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Small Business Success: The Importance of Packaging

Small businesses have an undeniable charm to them, with the passion and determination put into every aspect of service is indisputable. From product creation to its promotion and finally, to its packaging, the happiness of the customer is the priority. With the increasing amount of small businesses forming throughout small towns, provinces and countries, owners must find ways to stand out, remain unique and make a lasting impression on potential customers. Here are some tips and tricks for improving your packaging and the impact it will make on customer experience and appreciation!

Personalized Notes

Including a note or card addressed to your customer is a perfect way to add personalization to their order and express your gratitude to them personally! Having time to write a customized thank-you note to each customer is a great perk of running a small business. It shows each and every customer that their purchase is appreciated and might just be the last push they need to come back for more! 

Taking the extra step to personally thank them will not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I find myself treasuring and keeping all the personalized notes I have received from small businesses. There is value in the gratitude of business owners and the awareness of the time taken out of their day to personally write me a message! 

Tip: If spontaneous creativity and writing aren’t your strong suits, no need to worry! You can still include personalized notes in your packaging by creating a thank-you template. This way, you can simply fill in certain information such as the customer’s name, so that the thank-you is personalized and still be time-efficient through not having to write a new message for every order! 

Small Novelties

Along with their purchased product, customers appreciate small novelties included in their packages and taking this extra step can help further promote your business. The kind of items included can vary depending on many factors. One factor could be the kind of product you are selling. For example, a small business that focuses on art or drawings may choose to include small doodles or stickers. Including small trinkets similar in concept to what you are selling helps ensure that they are liked by the customer as it is close in relation to what they purchased. 

Another kind of novelty you can include can depend on the upcoming events or holidays of the time of purchase. For example, around Christmas, business owners may choose to include candy canes in their packaging or Christmas-themed wrapping. This shows that your business and its packaging are adaptive and relevant to the approaching holidays. 

Tip: To avoid possible financial strain of including free small novelties, it may be beneficial for you to instead include items that serve no purpose to your business at the current time. For example, if a certain small product is unsuccessful in sales, if a product of yours is going to be discontinued, or if it is a kind of product you would like to test out and experiment with, you can include these kinds of items! 

Consideration of Color and Wrapping

Make the unboxing an adventure within itself! Customers experience a sense of excitement from fun and stylish wrapping, use of color and design included within their packaging. It becomes an experience within itself to simply receive the product. You can be really creative with this because of all the endless amounts of possibilities! The use of colored crinkled paper, ribbon, wrapping paper, bows — there is complete artistic freedom and there is no such thing as making the wrong choice. Give your packages a personality! 

Tip: It’s also a great idea to try to match your package’s personality to your business’ personality, so to speak. For example, I recently purchased a frame from a girl who specialized in using pressed flowers. In the packaging, she included flower-themed wrapping and decorations to make the box (both inside and outside) fun and fitting! Make the decorations make sense! 

Business Promotion and Customer Incentives

Within your packaging, you have the perfect opportunity to promote your small business to customers and tempt them to come back for more! Professional promotional items, such as business cards, ensure that recipients are aware of the various means of connecting with you and your business. This is especially handy when considering the role of social media. Including your Instagram or Facebook handle allows your customer to tag your business if they choose to share their purchased products with their followers and friends. This is a perfect way to receive free promotion through these informal reviews and allows for more exposure to new people through various connections your current customers may have. 

Customer incentives can also be integrated into your packaging. One traditional example of this would be to include discount codes, which attract customers to return to your small business and develops a sense of gratitude between both the customer and the business. Customer incentives come in other forms as well, such as contests for free items or other deals. For example, within their packaging, you can include information about a contest or a “chance to win” which is being run by your business.

Tip: Here’s an easy “chance to win” event to initiate: Encourage customers to post a review of their purchased products for a chance to win a free item or another prize of their choice! This will incentivize customers to promote your business and solidify its reputation.

Is it Worth It?

When running a small business, especially at the start, it can be difficult to justify spending money on those extra expenses. At the end of the day, your customers bought your product(s) for the products — not for the packaging. Big businesses such as Amazon receive no dissatisfied reviews or comments from customers due to their traditional and plain packaging for this very reason. With that being said, there is no obligation to implement any of these extra steps into your packaging process, nor is there any pressure to do so. Whether you would rather have your products speak for themselves or allow your packaging to speak as well, the decision is completely up to you!

Running a successful small business requires the right balance of avoiding unnecessary costs and investing in certain supplies and items to improve customer experience and overall satisfaction. Although none of these tips are mandatory in the packaging process, they may help make your business stand out to customers amongst the rest of the products they unbox from other vendors. While big companies such as Amazon stick with the traditional and mundane packaging technique of simple cardboard and stand-alone products in the box, having these extra items and steps taken as listed above makes customers happy that they chose small business service. Your effort does not go unnoticed — use this to your advantage!
Megan Weise

York U '23

Through its many forms, writing has always been my outlet for expressing myself and my thoughts. Through my contributions to Her Campus at York U, I'm excited to share my passions and ideas with others!
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