Why Is Creative Packaging Important?

Creative packaging, how important is it anyway? If you are selling handmade goods, the answer is VERY! I have interviewed a good number of online sellers of handmade art and you will be surprised to read how very important creative packaging is!

My grandmother used to tell me “It’s what inside that counts”, however in the handmade industry nothing could be farther from the truth!

Imagine purchasing a beautiful necklace for someone special in your life, when your parcel arrives you find the beautiful necklace you ordered wrapped in newspaper and thrown inside a large envelope mailer. There is no note nor a business card from whom you placed the order.

On the flip-side, now imagine that same necklace you ordered safely packaged in tissue paper and secured in small box that has been tied with ribbon as to not come undone while mailing. When you open your parcel you find not only the carefully packaged necklace but also a handwritten note and the sellers business card in case you have any questions or would like to order again in the future. There is a huge difference in how receiving that parcel in example one would make you feel as in comparison to example number two.

There are many more reasons that you should pay attention to your packaging, your packaging not only shows off your handmade item in an attractive manner, it helps brand and differentiate you from other online sellers.

You have to remember as well that you are competing with not only other producers of handmade lovelies, but also with the thousands of mass produced items offered in department stores. Yes, your handmade products are more expensive than those manufactured by a machine, but don’t think your shoppers aren’t aware of the quality they will receive when purchasing a handmade item. The extra time, effort, and expertise and the Love and passion that goes into your handmade item is what makes them worth the extra price to your buyers which is why your packaging needs to reflect this to your customer.

Your packaging doesn’t have to be “over-the-top” to impress your customers, sometimes even the simplest packaging is the most effective.

General Tips:

1. I have found that including a photo of my packaging has prompted my “window shoppers” into “buyers” , it’s a good way to let your customers know what separates you from the other thousands of shops online; presentation is important.

2. I like to have all my packaging materials such as tissue paper, ribbon, raffia, gift tags, tape, scissors, boxes and envelope mailers all in one place. This saves me time from having to hunt down each individual item and saves me time. A gift tag is a nice additional touch. I like to create my own gift tags from card stock and beautifully designed scrapbook paper. Once I create the gift tag, I wrap the item in corresponding paper and use tulle or ribbon and attach the tag. It only takes a few minutes to add this special touch to the items I sell and my clients always comment on my packaging!

3. When packaging, keep things looking consistent such as the style and theme of your packaging.

4. Your product and packaging should correlate with each other, you don’t want to package your leopard print hair bow in a Victorian style wrapping paper topped with a delicate ribbon and bow. Use the same care in packaging that you would coordinating your fashion wardrobe.

5. Make sure that you inspect your packaging before mailing, is everything in tact and tidy? Is the name and shipping address spelled correctly?

6. I always include how to care for the item, this is vital information that your customers will thank you for. Not all online sellers take the time to include how to care for their items which is a shame, this is part of exceptional customer service.

I gift wrap every item that leaves my studio, even when I sell jewelry to a woman who is just buying it for herself. Your packaging can make a long lasting and beautiful impression, and gives the customer a feeling that she just treated herself to something special.

Here is a photo of one of my items and one of my packaging, my customers have come to expect my bright and fun packaging which is awesome because that is part of “BRANDING you SHOP”.

KBlossoms from KBlossoms says:
I totally agree that beautiful packaging that protects the item during shipping is necessary. Most of my buyers buy my jewelry items as gifts for others and they want the packaging in a box. I wrap mines with beautiful wrapping paper and ribbon and place my necklaces on a necklace card in a plastic bag that sits in a chiffon bag that goes into the box, so when the receiver opens it, it’s like opening a special hand made gift! They love it! Here is a picture of KBlossoms wonderful shop items and her beautiful packaging.

HuntingDragons from HuntingDragons says
Packaging is important, because it’s a first impression. Just as if you met someone for the first time, you look at their face, their hair, their clothing. In the etsy world, you look at the envelope, the wrapping, the box, the card/ribbon or note inside. It creates an impression, and one that lasts. If packaged well, a purchaser will actually remember the experience of opening the package and the thrill of the first meeting.

