Learn how to create a memorable unboxing experience for your customer, and pick up a few tips on how to get customers to share your brand with their friends.
To help establish your jewelry brand and encourage repeat purchases, it’s important to have a high-quality, cohesive look that extends to everything in your line, including your photography, newsletters, gift boxes, and even the marketing materials you may (should!) include with every purchase. An easy way to start is by upping the quality and visual appeal of your packaging. And, best of all, it doesn’t have to break the bank!
The Importance of Packaging
When asked why it’s important to invest time and money into creating a memorable package, Heather Riedel of Noelani Designs says, “We feel it helps to define who we are as a brand. If [the] packages [are] elegant, hopefully our customers will see us as that.” And, she’s right. According to the Dotcom’s 2015 eCommerce Packaging Study, Unwrapping the Customer Experience, nearly 40% of consumers feel that premium packaging is important for luxury goods (see: jewelry), and that same 40% said they’re more likely to recommend the product to a friend because of the branded packaging. That’s a lot of potential customers!
Choosing to incorporate your packaging into your brand not only helps foster current customer relationships, it’s a great way to extend the care you take in creating your jewelry into a more complete experience for your customers. While it’s natural to think first of the purchaser, it’s also important to keep in mind that jewelry is often given as a gift. Joan Clickner, of Formia Design, often hears how customers appreciate their boxes, as they make it easy for the gift-giver. “If it just came in a little baggie[,] they would have to provide their own anonymous box. This shows the recipient that their gift was purchased from a very special source.” Over time and with consistency, people will begin to recognize your brand as that “special source.”
Things to Include
So, what should you include in your box when you ship your jewelry off to your next customer? The good news is you don’t have to tackle everything right from the start. You can start small, and add customized components over time. Here are a few examples of things to consider:
- Box with card
- Tissue paper
- Personal message
- Care instructions
- Coupons (offer a discount for referring a friend, or free shipping on the next purchase of $150 or more)
- Gift (a sticker, a piece of candy)
- Call to action
The Gift Box
Say you make delicate sterling silver jewelry that features muted, semi-precious stones. A sparkly black box with bright tissue paper wouldn’t match the style of your jewelry, and would create a disconnect between your product and the box. Take a tip from Kayla Andrews, E-commerce Manager of Esqueleto, and “…make sure to think of the packaging as a whole and how it all fits together.” There are nearly endless choices when it comes to gift boxes, so choose a style that complements your jewelry. But, that doesn’t mean it has to cost a lot of money. According to Clickner, “Boxes don’t have to be pricey to be nice—a simple cardboard box can be great.” Add your hot-stamped logo on the box, a ribbon or sticker to secure it, and you have an easy and affordable solution that ensures your brand gets noticed.
Inside the gift box is the jewelry itself. A jewelry card is another place where you can add your brand’s logo, plus a little more information about the product. For example, Noelani Designs includes their hot-stamped logo along the top edge of their earring cards and the metal quality on the bottom edge.
The Supporting Characters
Regardless of how simple or complex you decide to make your packaging, there are a few key things I recommend: include two business cards (one for your customer, and one for them to share with a friend), care instructions (if needed), and—my favorite—a personal thank-you note.
Riedel knows that a personal touch goes a long way in connecting with her customers, so her company includes a handwritten thank-you note with each purchase, and often includes coupons as a way to encourage repeat purchases. Formia Designs offers their coupons through their monthly email newsletter, and the personal note and rack card they include with each order serve as good reminders for when future gift-giving occasions come up.
It’s All About Sharing
In the age of social media, video and photos often speak far louder than words. If you can get your customers to share your product, your packaging, your brand, then you’ve not only ensured that you have made an impression on them, but also that they feel a connection to your work that’s strong enough to share. Or, they may just think the packaging is pretty, and that’s fine, too. The important thing is that they tell their friends.
While this behavior may not be something you’ve consciously tried to encourage, give this a thought: According to the 2015 Dotcom report, four out of 10 online shoppers have shared a photo or video of a product they purchased. And, you guessed it, customers are more likely to share if the packaging is attractive. Your packaging can do more than simply house and transport your jewelry—it can encourage your customers to take action!
So, how can you encourage customers to take that extra step? Add a note asking them to share photos on social media (make sure to include your company’s handle and hashtag, if you have one), or include a QR code on your business card. Or, include an incentive: “Share a photo of your purchase on Facebook and tag us to be included in a drawing for free shipping on your next purchase!” When you encourage online sharing, your customers will be more likely to tell their friends about your company and become a repeat customer.
Get it in Order
After you’ve nailed down the items you’re going to include in your packaging, the last thing you need to decide is what you want your customer to see first when they open the box. Bubble wrap? A packing slip? Tissue paper? How about that personalized note?
Imagine opening the box, and think about the order you’d want to experience the various elements. Consider placing the packing slip at the bottom, including a personal note with a small gift on top, or placing a coupon or call to action under the jewelry box as an added surprise. The placement of your items in the box can have as much of an effect on your customer’s experience as the objects themselves.
To make a lasting impression on your customer and create a sense of the value of your work, your packaging needs to draw attention. With a little thought and a few inexpensive changes to your current packaging, you can create a memorable “unboxing” experience for your customers. I leave you with a few words of wisdom from Andrews: “Customers will trust your brand when they know they can expect excellence in every detail.”
Annie Pennington is an independent jewelry designer with more than 14 years experience in the field, both as a maker and an instructor. She maintains a personal workshop and storefront, and was the Associate Editor of Art Jewelry magazine for more than four years. Pennington received her BFA in Jewelry Design from Pittsburg State University and her MFA in Metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Her jewelry has been published in numerous books and periodicals, and she has an extensive exhibition record, both nationally and internationally. Pennington lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where she spends her time as a freelance writer, creating work for sale and exhibition, and entertaining her three cats.