Packaging design has experienced quite a transition in the recent years. More companies see B2B eCommerce packaging as an essential marketing tool, instead of a simple protection layer for a product. This partially happened thanks to the growth of e-commerce and B2B marketplace platforms. Packaging is no longer a regular box that needs to safely transport an item from point A to the point B. It’s much, much more.
E-commerce, subscription services, and trends like unboxing have all redefined “the game.” Companies need to pay more attention to their packaging designs than ever before. There are several reasons for that and we will look at them in this article.
The Landscape of B2B eCommerce Packaging and the Needs of the Customers
Let’s begin by saying that the packaging industry has undergone significant changes. Just a short while ago the industry was comparable to an old vehicle that needed some serious work. Packaging providers expected companies to order only large quantities of boxes, while the production time was usually around a month (if not longer). In consequence, small online sellers were cut off from a reasonable packaging solution. We could say that the experience with packaging providers was a rather unpleasant one.
However, times are changing. The emergence of start-ups and the popularity of e-commerce has influenced various industries, including packaging. Tools became easier to use, more intuitive and faster. A good example of an industry innovator is Packhelp. Packhelp have substantially shortened the production time and lowered the number of pieces per minimum order. On top of that, they’ve created an online box editor, which has convinced many B2B customers that designing a box can be simple and intuitive.
Since we’ve already touched on the topic of the customers – they’ve also changed a great deal. Managing their expectations is not easy. There’s a plethora of packaging options, solutions, and types available in the market, which often causes confusion. As in any other case, it’s best to establish objectives for each one of your products and their packaging types. Therefore, the first step should be to define its primary use.
Features of B2B eCommerce Packaging in the B2B Sector
The discussion concerning the essential features of a particular packaging solution begins with defining its primary objective.
Safety will matter the most if the company uses packaging for shipping products. Subscription box companies are an excellent example because their product might travel thousands of kilometers before reaching its destination. Most of them use cardboard boxes, which – given the thick fluting size – are a very durable and cheap solution. Safety is also provided by packaging fillers or other, more durable materials (like steel or wood). Additional protection can also be achieved by doubling the outer layers (bubble wrap or different types of foil). In the end, the idea is to emphasize the importance of safety.
#2 Serving in the Onboarding Process or Influencer Campaigns
B2B packaging can also mean solutions like onboarding boxes or boxes for influencer campaigns. In that case, the primary goal should be the aesthetic or original look. Using unique printing techniques (like hot stamping and embossing) or designing an extraordinary shape are ways to evoke positive emotions. When discussing the elegance or uniqueness of a box, we shouldn’t forget about the product or item inside. An onboarding box will be much better if the elements inside are arranged logically, with the use of partitions.
In the B2B sector, it’s crucial to remember about branding too. A packaging design – even if you send gift boxes to your clients – should include your logo. As a business owner, your primary goal is naturally to maximize profit, but do not neglect the importance of the company-client relationship. A skilled entrepreneur will seize every opportunity to build their brand awareness.
#4 A Storyteller
Finally, B2B e-commerce is no exception when it comes to telling a story. (which kind of mixes the two previous “bullet points”). The marketing principle of establishing an emotional connection is still valid, almost every brand has a story to tell. The right choice of colors, graphics, and witty wording guarantee that the packaging solution will be memorable.
#5 Sustainability Emphasis
Even though sustainability could be called a relatively new concept in the modern business, it has already stormed the packaging industry. It’s not a hoax that a growing number of entrepreneurs switch to the eco-friendly packaging. The reasons for that transition are simple. Choosing an environment-friendly packaging can be a deal-breaker because the progressive-thinking customers will find an eco solution much more appealing. Sustainable solutions are not necessarily costly too. All it takes is to find these ones, which significantly reduce the negative footprint.
Also, read our supplementary article on digital transformation trends in packaging industry.
Packaging is a B2B eCommerce Tool
B2B eCommerce packaging is a critical tool in the marketing strategy. Platforms and apps organizing the workflow in a company, are crucial parts of a business. So is your packaging solution. The times of plain boxes “doing the job” are pretty much over. We’re at the point where our customers – both B2B and B2C – are demanding much more, at every stage. So a successful company needs to pursue these goals set by its customers.
About the author: Kajetan Wyrzykowski, a member of the Packhelp marketing team. Kajetan is a skilled marketer, with experience in digital marketing and PR. He usually writes about marketing and packaging design. Kajetan is a film blogger in the free time.