping and delivery. The catch? With e-commerce and retail giants like Amazon and Walmart continuing to push for next-day or even same-day delivery, customer expectations surrounding their online buying experiences are evolving in-kind.
Only a few years ago, 3-5-day shipping for e-commerce purchases was considered the industry standard. However, data shows that 60% of today’s B2B buyers expect 1-2-day shipping for their online purchases (4). The number is similar for B2C buyers. The problem? For a start-up or even a mid-sized business, the costs of achieving this level of distribution efficiency can be quite high. But it doesn’t have to be.
With the arrival of on-demand warehousing and distribution providers like Ware2Go, small and mid-sized businesses that historically have never had access to 1-2-day shipping services now do for a fraction of the cost compared to traditional providers. The on-demand model works by connecting companies with warehouses across the country that have excess storage space available. Businesses with smaller inventory requirements can then leverage this excess space as needed to position their products much closer to end customers and expedite the delivery process.
Because these warehousing and distribution services are “on-demand”, there are no inventory minimums or long-term contracts associated with your usage. You can store as much product as you want, for as long as you want, at little cost to yourself. And, because the on-demand provider manages all pick, pack, and shipping services on your behalf, your customers get 1-2-day shipping without adding any burden to your staff. This effectively ties together the optimal customer experience you are looking to achieve; a unique product, delivered in a unique fashion, within a day or two of the customer’s purchase.
While the above-outlined combination may sound excessive to some, the simple truth is that today’s consumers have more options available to them than at any point in history. And, more businesses than ever before are leveraging an ever-expanding list of innovative methods to compete for their limited attention span. With this in mind, why wouldn’t you take advantage of every opportunity to showcase the uniqueness of your brand? In an increasingly competitive environment, customized packaging and expedited delivery might make all the difference.
1 – How Consumers View Advertising. Herhold, Kristen. Web. 2017. https://clutch.co/agencies/resources/how-consumers-view-advertising-survey-2017
2 – Are Declining Attention Spans Killing Your Content Marketing Strategy? Cision. 2018. Web. https://www.cision.com/us/2018/01/declining-attention-killing-content-marketing-strategy/
3 – Shopper First Retailing. Survey. Salesforce & Publicis.Sapient. 2018. Web. https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2018/08/digital-shopper-first-retail-report-research.html
4 – “How Online Commerce is Disrupting Industrial Supply.” UPS. Whitepaper. 2017. Web. https://pressroom.ups.com/mobile0c9a66/assets/pdf/pressroom/white%20paper/Europe_whitePaper_v9_LR.pdf