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Shorr Packaging surveyed hundreds of adult e-commerce shoppers representing a cross-section of Americans for our January E-Commerce Packaging Preferences Survey. Our aim was to understand consumer preferences around custom packaging and how shopping frequency and spending impacts these preferences. We found that Premium Shoppers (customers who spend more than $200 per month) place a value on custom packaging design.

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To most retailers, custom packaging means some sort of branded packaging design. However, custom packaging means far more—it means custom printing, design, and sizing too. Custom packaging leads to improved brand recognition, reduced shipping costs due to dimensional weight pricing and fewer worries about something being damaged in transit.

Custom packaging is the first tactile experience customers have with your brand. A first impression is formed within 100 milliseconds and often remains intact even when contradicted by factual information. Forty-two percent of shoppers surveyed noted that they were “very likely” to notice custom designed packaging when they first receive an item. Only 2 percent were “very unlikely” to notice. Custom packaging is important to shoppers, with 71 percent seeing a custom packaging design more important than the 29 percent that want custom printing.

Premium Shoppers are 15 percent more likely to make a repeat purchase because of custom packaging and are more likely to share an image of custom packaging on social media. Returning customers spend an average of 67 percent more than first-time customers, and Premium Shoppers are 26 percent more likely to feel that custom packaging makes the product itself feel more valuable.

People who spend more, return more. Premium Shoppers are 22 percent more likely to return a product, than those spending less than $50. The majority of survey respondents (78 percent) preferred to return the item in its original packaging. A whopping 95 percent of customers will do repeat business if the returns process is easy, placing an importance on return-ready packaging.

The social media share is important, especially in terms of unboxing. Since 2010, YouTube videos with the word “unboxing” in their titles has gone up 871 percent. Forty-three percent of Premium Shoppers are likely to show off custom packaging to friends, family and co-workers.

Only 11 percent of ecommerce customers are completely satisfied with packaging today. Fifty-five percent of survey respondents felt packaging that is hard to open was the most irritating or annoying aspect of ecommerce packaging.

Make custom packaging an integral part of your e-commerce sales and marketing strategy. Click here for the full Shorr Packaging 2016 E-Commerce Packaging Preference Survey results and to learn how to make your packaging work for you.