Rhonda Cooley from LilBitSassy:
I think packaging is a very important part of selling handmade items. People are looking for unique items and I think buyer’s love when their items come nicely packaged–it’s like an added bonus to buying handmade. I also believe it shows off your personality and lets the buyer know that you truly appreciate their business.

I package my items “plainly” in tissue paper with my tag tied onto it and a sticker that says, “Thank You for Buying Handmade”. I also put all items in a plastic bag to protect them–especially this time of year! Another thing I like to do is enclose a little “thank you” gift with every package. This can be one of my cupcake toppers, a matchbook notepad, or any other small item I’ve made myself. Buyers really do love a little extra something that they weren’t expecting.
Here is a picture of Rhonda’s apron and a picture of her ADORABLE packaging, all wrapped up and ready to be sent to a lucky little girl!

Devora from devorajewellery says
I’m doing exotic things with washi tape, baker’s twine (just don’t tell the baker) and plain brown Kraft tuck-in boxes … looks cute when I’m done!

Sandy from TesoroDelSol says:
Packaging makes a huge difference and impact and first impression. I have received packages that were just the item and nothing else. Yes it got to me safe and sound but the presentation left much to be desired and it didn’t make me feel special.

It depends what you sell though. I don’t expect to receive my supplies with pretty packaging and thank you cards etc. However, if you are selling a handmade product, I believe that you should have some sort of branding going on. At least make it look like you care and put in the effort to make that buyer remember who you are….it also shows passion in your work.

I keep it simple but I show off my brand. I will be redoing my biz cards soon because I had a new logo and branding done. Generally, I place all my jewellery in a black gloss jewellery box with a satin ribbon and my business card with the Thank you message hand written on the back and I put the buyers name on it. I also include a little free gift with every purchase. I value each order I receive, not so much because they paid me for my jewellery, but because they chose MINE over everyone else’s here on Etsy. It means a lot to me.

Ashley from KeepsakeKrochets says:
I think a nice packaging is great! I do agree to keep it minimal. In my packaging I use a nice tissue paper, since it brings out my crochet products and then I top it with a handwritten letter. People seem to like it so far.

Sharon from Dollybirdblythe says
My packaging is very simple and practical, but I would be happy to send you a photo later today (if the damn sun comes out from behind the clouds!). I have to keep a few things in mind with mine:

1. My items are very inexpensive so my packaging must be too! Otherwise I end up with no profit.
2. Being an international seller, I have to keep in mind that few people like to spend more on shipping than the cost of the item. The only way that I can do this is to send my item flat.
3. As my items have such a long way to travel, they have to be protected from the elements so that they arrive in perfect condition.

Marianella Contreras from DelectableDecadence says
Pretty packaging and hand written thank you notes in the handicrafts business is an integral part of why we sell.
When people buy from an artisan, they’re dealing with the individual– not some mass producing manufacturer.
It’s a huge part of the charm when buying hand made; because it has a personal touch which large corporations cannot compete with.
While it may not be viable for some, such as suppliers on Etsy, for a person selling a finished product, it should be made as much a priority as taking care of the photographic presentation.
I feel that presentation is 9/10ths of the law. I feel better buying from someone who took as much care packaging an item, as they did making it– I don’t feel like just another customer when I receive those little hand written thank you notes.

Kate from BirdsBeadsTX says:
I think packaging is like the front cover of a book – it sets the tone for what’s to come. I love opening a package that’s been wrapped up nicely. Pretty packaging gets you excited for what’s inside. Its nice to know that the seller took that extra time and effort to make every aspect of the product pretty. It’s also reassuring to see sellers who package their products not only to look nice but to also ensure that the product remains intact. Being able to make “safe” packaging also look pretty is very impressive!

