If you’re in charge of designing custom retail packaging, here are some things you must never do. Selling your product on the shelf is the most important part of the process, and your packaging needs to sell to consumers. Packaging that doesn’t grab attention and looks professional could cost you sales and damage your brand image — both things we can’t afford when launching a new business. Here are some tips for designing custom retail boxes that really sells!
Don’t use too much text on your packaging.
One of the worst things you can do is to put a ton of text on the packaging of your product. As a rule of thumb, it should be no more than 20% of the total surface area. This text should be used to describe the product and its benefits in a clear, concise way.
If you have a bunch of berries that grow in ever-stretchy patterns, then include an image of the berry in interesting shapes and patterns that use visual appeal to help the consumer understand the product’s character. Keep your writing on the carton simple — the only text your product description should probably use is a brief summary.
Do everything you can to ensure the only thing on the carton your competitor can see is the name and shipping direction. If your competitor sees that your logo and address are on top, they’re going to have a mountain of another shrink-wrap as inspiration for their landing pages, and your chances of winning your battle for attention go down exponentially. While you want to make your physical product unique, your branding should be unique as well.
Your shipping label can be somewhat unique if you don’t include information that other companies put on their labels. Flags, logos, and company names should be avoided. (However, it’s OK if you use the company name in your copy.) Yet, it’s more important than ever to have a unique trade dress that shows off the brand identity of your product, especially if your product is new. That’s why retailers are now re-shipping items through an injection-molding machine instead of using traditional packaging.
Don’t include superfluous graphics on your packaging.
The most important thing on your packaging is the name of your product. The words you use on your packaging should be able to describe your product in an accurate way, but they shouldn’t be too long. If you can’t fit all of the most important information on your packaging, then it’s too wordy.
A long name can be enticing and can help sell your product. But if that long name is taken straight from your product page, it might lose its appeal. Therefore, your name needs to be keyword- and keyword-rich.
The name of your product also needs to be shortened to fit on a single, more useful piece of paper. If the box you’re shipping your product looks too large, you’re reducing the size of the product itself, which means there’s less space for your name.
Keep your core product benefits on one side of your box with headlines that appeal to your target audience. These headlines will typically be about your product. Don’t funnel consumers through a long name and waste paper.
Don’t design your packaging with stock photos.
When you’re creating packaging, don’t rely on stock photos as your visual representation of your product. While it’s easy to find a photo of a woman holding a mascara wand or a man holding a bottle of wine, those photos don’t show your product in the best light. Stock photos obscure your product and make it hard to work around.
Softer photos like snapshots or in-focus shots will grab attention when you show them on a shelf, and those photos will get you zero clicks when you offer those products online.
It’s a good idea to include at least one exceptions section in your pack — your “I don’t work” section. This is a place to include text, and it contains information that your target audience will find useful either right when they get to your store or in the future.
Don’t skimp on the quality of the printing on your packaging.
Packaging is so important when it comes to the success of your brand. The packaging you choose should represent your business because it’s the first thing that people see. Don’t skimp on the printing quality of your packaging because it’s the first thing that people see when they pick it up. It shows that you care about the quality of your product, and it signals to potential customers that you take the time to visit your local store. The front of the box should be clean and contain only the product information.
Always ask yourself, “What’s in this box that will make a person want to come back and buy more?” A leading e-commerce platform informs potential shoppers about this through design, with a simple pitch checklist label reminding people of the items that matter to them. For example:
An informational box houses important product details and other details that should be vital to a first-time purchase, like a social media button.
A hidden drawer contains coupons or offers that customers both see and feel good about.
When customers don’t see the whole product inside the box, they feel more confident that they’ll purchase. So, you should show them the best way to open the box to take the complete experience into their own hands.
Don’t go overboard with box sizes or shapes that don’t fit with your product or brand image
Stay away from the temptation of creating a product box that is too large or too small for your product. A box should be proportional to the size of the product inside. If it’s too small, the item can get damaged during shipping, but if it’s too big, it will take up too much room in the customer’s home. Also, stay away from too many jumbled pens, envelopes, labels, etc., scattered across your product. Finally, make sure there are at least two (of at least four) colors representing your product!
Keep it simple. The camera hits the eye first. So, don’t add extraneous details that distract from the main point of the design. It should explain itself and appeal to potential visitors.
Don’t make the “giant box.” If you’re going to create a huge box. Make sure it will fit onto a shipping truck. Otherwise, if you’re outdoors, make sure there is somewhere nearby that a tree could fall and crush your box.
Use your inventory effectively—the size of the box, outside dimensions, and additional info. If you’re marketing multiple products, use the same information for each product, listing what each offers.
Make sure every picture of your product clearly shows what it looks like. Don’t leave out any detail so those little kids can’t identify your product. And make sure all product shots have people in them (for more recommendations on product shots. Visit stampa Prints for online packaging service and make your products the market leader easily.