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How to Use Connected Packaging to Enhance Your Customers’ E-Commerce Experience

In e-commerce, packaging has always had a pivotal role that extends far beyond the containment and protection of products. Since the start of branding, savvy business owners used it as a tool to build deeper connections with customers. Turning a simple unboxing into a memorable brand experience has always been the way to establish customer relationships.

However, as the digital and physical worlds converge more seamlessly, packaging has taken a turn with connectedness. This method leverages technologies to turn ordinary packages into interactive portals. It offers several opportunities for e-commerce brands to provide customers with a more immersive digital experience.

What Is Connected Packaging?

Connected packaging integrates product packaging with digital technologies. It incorporates elements like QR codes, NFC tags or RFID chips into traditional packaging. These features act as content gateways that consumers can access with their smartphones. For instance, they can lead them to product details or usage instructions.

Connected packaging has various uses, helping e-commerce brands stay engaged with customers beyond the initial purchase. For example, a customer could watch a tutorial on using a product by scanning a QR code.

Many online stores use it to enhance the consumer experience and increase product engagement. In fact, 80% of survey participants believe connected packaging will be even more important over the next 12 months. Therefore, more online brands may invest in it to deliver a personalized customer experience.

Using Connected Packaging to Enhance the Customer Experience

Now that you have a basic understanding of how connected packaging works, here are a few ways to use it to improve the customer experience.

1. AR Triggers

Augmented reality (AR) is one of the most exciting transformations in packaging. Turning a static product into an interactive one enables e-commerce companies to create a more engaging customer experience.

For example, AR can show customers how to use or assemble a product. Consumers scan a package to trigger a 3D demonstration of the item and help them assemble it. AR is also useful for people to try things virtually before they buy. They can see how a piece of clothing fits or how a shade of makeup looks on their skin. Enabling them to visualize the product can greatly influence their purchase decisions by offering a more immersive shopping experience.

2. Track and Trace

Another powerful application of connected packaging is tracking and tracing products from order fulfillment to delivery. This feature is useful because RFID tags allow customers to access their order status. It can be especially valuable for businesses that use dropshipping.

In this scenario, products ship directly from the supplier to the customer without passing through the retailer’s hands. Approximately 27% of e-commerce companies rely on this model as their primary sales method. Therefore, a customer can access estimated delivery times without contacting the retailer through tracking technology.

Providing these details and updates enables businesses to mitigate customers’ uncertainties about their orders. Real-time tracking assures them their product is on the way. Plus, they can plan for its arrival, reducing missed deliveries and improving the overall experience.

3. Sustainability Information

Businesses are increasingly recognizing the importance of sustainability, and connected packaging provides this opportunity to communicate these values. One way e-commerce brands achieve this is by giving consumers details about the product’s environmental impact. For example, QR codes can lead people to a webpage detailing its life cycle and the materials used. They may also receive information on properly disposing of or recycling the packaging.

Educating consumers about the product effectively conveys a company’s commitment to environmental sustainability. This is especially important since 90% of consumers are likelier to switch their loyalty to brands that value social responsibility. Using connected packaging to highlight these practices helps brands build greater consumer trust.

4. Customer Feedback

Connected packaging enables you to gather customer feedback to enhance the post-purchase experience. You can include a QR code or an NFC tag so customers can scan or tap the package to complete a survey. People avoid leaving feedback if it takes too many steps. However, scanning provides immediate access, simplifying the process. As such, businesses can achieve a higher rate of response.

With a larger collection of customer insights, e-commerce brands can quickly identify issues to improve product quality and more. Adjustments based on these insights will greatly enhance customer satisfaction. It shows your brand listens, making consumers feel valued in the process. As a result, you can turn one-time buyers into customers for life.

5. Personalization and Brand Stories

Personalization through connected packaging is achieved by using data-driven insights. E-commerce companies can leverage analytics to tailor their content for customers to access through scanning or tapping. For example, a code could lead them to customized product recommendations based on their previous interactions. This level of personalization delights customers and increases brand relevance in their lives.

In addition to personalization, connected packaging is an excellent medium for storytelling. Businesses can spread their narrative by linking to videos, image galleries and detailed articles. Sharing a story behind the brand or product can include insights into the company’s journey or materials sourcing. Engaging customers establishes an emotional connection, making your brand more memorable.

6. Gamification

E-commerce businesses can also use connected packaging to engage people further through gamification. This can turn interactions with packaging into a fun experience and drive positive customer behavior.

Gamification involves incorporating game-like elements such as challenges, rewards and points. Consumers can easily access them through QR codes and get the chance to win prizes or accrue points redeemable for discounts. Gamification can be an excellent way to connect with consumers and fill their shopping experience with excitement.

Packaging Reimagined With Technology

Connected packaging is creating an entirely new customer experience. It is driving engagement, connection and increased satisfaction. Creating a memorable post-purchase experience enables e-commerce brands to exceed consumer expectations and set themselves apart in a competitive digital marketplace.

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