Clara Lambert from MarigoldandSage says
I want my customers to feel like they are opening a pretty little gift when they receive their orders. I always appreciate a nicely packaged item when I make purchases, and am a little disappointed if something I purchase comes crinkled up in a boring box. I use sustainable and recycled packaging, but take the time and extra little effort to add some pretty touches that I know my customers appreciate.

KoutureCrochet from KoutureCrochet says
The thing about good packaging is that it’s not a matter of do you or don’t you agree.
It is a FACT that packaging does impact how customers view a company. Apple is the master of this. The packaging of its products serve as ads. So much so that some ads for apple products are just a picture of the product in its packaging.
Now of course not every customer will love any packaging, but well thought out and effective packaging is not a matter of do you or don’t you agree, it’s a matter of do you or don’t you have to time, money and energy that it takes to find and create stunning and impressive packaging.

Elizabeth from mimiandlucy says
As a buyer, I do find that a little extra care in the packaging is a nice touch. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, I got a thank you tag with a supply order that was made out of corrugated cardboard and I loved the rustic handmade quality to it. Yes, it just got tossed but I felt like the seller wanted to show her appreciation of my business with that little extra.
I’ve ordered things from ebay that arrived in used cereal boxes. Not quite the same and yes, a little disappointing.
I have this shop and a supply shop and like to package my orders in either little store bought paper bags for the supplies and in hand folded gift envelopes for the handmades. It doesn’t cost much for the wrapping, I use scrapbook papers that I get on sale and it doesn’t add any more to the shipping costs than the copious amounts of bubble wrap that I use to protect the handmades. I’ve had many many buyers comment upon the packaging and how much they liked it.
It is up to each seller how they like to package, but something about Etsy makes buyers want a package that’s just a little bit more special than buying from a big box online retailer. It just feels more personal when you are buying on Etsy.

Valerie from discerningchichi says:
At heart I’m a girly girl and so I’m a sucker for nice packaging (AND it does not have to be expensive – for example plain tissue and a bit of ribbon, yarn or raffia tied around it and packaged securely so it arrives in one piece. If I’m spending my hard earned money to treat myself to something nice – it enhances the experience when I can see some thought has gone into the packaging. PLUS – I recycle/reuse lots of my packaging (e.g. have never had to buy bubble wrap and if the padded envelopes are presentable they get reused).
Supplies – I don’t mind – so long as they are packaged securely. Having said that there are a couple of suppliers I’ve bought beads from on Etsy and their packaging is a delight and so feminine.
At the end of the day – each to their own. Do what is best for you, what you sell and how you wish your brand to be perceived and experienced.

Julie from ziggystoocooltags says:
I agree packaging is important. I hate when I order a beautiful handmade item and it arrives tossed in a plain box or envelope with no packaging whatsoever. I don’t go crazy with packaging, but I do wrap my items nicely in colorful tissue paper and include a handwritten “thank you” to at least make them feel a little bit special.

In closing I have to share with you thoughts on packaging from a man’s point of view, this may surprise you!

My husband actually wrote:

“If I am buying a some nails or screws from a hardware store, a paper bag is fine. When I buy some toilet paper from Wal-Mart, a plastic bag if fine, if I buy a MASS PRODUCED item from a department store a bag is suffice, but when I bought my wife’s engagement ring packaging was everything! I sure Wasn’t going to give her a ring in a paper sack or plastic bag!”

I think he makes a great point here, when you are purchasing HANDMADE items online, you are buying from an individual artist, not a mass corporation. People expect that extra touch of individuality which is why they chose to shop handmade in the first place.

I would love to read your thoughts on this, please leave your comments!

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6 thoughts on “Why Is Creative Packaging Important?

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you so much for following the discussion! I totally agree with you, I do think customers who shop on Etsy expect that “personalized” care when purchasing from artisans. My thought is that when I purchase an item on Etsy I am expecting packaging that reflects “Etsy’s” reputation of excellency. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, a creative and thoughtfully packaged item speaks volumes to you clients!

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