Unwrapping delight: packaging for customer connection

Imagine my delight at Christmas when I received about seven gifts from Etsy! All treasures I had marked as favorites and shown to Santy. Of course, the items I received were beautiful and high quality. But most of them were also presented in thoughtful and unique ways. A little card here, a little yarn there.

For me, and I imagine for many Esty buyers, part of the fun is knowing that what I bought was made by a real person. And that my purchase means something. Sure, I’m paying for a treat (or Santy is), but I’m getting to participate in a more sacred commerce than boppin’ over to the sale bin at Target.

A couple months ago we discussed the experience you can create for your customer and the real value of your transaction. In this video, I’ll set the stage for us to specifically talk about packaging to create connection with your customers.

In the comments, let us know what you’re doing with your packaging that’s already working, or any ideas for how you might change things.

Gathering light,

20 thoughts on “Unwrapping delight: packaging for customer connection

  1. I also have used Mini Moo cards to add to my headbands but find them a bit expensive. I sew pull string fabric bags for my product as a gift to my customers. It’s a reusable bag for their personal items. This does create more work for me, but I think it’s worth it to give the customer that special touch and thank you for ordering from our Etsy Store at https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/ShopLadyLike

  2. Something I have done, is I found this dragonfly tissue paper, for the Absinthe Dragonfly part of my branding. I wrap all of my perfume samples in the dragonfly tissue paper. My plastic baggies have a rose sticker with Esscentual Alchemy on them. When someone orders a larger bottle of the natural perfumes, or a larger sampler pack, it comes in a beautiful ivory embossed box, with a real dried pink rose, wax stamped on the top of the box with a dragonfly stamp. I have music ribbon which is affixed to that, because my tag line is: I compose music for your nose. The whole box is wrapped with the dragonfly tissue paper. Inside the box has dragonfly tissue paper as lining. The perfume samples come in a hunter green velvet bag and the bag is wrapped in the tissue paper as well.

    I have had comments from customers that they actually squeal with delight when opening my perfumes! Which makes me happy :)

    Love my moo cards too.


    1. Damn, woman! Well done–great to have that feedback from your customers. And I’d think with something sensual like your products, packaging and presentation would be especially noticed.

      1. Well thanks Laura! 😀 I’m pretty proud of my work on that! Took me some time, though it was very much worth it, and the feedback tells me I did good too. I agree about the sensual nature of perfume, that it’s extremely important to have the packaging help convey that too. Now if I could invent the Scratch and Sniff monitor, my job would be done! 😀


  3. Thank you for the video. We ordered some darling office supplies from etsy (hand painted chalkboards, world map, business card organizer) before the holidays and every single package was like unwrapping a present. It made us step up our game.

    Our fabric wall decals come rolled up in a transparent bag with a pretty ‘thank you’ sticker, and a small wall sticker as a surprise gift. We mail it in a brown kraft tube. Does anyone have any ideas on how to dress up a brown kraft tube, that’s still safe for mailing?

    Our retail packaging is transparent, so customers can see exactly what they are getting at the store.

  4. I’m a big recycler so, up until now no two packages have been alike. I try and use up all my little boxes and bags and tissue that I have lying around. While it is wonderful putting all those tidbits to good use and I have received lots of great feedback on my packaging the downfall is that it takes time going through my stuff to see what I have to wrap an order in and I sometimes have to run out for supplies when I’m ready to ship. I would like to come up with a consistent design that allows me to package more quickly and helps my customer connect with my brand time and time again. I have this on my list of things to iron out in 2012!

  5. While I’m not selling products currently it is one of my business goals in the near future – and product packaging just might be one of my favorite topics!

    So right now I have a collection of paperwork from banks… (I know you do too!) piling up ready to be shredded. One day I will slice them all up and use them as stuffing instead of peanuts.

    Beyond being environmentally friendly and unique – it will be a totally cathartic process for me 😉 – so I might just put a note in each package telling my customers that they can shred bank papers for fun too!

