Every maker knows that packaging and presentation is important when sending products to individual consumers, but not as many have given serious thought to their wholesale unboxing experience. With the popularity explosion of unboxing videos, as well as the continued difficulties that all indie retailers face, having a beautiful unwrapping experience is becoming more of a norm and less of an option.
If you’ve been neglecting your wholesale client’s unboxing experiences, try to carve out some time to revamp your current strategy. It’s not necessary to break the bank on expensive wrapping that destroys your profit margin, but you do need packaging that ensures all your items arrive safely, and shows you’re an organized business person that values each retailer.
1) Your Customer Is The Store Owner
Although it may seem silly to prepare elegant wrapping just for the store owner to see, it’s actually sound business. Assuming the retailer won’t be using any of your products for personal consumption, your wrapping will be the only part of your business they experience. It’s important that the few moments they spend opening your box and orienting themselves to your products makes them feel positively about your company.
If your products are disheveled, carelessly or confusingly packed, you’re ruining your first impression, which in turn ruins your chances at reorders. After time has passed and the retailer is deciding whether or not to get more of your product, their memories of their own unboxing experience will factor in.
Think of your unboxing experience as your first impression. Sure, your products quality and sell-ability are the most important factors, but first impressions count too. Even if retailers think they’re making all of their reorder decisions from a logical place, humans are still emotional animals and gut instinct will always be a factor. Showing that you take care of everything down to the unboxing experience will give retailers faith that you are a good person to be in business with, and that will lead to more orders.
2) An Unboxing Experience Is Now The Standard
Does your brand have a Facebook page? Why? Although there are a ton of reasons people can give you for why social media is helpful for your business, there’s also a less fun and more realistic answer: it’s the standard.
Having social media accounts associated with your company wasn’t always the standard, but it is now, and so if you aren’t doing it, you’re behind. While you might have gotten away with bare bones shipping in the past, now retailers are getting more and more thoughtful unboxing experiences, and you’ll start to stick out like a sore thumb if you don’t keep up.
This isn’t a glamorous reality, and it may not be the one you want, but it’s the one that’s here. Once again, because of social media, something that used to be for practicality has now been turned into a visual experience.
This doesn’t mean you have to buy a bunch of doilies and force yourself to become unauthentic. No matter what your brand values or aesthetic, there’s a way to incorporate effective and interesting packaging.
All about being green? Use only recycled materials for your packaging, and include a note that explains what you did! (on recycled paper, of course.) Is your brand about being no-nonsense? Streamline the shipping packaging to only include what’s necessary, but make sure you use your company’s colors and organize things neatly.
3) Use Your Packaging To Increase Sales
The best unboxing experience can be used to cement a good impression, and to increase sales. If your packed box gives the retailer display ideas, they’ll be way more likely to put your stuff in a good location.
“When your product is unboxed by the retailer, your items should look like a store shelf. Similar items should be placed next to each other, things should be lined up and looking organized.”-Abound Brand Guru, John Clark
Because you’ll have the retailers full attention when they’re unboxing, this is your chance to educate them as well. Does your brand have a social good? A unique brand story? Make sure there’s some information included in your unboxing that will help retailers connect with you and give them information to sell your product more effectively. If retailers know they can talk up how much good your company is doing, they’ll be incentivized to sell when they see customers taking a look at your products.
4) Broken Items In Wholesale Is A Big Money Loser
The bare minimum in shipping is getting your product there safely. If your products arrive broken, melted, or damaged on ANY sort of regular basis, you need to immediately rethink how you’re shipping. Especially with the increased shipping demands that COVID has put on mail delivery companies, brands really need to double check and make sure they have safe shipping.
Although any type of damaged items is a nightmare for brands, having damaged items for a wholesale order is a huge unboxing no-no. It’s a volume issue. If someone orders one candle and it arrives cracked, that’s one candle to replace and one potentially upset customer. If one wholesale order arrives damaged, that’s hundreds of dollars of lost product. Plus, your unboxing experience will have been ruined and most likely you’ll lose any wholesale revenue you would have gotten from that retailer in the future.
While an individual can reorder and simply receive their order late, retailers are on a schedule to follow trends and have their stores stocked all the time. If they learn that ordering from you is going to be a headache, they’ll go somewhere else to find their product.