Precision Apparel Packaging: Elevating the Unboxing Experience

Precision Apparel Packaging: Elevating the Unboxing Experience

If you think about it, apparel is probably the eCommerce category that most naturally lends itself to creating a “wow” unboxing experience. Clothing is such a personal thing, a way of self-expression, so it’s only natural to create apparel packaging that is both aesthetically pleasing and a strong brand ambassador.

Think about the packaging you get in a high-fashion store: the material, colors, inner wrapping, maybe a promotional insert or QR code, etc. The packaging you use for online orders needs to be every bit as much a pleasing sensory experience. At the same time, keep an eye on sustainability as it’s top-of-mind for many consumers, especially younger generations.

In sum, being innovative with your apparel packaging can both transform the unboxing experience for your customers and add tremendous brand value.

Unboxing and the Consumer Experience

For new customers, the package that arrives on their doorstep is not their first interaction with your brand, but it is a physical “first impression.” As such, it should be designed to make a positive impact and a strong statement.

For existing customers, it needs to be a consistently outstanding experience with your eCommerce apparel packaging. Getting it right every time matters. For many, unboxing is an emotional experience that should reflect positively on your brand and product.

What can go wrong with apparel packaging? Plenty, according to Marc Holland, eCommerce Partnerships Manager at major paper goods manufacturer Smurfit Kappa. In a LinkedIn post, Holland lists five things that can destroy the unboxing experience: 

  • Damage: If the inner packaging isn’t in pristine condition on arrival, points are taken off right there.
  • Poor design: It’s worth it to invest a bit in package design, creating graphics and materials that help tell your brand story in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
  • Difficult to open: if they have to fight and claw their way through packaging to get at the goodies, the battle for loyalty is half over already. Huge frustration!
  • Non-recycled materials: as noted above, this is a big priority for many Earth-conscious consumers these days. If you do use recycled materials, make sure it’s noted prominently within the packaging.
  • Too much packaging: for those who lean green, this is as much (or more) of a taboo than using non-recycled materials. Don’t have a pair of nice dress socks or a silk scarf buried under excess dunnage!

Elements of Precision Packaging for Apparel

Precision e-commerce packaging for apparel plays a pivotal role in enhancing the customer experience and showcasing your brand’s ethos.

  • Material choices: select high-quality, sustainable materials that reflect a commitment to environmental responsibility. Biodegradable or recyclable components tick an important box for many consumers.
  • Design considerations: The aesthetics, including colors, textures, and logos, is vital. This creates a memorable experience that reflects positively and reinforces brand recognition.
  • Functional aspects: packaging should be practical and easy to open, protective without sacrificing style. Resealable closures and cushioning can be reused by the customer, enhancing convenience and satisfaction while promoting sustainability.
  • Apparel logistics: In addition to the actual materials and design, care and attention must be paid to fulfillment as well. A well-designed pick/pack/ship and (often) kitting process ensures accuracy and integrity. which contributes to a great customer experience.

Benefits of Elevating the Apparel Packaging Experience

In addition to brand loyalty (and of course CLV) on the part of your customer, upping your apparel packaging game has other ancillary benefits:

  • Social sharing: Many shoppers, especially younger females, love nothing better than posting a video or photo of their newly arrived clothing, shoes, or accessories on Instagram, TikTok, or (less so) YouTube. The packaging can be a supporting actor here.
  • Differentiation: A great design sets you apart in a highly competitive sector, showing off your unique voice in a way that captures attention and makes the product stand out.
  • Value perception: High-quality packaging elevates this in the shopper’s mind. It can help justify a higher price point and enhance your brand’s value proposition.
  • Reduced costs: Investing in durable, efficient packaging reduces damages and returns, resulting in considerable savings on processing, shipping, and product replacement.

Ways to Approach Precision Apparel Packaging

Here are some other key tactics that apparel brands can use to ensure that their packaging strategy is firing on all cylinders.

  • Customization and personalization: This can happen at scale through digital printing for tailored designs, using modular packaging adaptable to different products, and automating assembly processes to efficiently scale while maintaining consistent branding and quality.
  • Innovation: Plenty of innovative technologies and materials are being used in packaging, including apparel. This includes everything from plantable, edible, and reusable packaging to vinyl-packaged t-shirts and a bento box that doubles as a briefcase from M.M. LaFleur.
  • Feedback: Gathering customer feedback is a valuable tool to help inform continuous improvement of your packaging strategy. This can include using input from surveys, focus groups, and social media to help evaluate and update packaging design based on customer suggestions.

Apparel Packaging: Learn to Adapt and Grow

Packaging matters a ton when it comes to eCommerce apparel and accessories (shoes, handbags, etc.). How the item looks when it arrives, its protective and aesthetic qualities, go a long way toward driving loyalty and repeat purchases.

ShipBots, a 3PL with a strong focus on eCommerce fulfillment and logistics, has significant experience in the unique demands of apparel brands. Special care is given to packaging and handling requirements to ensure both product integrity and presentation. ShipBots, based near the busy ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, is an expert at LA fulfillment, providing fast shipments nationwide through its warehouse network. To learn more about how ShipBots can improve performance and save on costs in apparel fulfillment, get a free quote today!

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