Product packaging and inserts are so important. But with so many things to think about as an Amazon FBA or private label seller, it can often be pushed to the back of our minds.
I want to introduce Erick Rodriguez, who is going to be sharing his best practice and top tips for Amazon sellers. I was really impressed with Erick’s entrepreneurial mindset. As a recent college graduate he leaped straight into launching his own business. Due to his expertise in this product photography & design, he is well equipped to give us some top tips.
Take it away Erick!
Many Amazon sellers may not realize the benefit of investing in high-quality product packaging and product inserts. But in this article, we’ll cover the numerous benefits, which will result in more sales, happy customers, and fewer in-authenticity claims.
What Will You Learn?
- How product packaging will assist you in:
Getting brand registry
Increasing click-through rate
Expanding to new sales channels
Reducing in-authenticity claims and negative product reviews
Increasing positive reviews and overall driving additional sales
- How product inserts can be used to:
Reduce the number of negative product reviews received
Increase your rate of positive product reviews being left
Particularly since the big TOS change of 2016, there are some key elements here that should get your attention. Product reviews!
Remember that both product packaging and inserts are things that your paying customers will see. Therefore, by making them stand out, you products and you as a seller will also stand out. This is all part and parcel of providing an amazing customer experience.
Benefits of Brand Registry: Increase your sales overnight
According to Amazon Seller Central, the benefits of the program include:
- More control over your listing content, including titles, details and images
- Registering your brand enables you to specify an alternative unique identifier that you can use to list your branded products instead of a standard product ID (UPC, EAN or JAN)
But, there’s much more to it than this.
To name a few of the best benefits of brand registry, once you register your private label brand via Amazon, you will be able to prevent others from modifying your listing. As there is no competition, you will always have the buy box.
You will also be able to create “Enhanced Brand Listings”. It’s a new feature that recently opened up. which is only available to sellers who have registered their brands via Amazon. Jungle Scout recently posted an in-depth post about how to set it up which you can read here.
Once you have a brand registry, you can essentially upgrade your product description, insert enhanced images into your description, which in the past was only open to Amazon Vendors with A+ listings (a similar program that Amazon reported increased sales anywhere from 3 to 10 percent).
So with all things considered, this is something that can reduce risk and increase sales.
Why product packaging is important in obtaining brand registry?
To obtain brand registry, one of the criteria is that you must provide Amazon an image of the product packaging with branding visible.
Sorry, folks, that means you can’t get away with just inserting your product into cheap and generic clear poly bags and “slapping on” your Amazon ASIN, which I’m aware is a popular habit with some private label sellers. This saves time and costs, but also does not bring any of the benefits of having awesome packaging.
This means you need to have good design and photography, and for many sellers, it means taking this task away from their manufacturers and getting professionals in those fields to do it instead.
Examples of good product packaging
Take notice of the packaging for a pair of barbecue silicone gloves. The brand Ever-Grill is displayed in a prominent position at the top of the packaging and then right below it “Barbecue Gloves” is printed.
Why is this important? Because it’s essential to communicate as quickly and clearly as possible what your product does. If a customer sees your main image and is unsure if that is the product they are looking for, they will move on and buy your competitor’s product.
Next, another clever strategy to use in product packaging it to list the biggest differentiators of your product in a concise and prominent position at the front of the packaging.
We’ll discuss in more depth later in the article the purpose of this. But by properly utilizing the above strategy in your listing’s main image, you will see an uplift in sales.
How to use packaging to increase click-through rate and overall sales
An example can be best illustrated by making you think back to your last visit to a retail store.
Picture this: you are in the supermarket aisle looking for a certain product you need. Staring at the shelf, you see 10 or more products, all essentially meeting your requirements.
What product usually ends up getting purchased? Well, chances are, it’s all about packaging and its eye-catching design.
The product with the visually appealing packaging gives off the impression of high-quality. It plays a big part in the decision making process. There’s a big chance that product gets picked and often purchased by consumers.
So now back to Amazon.
When you are deciding on how to design your product packaging you need to spend time looking at the search results page for the primary keywords you’re wishing to target in your listing. So go ahead and take a moment to search on Amazon.com using broad and generic keywords your product idea. What do you notice? Which colors are all the competitors using? What colors would stand out the most which no one is using?
By making an extensive inquiry into these matters, you gain an edge over the competition. Take a look at the below example. Let’s say we were interested in selling ‘Meat Shredding Claws”. We’ll start by doing an Amazon search to analyze what the existing competitors are all doing, since it will make your job of selling your product so much easier.
After careful analysis of the search results, you’ll notice that all the options for bear claws are black and bearing the same shape.
How to stand out!