  6. So far I have evolved to tissue paper wrapping with a sticker closure, mailed in a bubble wrap envelope. I, too, am concerned with recycling and re-using, so to add more embellishment seems counterproductive. I have never received feedback from customers, but I did post a photo of the tissue wrapped products waiting to be mailed on my FB page and it was well received, so I think I’m doing something right. Packaging is one of my bigger concerns and I am hard pressed to think of new, ‘fun’ ways of doing it.

  7. Hi Laura, this was a great video and you have made me think more about creating an experience for my customer! Its most exciting to receive packages in the post and I always like to add a little something to mine! Lately I have been adding postcards with my artwork on them that can be framed or sent or stuck on the fridge or used as gift cards… my customers are quite excited to receive them and they have my website printed on the back too! Moo cards look great …will have to order some asap!

  8. Ah, this is a subject near and dear to my heart! I make charm bracelets that symbolize the characters and events in young adult books. Teen and tween girls are pretty easy marks when it comes to emotional engagement :-), but I’ve been trying to step up my game a bit, especially since lots of my bracelets are purchased as gifts. The bracelet goes into a little pearl white organza bag (readily available and inexpensive–though adds a touch of romance) and to the bag I tie a small card explaining the symbolism of the charms. I print the cards myself using my inkjet printer and cardstock, so they are also inexpensive. At the very bottom of the card I list my Etsy shop weblink.

  9. I can’t get the video to work, but branding and packaging are so near and dear to my heart.

    I have copper colored boxes (truly not much more than the kraft ones) that I wrap with a sticker that looks like an embossed version of my logo in clear (works with anything) and copper embossed chocolate satin ribbon with my logo. These are for necklaces and bracelets and larger items. And I have a little copper key that gets attached since a skeleton key is my logo. People are always impressed with this packaging.

    For my ‘simple truths’ line I put them on a card that is in a plastic sleeve and pop it into a kraft pillow box with the same sticker. I tie it all up with either a skinny ribbon or my new love, layers of brown and white baker’s twine. For Christmas I bought some inexpensive picks and cut them apart to add a little detail to the package.

    I always, ALWAYS include a hand written note on a notecard. I buy inexpensive ones from the dollar spot at Michaels. Sometimes I cut them in half for more a gift card or I leave them as is for a fuller note. I know that my customers appreciate that I do this as that is what most of my feedback is about, how they feel so special getting a package from me.

    And on the outside of my bubble mailers, I found a cheap skeleton key rubber stamp that says “discover” under it and bought another stamp that has the definition of handmade on it. I stamp the key and the definition on the back of the envelope. I just picked up a new stamp from Michaels with a key in a Victorian lock that I will start using just to spice things up. This lock and key perfectly suits my logo but also my company name, Tesori Trovati, which is Italian for ‘treasures found.’

    I believe in being consistent (the skeleton keys are different but the same motif) and taking care to make each package an experience. And you can’t go wrong with a personal touch, even if it is just to hand write thank you on the package.

    Thank you for sharing your insights on this important subject! Enjoy the day.

  10. This is something I’ve really been working on lately–this video was actually great timing for me! For the past few years I’ve been sending my pottery in kraft boxes and plain bubble mailers, using recycled materials for all padding/wrapping. I include on of my (high-quality) business cards with a small “thank you!” written on it. I am actually still mostly happy with this arrangement, buuuut I’ve known all along that it’s not very exciting from a customer perspective.

    Unfortunately, all my prior experiments with creating a nicer presentation ended up feeling like a huge hassle for me. I don’t really like the packaging process that much so anything that makes it more complicated–unless I especially enoy doing it–is going to be a problem.

    Earlier today, though, I was playing around with things and got the bright idea of washi tape as a simple embellishment on my jewelry boxes: http://instagr.am/p/kIAuG/ I hand-wrote my business name…I may invest in a stamp in the future, though, for when I have shipping helpers.

    I’m really pleased with this, since I can mix things up with other tape colors/patterns with very little investment, and I think it adds an element of “unwrapping”–like a gift–to the opening experience. And the washi tape tears easily so it’s not a *pain* to open it either!

    This still leaves me with how to plush up the unwrapping experience for larger boxes/packages, but it’s a start!

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