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Too many product marketers neglect the package-opening 'ceremony'

One blogger’s accounts show that brand owners on the whole still have a long way to go in extending the brand experience via online ordering.

Product purchasing has been with us for generations through phone and mail-order and other marketing techniques meant to save consumers time. But as a blog from Sue Hayward in the U.K. indicates, there’s still plenty of room for improvement in delivering products undamaged and appealingly displayed to consumers who order them remotely. There’s even evidence that some product marketers who exist online only still don’t get it.

When a shopper browses your Web site and orders products, it’s crucial to provide the same brand experience that shoppers would expect with your products if they were to purchase it at an actual store. But when the products are ordered online, the brand experience takes on an important added dimension that marketers all too often seem to be forgetting. It extends to both the packaging and the product display inside the shipper carton that arrives on the consumer’s doorstep.

As Hayward so astutely points out, products and packaging all too often are arriving blemished or outright damaged in consumers’ hands. That works against the brand on several levels. It erodes consumer confidence and trust in the brand, destroys any sense of brand experience they might have had with the product, and robs them of a crucial “wow” moment—the joy or personal satisfaction they get in opening the package. This is a recipe for lost repeat sales and negative viral marketing.

If you’re an “online brand,” review every aspect of your fulfillment process, from the packaging materials used to testing them—and their ability to protect your product—in the harsh shipping environment. If you’re not doing it, you can bet your competitor is.

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