Now take a look at the product image below. Not only did the Amazon seller change the color of the product to red to stand better out in search results but they also designed a clean packaging with the main words “Meat Claws” in prominently large print at the front of the packaging. Also, the seller included it in the main photo.
When someone scrolls through the search results, his or her eyes will naturally be drawn to the product option above because:
- The product itself stands out with its bright color
- Cleanly made packaging is included in the photo
- Two descriptive words “Meat Claws” are prominently displayed in the front of the packaging
This technique is focused on making the main image conspicuous and the product label stand out. In the end, this method is designed to draw more attention to your product and away from the competition.
How to use packaging to expand to new sales channels
As we briefly mentioned above, a common bad habit of some Amazon sellers is to toss their private labeled product into clear poly bags and to simply ‘slap’ a suffocation label and an Amazon barcode on the exterior and call it a day.
However, as everyone knows, one easy way to grow your business without having to invest in more SKUs is to expand the number of sales channels you’re on. Which, might I mention will also increase the valuation of your business should you ever wish to sell it in the near future.
But when expanding to new sales channels, an Amazon barcode will not do, and a sticker UPC slapped on some packaging will look unprofessional. So when creating your custom packaging have your UPC printed on the back of the box, and for any units being sent to Amazon directly print the Amazon barcode as adhesive labels and place it over the UPC.
How to use packaging to prevent poor product feedback
Unlike common belief among Amazon sellers, most Amazon customers mistakenly believe they’re buying from Amazon itself, not realizing that the majority of the time there’s a small business owner behind the sale. As a result, Amazon customers have high expectations for quality. They expect products they buy on Amazon to arrive in a similar high-quality standard as a retail purchase.
So if you’re like some Amazon sellers, and you don’t invest in the packaging your product is being delivered in, it may lead to some adverse outcomes.
At the very least, your product reviews will be impacted. Thus your average star rating will be lower than what it could have been if you had higher quality packaging. A more subtle effect will be you will be ‘short handing’ yourself. The number of sales you could have gotten if you had a higher average star rating on your reviews.
What is likely to happen long-term is that you’re significantly increasing your statistical chances of receiving an in-authenticity claim. Which, if you’ve never received one before is good, you don’t want these. Too many of these can result in a suspended Amazon account!
How to use packaging to increase customer experience & positive reviews
Put yourself in the shoes of a client. One purchase comes in a poly bag. Another product comes in a cleanly designed product packaging. Or with the signature of the Co-Founder printed on the inside of packaging thanking the customer for giving their product a chance. Which version do you think has a higher customer experience? The latter.
As a result, the customer will be more likely to:
- Talk about the product via word of mouth driving additional sales
- Leave positive reviews
- Increasing your spot in search results (rank)
Take a look at the below for an example of excellent product packaging. Warby Parker is a prime example of a strong customer experience, as soon as you see the packaging anticipation and excitement is created through the phrase “Good things await you” with the inside flap showing the product instructions.
First, let’s discuss what’s NOT allowed on product inserts…
Product inserts are given a ‘bad rep,’ because Amazon sellers will partake in bad habits, pushing the lines of Amazon terms of service when using them. Common bad habits include directing them to your 3rd party website, or incentivizing them to leave reviews.
See the below for an example of a non compliant product insert:
We know that this is not allowed since the TOS changes in October 2016. This is direct from Amazon: “you may not provide compensation (including free or discounted products) for a review.”
Inserts that will interact with your customers
So what are the allowed and highly beneficial ways to use product inserts?
Here’s an example from the barbeque gloves we saw earlier:
This Amazon seller focuses on two main areas:
- They remind the customer of why they bought this product, providing a friendly reminder how these gloves uniquely have 5 main differentiators. This will serve in decreasing return rates, by reducing buyer’s remorse.
- Another clever thing this Amazon seller did was to ask the customer about their satisfaction level with the purchase, while offering assistance with any issues that they may have.
By utilizing this method, they can step in and solve any possible problems the customer may have PRIOR to the customer expressing their dissatisfaction through a negative product review, which will likely result in a negative impact on your product listing conversation rate and overall a negative impact on sales.
This works in a similar way to sending out automated email campaigns to customers using software such as Jump Send.
Another strategy to use with product inserts when you have a product with a low defect rate is to simply go from the stance of reminding the customer to leave a product review. This will increase your feedback rate compared to solely using an email follow-up sequence.
The outcome of strategically made packaging and inserts is a higher click through rate, a differentiator compared to competitors, increasing perceived product value & overall customer experience, higher rate of positive product reviews, and overall increased sales.
About the Author
Erick Rodriguez is the CEO of Virtuous Graphics – Your one stop shop for product photography & graphic design for serious Amazon Sellers. Use promo code: Jungle$15OFF to get $15 off your first purchase.