A Guide to Packaging Handmade Products
Packaging your handmade products in a creative and professional way will help you grow your handmade business. By adding value to your products, it can take your shop from “craft shop” to “designer shop”, and help you delight your customers and turn them into raving fans. In other words: it’s kinda of big deal.
So how do you create a unforgettable unboxing experience for your customers?
Why packaging matters
I’ve touched on this before, but the idea here is attention to detail. Trust me, people notice it. Yep, they might throw the packaging in the bin the second they get their hands on the product, but even if that’s the case it doesn’t make it any less valuable. To say it does would be almost like saying “well, the customer has probably stopped thinking about the shopping experience as soon as they’ve bought the product, so it doesn’t really matter how the packaging looks”. Hopefully we all know that ain’t true.
Not only are you selling a product, you’re selling a brand, a feeling, an experience. And if you’re product really is good like you say it is ;-), your customer’s excitement should be through the roof by the time their package finally arrives. This is not a good time to disappoint them! (Not that any time is). Keep them on that high, give them the satisfaction of a nice feeling/looking/smelling first impression of your brand. I can guarantee you it will last.
Building your own creative packaging
In order to create a truly unique and engaging unboxing experience and a packaging that adds value to your products, you need to understand first the different elements that go into it. There are 4 packaging elements to take into consideration:
- Product packaging
- Protection layer
- Shipping packaging
- Promotional elements
Let’s dive into each of these!
This is the first thing your customers will see, touch, and open up: the package that will arrive to their doors. They are a lot of different options here that mostly depend on your products’ size and you might even need to have a few different boxes/sleeves ready to go if you sell products that vary in size or shape. Let me give you a few examples:
- Flat envelopes and flat mailers – great for flat products, prints, artwork, etc.
- Cardboard boxes – in all sizes and shapes
- Bubble envelopes – great for fragile products
- Bags – great to have for trade shows and craft markets
- Mailing tubes – for all prints, posters, etc.
The “shipping packaging” is by definition a “utility” layer of the unboxing experience. It exists so that the postman can delivers your goods to your customers and generally, it’s not really pretty…! That’s where you can differentiate yourself. By branding your shipping material, you can create an unforgettable unboxing experience from the start, before your customers even start opening up that first layer. A few ways to brand your shipping boxes are with:
- A custom stamp;
- Custom mailing labels;
- Custom tape or colored tape that matches your brand;
Next up in the ‘unboxing experience’ is the protection layer. This little guy does exactly what it sounds like: it sits between the shipping material and your product and protects your beautiful creations from being damaged during transit.
Again, there are a variety of options here that you can consider, mostly depending on your product (How fragile? What shape?) but also depending on your brand image. Even though the protection layer isn’t part of your product, it is a very important step in the unboxing process by adding a layer of texture. At all costs, please avoid bubble wrapping and foam peanuts (yep, that’s actually how they’re called!)
Here are a few examples of protection materials you can consider:
- Shredded/Crinkle paper;
- Wood wool/Excelsior;
- Kraft Paper, Colored Paper;
- Custom Tissue Paper;
- Anti-Bending Cardboard Sheets (good for flat prints and artworks);
Promowhat? Including promotional elements in your packaging is one the BEST ways to turn your customers into raving fans, make sure they shop your products again, and invite them to tell their friends. As you probably already know, it is much easier to turn a customer into a repeat customer than it is to get them to buy the first time around! You need to capitalize on that and the best way is through your packaging.
Promotional elements in your packaging can be
- A coupon code (15% off your next order, 10% off your next order for you and a friend, etc.)
- A sample or small gift;
- A card or note introducing your brand and products;
- A card or note introducing yourself: the maker;
- Fun and branded stickers;
- A personal note (if you are just getting started, do things that don’t scale and consider sending personal handwritten notes);
- A social media share/feedback request (eg.: “take a picture of you wearing your product and share it using #yourbrandhashtag” for a chance to win X)
- Etc (there are no rules here, if you think of something new go for it!)
The great thing with these promotional elements is that they don’t cost much at all. You could print them on
- Business cards;
- Square business cards;
- Mini-cards (moo);
- Mini Square or circle stickers;
- A6 flyers or postcards;
The best way to get inspired for this is to head over to Moo and ask for a large free sample pack. It is 100% free and will get your creative juices flowing when you receive it! Trust me, it’s worth 2 mins of your day 🙂
Last but not least comes your product packaging. This is the last thing your customers will unbox, and by far the most important piece of the puzzle. There are a million ways you can decide to package your product, and I strongly encourage you to be creative with it. Have fun and surprise your customers! As long as it aligns with your brand and product, feel free to think outside of the box here (see what I did there? haaa).
Here are a few examples to get you started:
- Muslin/Cotton/Fabric bags;
- Gift and cardboard boxes – exist in all sizes and shapes, and would work for almost anything;
- Pillow boxes;
- Clear sleeves – for flat prints;
- Belly band – great for clothes, socks, etc;
- Quality wrapping paper – pillows, clothes, etc.;
- Tube/tub/jar – for beauty and food;
Once you decide on your product packaging, you then have to decide how you are going to give it a bit of extra spice and personality. The best way to do so of course is to add your branding to it and here are a few ideas to do exactly that:
- Custom logo stamp;
- Product tags (sewed on or hanging);
- Strings, Ribbons, Pompoms;
- Washi tape;
Create an unforgettable unboxing experience for your handmade products, delight your customers and get more repeat sales >> download the free “Handmade Products Packaging 101” from the resource library by clicking the image below: