[intro]In this guide, you'll learn how your packaging and delivery of products are also an essential part of the customer experience and how this can be used to your advantage in terms of retaining customers. [/intro]

When you start trading from your EKM online shop, it is very easy to think that bigger internet retailers such as Amazon can provide a better experience in terms of delivery times and, thus, have the ‘upper hand’. This is true, as they can indeed have orders shipped the same day where you might not yet have the facilities and logistics to be able to do so, but as a smaller business, you too have an upper hand of your own, and this can and should be used to your advantage. Bigger companies can provide faster delivery times, but as they’re trading on such a large scale, it’s easy for their experience to be less personable, and this is where being a smaller trader can work in your favour. 

Constant Communication

You might not be able to provide tracking on your packages yet - but even if this is not possible - you still need to ensure that your customers receive an email confirmation when their order is placed and a second one when it has been dispatched. This communication reassures the customer that their goods are on the way and they should be with them soon. If, for whatever reason, there’s any delay, it is your responsibility to inform your customer as soon as possible. Customers who have had issues communicated well are much more understanding than those who have had to contact you to complain about their products not arriving.

You can also update customers as a group using your social media - something that many smaller companies do with great success. A simple Instagram story of the packaged items (with all address labels hidden to protect privacy) demonstrates your popularity and that orders are being prepared to be shipped. Providing updates like this will also encourage more followers - both existing customers and new ones. 

Branded Packaging

When the customer has waited patiently for their order to arrive,  the final step of your customer experience comes into play. The kind of packaging you use can make or break a customer’s impression of your brand and your company. Selling online is unlike selling on an auction site - products are regarded as brand new on an online shop, and their packaging should reflect this. 

As you are still building and populating your EKM online shop, it is essential that you also source some packaging to ship your orders out in. If you can’t afford to have your packaging branded from the outset, you could begin using branded stickers and then graduate to branded tissue paper, boxes and envelopes as your shop gains popularity. Suppliers such as NoIssue are a fantastic resource from branded tissue paper used to pad out the boxes, whilst Pack Help can supply the boxes themselves. 

It also doesn’t hurt to add in a gift of sorts, but only include this if it’s something beneficial - if you’re getting rid of excess stock by using it as a ‘free gift’, this can be obvious to your customer - try and make sure that the gift is something relevant to the product that they’ve ordered. 

Branded packaging - when your customer receives it - improves their experience of shopping with you and further establishes your brand, encouraging them to shop with you again. Ultimately, you have one chance to prove yourself as a brand with that first order and win a customer for life by providing a professional, personable service from the outset.



[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Ecommerce Expert or the Customer Support Team, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions Board. If you have a non-account specific question to ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community. If you need some inspiration for your EKM online shop, listen to our podcast on iTunes and Spotify.[/contact]