With Deloitte predicting a 17 per cent rise in online sales this Christmas, a new study has revealed that almost three quarters of consumers now view the packaging their goods arrive in as an integral part of their customer experience.
Men and younger adults were particularly attuned to the impact of packaging. The study was carried out by polythene packaging manufacturer, Duo Plastics UK, who’s clients include leading retailers including JD Williams, Boohoo.com, F&F Clothing at Tesco and ASOS.
UK consumers proved to be a truly festive bunch with over three quarters, 77 per cent, believing that receiving an online purchase in Christmas themed packaging adds to the festivities. This figure rose to almost 80 per cent among 18-24 year olds and 85 per cent of 25-34 year olds.
The study also revealed that the quality of packaging was shown as a decisive factor in sending gifts straight to a recipient, particularly for men.
Overall 38 per cent of consumers said they’d be more likely to send a gift straight to a recipient if they knew it would be packaged attractively, with men 11 per cent more likely than women to be swayed. Almost 50 per cent of adults under 35 said the quality of packaging would influence their decision.
Duo’s Managing Director, David Brimelow, commented:
“Ensuring consumers feel able to send gifts straight to their recipient is crucial for capitalising on the last minute Christmas rush – in fact some brands produce postal packaging specifically designed for this purpose. It’s interesting that this is particularly true of men who may typically leave their Christmas shopping until later in December.
“With household budgets under intense pressure, it’s never been more important for retailers to deliver an exceptional customer experience to encourage individuals to spend with their brand. This research shows that quality packaging is a key influencer in the decision making process.”
When it came to goods arriving in poor quality or damaged packaging, consumers were unforgiving with almost 95 per cent of respondents saying it would negatively impact on their perception of the goods or company.
A third of respondents would view the company as unprofessional and over 20 per cent would be less likely to place a second order. 12 per cent of consumers would assume the goods received were poor quality. Most interestingly, 50 per cent of consumers said they would be more likely to return goods, with men 10 per cent more likely than women to put goods back in the post if their purchase was delivered in low quality or damaged packaging.
Younger adults were particularly sensitive to the impression poor quality packaging makes, although they also demonstrated greater brand loyalty. If packaging was poor quality or damaged, almost two thirds (64 per cent) of 18-24 year olds admitted they’d be more likely to return goods and twice as many– around 20% – would assume the goods were poor quality. Despite this, only 15 per cent of 18-34 year olds said they’d be less likely to make a repeat purchase compared to almost 30 per cent of 45-64 year olds.
David continued: “This study provides a real indication of how different generations perceive packaging. It’s particularly interesting to see that although younger adults appear more attuned to packaging. With this demographics’ sensitivity to packaging, its role in this process should not be underestimated. This sits in contrast with older consumers who appear to not be so affected by packaging, but when they have a bad experience they are more likely to abandon a brand.
“When developing a postal packaging range, retailers will benefit from keeping these differences in mind. But it’s also important to remember that whatever demographic retailers are targeting the impact of poor quality packaging goes well beyond a single purchase, affecting both future purchasing patterns and brand perception. Getting packaging spot on is essential for all retailers.”