Differentiating brand from ‘seller’
If we compare purchasing a well-known brand of luxury skincare from various sources, we can see how online brands use packaging to remain strong and grow, even in the face of increasing price competition from alternative sellers and products. Consider how ebay, Amazon and a branded store all provide different consumer experiences beyond the checkout stage.
“My ebay purchase was as described. It came by post, and arrived in a taped up blue plastic postal bag. Everything was in perfect condition (once I had managed to tear the bag apart). When it arrived I knew what it was, but completely forgot the name of the seller, only that I found it on ebay. The purchase was fine and topped up my supplies.”
“My Amazon purchase came very quickly, thanks to my Prime membership. As expected it arrived by delivery driver, and in standard Amazon packaging. The Amazon packaging was tidy, functional and easy to open. Everything was fine, the items were in new and perfect condition. Nothing ‘wowed’ me about the experience, but it was entirely functional and satisfactory. Although it may have come from an Amazon seller, to me it was a one hundred percent Amazon experience. I got the special prime branding on the tape, so I felt a bit like a gold card holder. Thanks Amazon, it saved me a run to the shops and topped up my supplies efficiently.”
“My experience from the skincare brand’s online store was different again. Ordering and tracking was easy, and my parcel arrived by carrier. It wasn’t just left outside, but I had to sign for it, so it felt like the company cared about their product and getting it to me. The transit box was good and sturdy; quite plain and functional, but with the logo, handing and returns information printed on it. However, when I opened the box, I was excited to reveal an inner box. This inner box was nicely textured, with gold edging, and tastefully printed. The logo was embossed, and matching decorative ribbon closed the box, but gift-wrapped it at the same time – all for me! When I opened this box, it was a sensory experience. The patterned printed box interior, softness and glint of the subtly branded tissue paper and intriguingly seductive scent aroused my senses. Once I had broken the special label sealing the tissue, the product I had ordered was revealed in its full glory.
Not only was my product beautifully presented, alongside it was packed a couple of surprises, some free samples, a dinky mini product guide, and a voucher for money off my next order. In fact, rather than putting the product in the bathroom cabinet straight away, I discarded the outer plain box, but kept my inner, personal gift box on the side for maybe a month afterwards, before finally putting it in my recycling bin.”
Read more about how brand presence through the delivery and unboxing experience can take you from an ecommerce seller to an online brand…