5 Harmful Packaging Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

Whether you’re taking your business online due to the COVID-19 pandemic or you’re rebranding your products for a fresh look in 2021, you need to avoid packaging mishaps that could harm your business’s reputation, the environment and even your customers.

Why Is Packaging So Important?

Your product’s packaging is the first physical thing that your customers will come into contact with. This is especially true for eCommerce businesses, operating solely online. Making a good first impression can establish a positive relationship with your consumer base and encourage repeat business.

But, if your packaging is underwhelming, unfriendly to the environment or simply not fit for purpose, your product — and your sales — will suffer as a result. You’ll likely have an uphill battle on your hands to win back your customers and prove to them that your product is better than your competitors’ offerings.

Packaging Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

With so much at stake, don’t put your business’s reputation at risk by falling foul of one of the following packaging fails:

  1. Not using eco-friendly packaging materials

Nowadays, there are plenty of eco-friendly packaging options that’ll help protect the planet as well as your products. Studies have shown that consumers prefer cardboard and paper packaging over plastic-based packaging, commenting that plastic often feels cheap and tacky. In contrast, paper and cardboard are better indicators of quality and boast biodegradable properties.

Environmentally friendly packaging in the form of sturdy cardboard shipping boxes and paper-based void-fill make great alternatives to plastic or synthetic packaging, without compromising on quality or functionality.

  1. Using too much unnecessary packaging

The vast majority of people in the UK believe that companies use too much packaging to send the products they purchase. Not only does the use of extra packaging cost your business money, but it also generates a lot more waste as a result, regardless of whether or not your packaging is recyclable. 

Don’t leave your valued customers with an abundance of packaging that’ll just become their responsibility to dispose of and, instead, provide them with a product that shows off your savvy shipment strategy that conserves the planet’s valuable resources.

  1. Using too little or the wrong kind of packaging

Conversely, it’s important not to skimp on packaging materials just to save money. This can undervalue your product, making it appear cheap and, even worse, it could mean your shipments are prone to become damaged during transit. Either way, your customers are likely to have a negative experience with your product. 

Aim to represent the value of your product with appropriate packaging — your customers will be much happier to receive damage-free products on delivery and will appreciate well-packaged goods.

  1. Making packaging too tricky to open and repackage, if necessary

Unless your product is unsafe for children or contains potentially dangerous goods, it should be easy to open by anyone. Popular platforms like Facebook and YouTube are flooded with unboxing experiences, unveiling the latest technology from some of the world’s leading companies. This has set the bar high, so opt for packaging that includes easy-to-open tear-away strips and resealable tabs to make your customer’s experience smooth and simple.

  1. Failing to use clear messaging or marketing

Using too much text or low-quality artwork can create confusion and make your packaging less appealing to your customers. Keep your artwork classy and, if necessary, include some brief instructions on how customers can use your product to make their experience hassle-free. 

If you’ve made the switch to eco-friendly packaging, shout about it! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to let your customers know that their purchases aren’t negatively affecting the environment. For super-savvy businesses, why not include a quick note on your packaging that’ll help customers recycle, reuse, or repurpose your packaging? This will give you customers something to shout about on social media, helping them connect with your brand and raise awareness for all the right reasons.