The Shift to E-commerce
We live in an era dominated by the image, the social media sphere and new technologies. What seemed futuristic or even impossible a few decades ago is now, in fact, an everyday part of our real life: e-banking without waiting in a queue, electronic prescriptions for medicine, settling bureaucratic matters with just one “click”, shopping digitally from the supermarket with products being delivered right to our door without ever leaving the house, teleworking and tele-education, online entertainment and instant (audiovisual) communication with our own people – wherever they are in the world – in an instant.
The ancient philosopher Heraclitus pointed out that “you cannot enter the same river twice”, as the river is constantly moving and therefore never stays the same. The philosopher’s words are more relevant than ever, as everything in our world is in constant motion, never stops changing and all areas of our lives are increasingly affected by this state of continuous change. New inventions, new discoveries, new human needs.
How, then, could the trade sector remain unaffected by this modern tide of change? Keeping up with our new needs, sales have for several years now been oriented towards the electronic format, making e-commerce a key part of our lives from now on.
Why Everyone Now Has E-shops:
#1 Synchronization with New Technologies
As modern society evolves, the commerce sector evolves with it, escaping into electronic means as new electronic devices, mobile phones, etc. keep popping up.
#2 Social Media Explosion
Social media users are now simultaneously consumers/customers, a fact that is now being exploited to the fullest by the business sector through advertisements and the sales process itself.
#3 Greater Competition
Competition between large and small businesses has increased, with the former already having set up e-shops and the latter following suit to keep up. Even much smaller stores have started selling their products online, embracing the new era.
#4 Flexibility of the Shopping Experience
Through e-commerce, the sales process for businesses and the consumer’s buying “journey” is made easier, more direct and quicker with the click of a few buttons – or a touch of a screen – and enriched with more options (resulting in multiple purchases). There is a lot of flexibility.
#5 Low Cost
An online store has no expenses such as rent, signage, interior/exterior design, window dressing, buying stock, equipment, etc. and has no need for security personnel.
#6 Working from a Distance
Employees can work remotely, which makes it easier for us to find the right staff for our business.
#7 Easy Advertising
While in the past advertising of physical stores was costly and limited to mass media such as TV, radio, newspapers/magazines, etc., now it is all conducted online and most importantly on social media, which makes the whole promotion process easier and faster.
#8 Increase of Income & International Sales
E-shops never close – they are always open. This automatically gives us the flexibility and convenience to attract more customers at any time of day and from any part of the world: those who would visit our physical store anyway, during the hours it is open, and those who have specific working hours or work late as well as those who don’t have time for inter-life shopping, in general, and those who live far away from our physical store.
#9 Rapid Growth
In the case of our online store, we don’t have to move to a larger space whenever we want to either increase our product categories or add new products to our store. At the same time, we can comfortably handle a larger number of orders, no longer having to worry about potentially long customer queues or excessive waiting times outside our physical store. And this helps us grow our business rapidly without additional financial costs.
#10 Trusting Relationship
Through our e-shop, we are able to obtain our customer’s name, address, email and phone number ten times easier than in our physical store. This means that we immediately gain at least three different ways of contacting them with the aim of strengthening an existing relationship with them or establishing a new one with new clients.
#11 Post-Covid Era
The pandemic has benefited e-commerce greatly. According to the European e-commerce report for 2021, published by the Hellenic E-Commerce Association, Euro Commerce and E-commerce Europe, e-commerce industry growth rates in Greece reached 77% – the highest in Europe – with Moldova (49%) and Russia (41%) following.
During 2020 and 2021, globally, we all experienced the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily on a social, personal and financial level, but also in the commerce field, both as sellers and consumers. Multiple lockdowns as well as severe restrictions, such as mandatory store shutdowns, prevented us from selling and buying products in physical stores, contributing to a major financial shock.
