Think about what stands out to you when you visit a store. Certain products will more than likely draw your attention over others depending on what you are looking for. It’s valuable to think about how to package and present your clothing, shoes, and fashion accessories, especially with the rise of online shopping.
Fashion product packaging requires you to determine two things: package design and functionality. These two elements have become increasingly important since many people shop online nowadays and must open boxes laid on their stoop to touch and see their clothes, shoes, and accessories for the first time. Packaging offers all fashion brands, and online-first fashion brands in particular, a strong opportunity to leave a unique, curated, positive impression on their customers.
Important Questions to Ask About Packaging Design
Consider the legendary Hermès orange boxes; or the rave reviews of fashion brands like MBM Swim, which mention, “the packaging was over-the-top good!” The package your product arrives in is often the first impression you make on your customer. Before you start researching what packaging practices work best for your business, answer these three central questions:
- What is the product? – Focus on the benefits and differentiators of your products and keep a list of these qualities in mind.
- Who is buying the product? – Key demographics will impact how you decide to package your products. For example, you can create completely different moods with the colors and designs you use in your packaging, which can impact mental health. A good way to follow up on the success of your packaging strategy is by requesting direct feedback about it after product delivery. When collecting feedback, you can also ask for basic demographic information such as age, gender, and location and utilize this data later on.
- How are people buying the product? – Lastly, for fashion products, packaging comes into play, sometimes in-store, but always with online shopping. Whenever a customer orders something online, it arrives in a box of some sort or something that can resemble that. In 2019, e-commerce sales accounted for 11% of all retail sales in the United States; this number is expected to rise to 15% in 2021. That’s a minimum of 15% of your product sales where customers will see the package before product in their homes or offices. You’ll want your packaging to offer them an experience that’s just as special and personal as you would offer them in a physical shop.
After you answer the above questions, look online for package design inspiration. Good sources for this are Pinterest and Instagram. Looking at what your competitors are doing and focusing on your differentiating factors will help you truly find ways to stand out among the rest. Your packaging design should also be consistent with your brand image, so be sure to keep in mind how you would like to use your logo and color scheme.
This research will assist you in formulating your package design’s aesthetic components. Once you have this, you will need to consider the functionality and presentation of your packages.
Best Practices for Fashion Package Functionality
Once you have your packaging design’s visual components nailed down, work through how your deliverables will be stored in the packaging. Consider the following:
- Choose the right packaging materials. – This is probably the most important factor to consider for clothing. The package needs to have the right size so that the clothing does not arrive wrinkled. We advise including some sort of padding depending on what type of product you’re shipping. Neat product packing will directly impact a customer’s first impression of your product, so complete this step in a professional manner.
- Fold and prep the clothes. – To avoid wrinkles, neatly fold the clothes as opposed to rolling them.
- Prepare to ship. – If your package weighs less than one pound, USPS First-Class Mail is the least expensive shipping option, but you can explore a variety of shipping options based on your budget and other business needs.
As online shopping continues to grow, packaging will become more and more important to the customer experience. Emerging fashion designers should make it an ongoing exercise to evaluate how to improve their clothing package design and functionality to stand out against the competition and deliver a good experience to the customer. Even though these details can be minute or hard to notice in the grand scheme of things, focusing on them can potentially increase your company’s reputation as well as possibly boost your sales, positive reviews, and returning customers.