And this is exactly where e-commerce comes in, providing a ray of light for all of us, consumers and sellers: it boosted and underlined the already existing trend and need for digitalization of stores, something that, while under normal circumstances would have taken a long time to be realized for some companies and shops in Greece, was implemented within a short period of time due to the urgency of the pandemic. Even the most hesitant among us eventually turned to e-commerce and were not disappointed.
It is observed that in Greece at the moment we find two categories of consumers: the “mature” consumers who were familiar with e-shops before the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions, and the “beginners”, i.e. consumers who gradually started to buy from e-shops in the midst of the pandemic and will continue to have this new habit as they are now growing their confidence in e-commerce.
To help this and all other customer groups strengthen the trusting relationship they have with our online store, we need to think beyond the scope of the financial transaction.
How to Choose the Right E-shop Packaging
It is in this very context – beyond the simple financial transaction – that we need to integrate our packaging: the only way of contact with our customer is, apart from the product, the packaging itself in which the latter exists. We therefore need to ensure that we have the right e-shop packaging for our online shop. Why?
#1 The First Impression
Right from the start, upon receiving the package/envelope in their hands, the customer will immediately form a first impression of our business and who we are – this will happen within the first 10 seconds. We must remember, therefore, that this first impression counts and, indeed, is a strong ally in gaining the trust and loyalty of our customers who will have seen our online store and decided to place an order with us following market research. And what is the first actual physical interaction they will have with our business? Our e-shop packaging. So, people who were already our customers feel that we are taking proper care of them as well as our new customers will choose us again.
#2 Our Brand
Branding is the way we present ourselves to the outside world. And a very important way through which we advertise our company and our products and, in general, promote our brand is, of course, the packaging we choose for our e-shop. Our packaging is an extension of our brand. By carrying our brand, then, on our packaging, our customer has a purchasing experience that is sealed by our consistency and professionalism.
Such a buying experience, starting in the online world and continuing in the real (offline) world, is key to our relationship with consumers. Our packaging plays a key role in conveying the very essence of our business and make our customers understand exactly who we are and feel secure: with our packaging we need to make them feel that what’s inside is exactly what they have ordered and want.
#3 The Message We Send to the Customer
Our values, our beliefs and our attitude towards social or environmental issues run through the way we manage our packaging. The latter is the ideal touchpoint to get our message, literally, into the hands of our customers, as it is the only “piece” of marketing that reaches them in a tangible way.
In this context, it is worth adding a nice message on our packaging, which if we choose it to be environmentally friendly – like the paper delivery envelope that we create at Xenos Packaging – it will definitely leave a nice impression on our customers and will confirm that we are environmentally aware, have adopted an ecological consciousness and have incorporated the concept of sustainability into our sales mentality.
#4 The Best Advertisement
We mentioned the fact that in this day and age, social media is dominant. Our customers, some more and some less, are constantly sharing content and, especially, photos via Facebook and Instagram and “unboxing” videos on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, etc. Therefore, the simple but nice e-shop packaging of our product will definitely be the focus of photos and videos that our customers post for their family, friends and all kinds of followers. Immediately, our brand, product and shipping packaging will be promoted – without any effort and selling costs on our part – to new customers.
In addition to the internet, however, beautiful packaging will benefit us through the oldest and arguably most effective form of marketing: word of mouth. A customer who receives good packaging from us will tell their own people and may even keep the packaging (with our branding) for longer or choose to recycle it. Don’t forget, the bag is a marketing tool!
What Points to Focus upon When Choosing E-shop Packaging
- The materials that express ourselves and our business.
- Beautiful colors.
- The details – such as tissue paper, wrapping paper and ribbons – that will make us stand out from our competitors and gain the attention and trust of our customers.
- The kind messages to our customers. A thoughtful message from us, words like “thank you”, which we would say face-to-face to our customers help us show that we respect them, treat them with courtesy, and appreciate them for choosing us. Simply put, we will surely put a smile on their face and make their day.
The e-shop packaging you choose is your mirror and we want to assure you that at Xenos Packaging we are first of all committed to your reflection.