Tips for Branding and Packaging for Online Merchants

There is no denying it: branding and packaging are an integral part of every business. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product or service in the world—if your branding or packaging is lacking, then your potential for success is lacking, too.

Companies who value and invest in their branding are sending out a message about who they are as a company, what they stand for and what kind of value you can expect from them. There is no substitute for quality branding and packaging, especially for those companies who utilize online shopping.

For those that don’t know, online merchants are usually responsible for all of the retail aspects of a business, which operates exclusively online. They often juggle many different hats when it comes to their job including managing inventory, creating marketing strategies, shipping online orders and balancing finances.

To help impress and potentially increase your online sales and dedicated consumers, online merchants should consider these tips for effective branding and packaging:

Incorporate Social Media

Today’s companies wouldn’t have many of their sales and customers if it weren’t for social media. Many online shoppers rely on social media platforms to learn about a company and their products, and often companies can gain the trust of shoppers simply by maintaining a professional and unique online presence.

Social media platforms allow companies to share products, sales and reviews, but they also allow companies to show off their branding. A consumer can learn a lot about a company and its values simply by viewing their Instagram or reading their recent tweets. This is where online merchants can really showcase a company’s ethics, goals and direction and intrigue consumers with the same mindsets and values.

When it comes to packaging, companies have the opportunity to use this real estate as an advertising ground for their social media platforms. Durable, quality labeling is key here, to quickly inform buyers that the company is interactive and easily accessible on various platforms. Not only does this make a company more available, but it also gives happy consumers the chance to give a company free advertising! Approximately 40% of happy online customers will take photos of packaging that is attractive or “gift-like” and share it on their social media, so this tactic is not to be skipped. 

Packaging Should Reflect Your Brand

Online merchants should know that branding should carry throughout the different components of a company, whether that be on their website, on their social media or on the packaging of their mailed products. Branding tactics include memorable logos, specific color themes, recognizable packaging and even quotes or slogans.

This means that online merchants need to think of new and unique ways to make a company stand out. A company that wants to be known for offering only sustainable products might carry that over into their packaging as well. E.g. Having their packaging made out reusable or recyclable items, or having second-chance packaging that can be utilized for something else. 

Package Functionality

A company might be selling delicious teas and accessories, but shoving them into bubble wrap and sending them off in a blank box isn’t going to get people excited about the product inside. When online merchants are working on packaging, it should end up being a package that suits the size and structure of the item, and which is just as thoughtfully designed as the contents inside.

For example, a company that sells teas and accessories might consider a smaller, more functional box that is decorated in designs that reflect the flavors inside. The packaging might also take the shape of a tea kettle and have recipe suggestions for baked good to go with the tea. Being smart about packaging can also be beneficial to increasing sales when the packaging is unique enough to be presented as a gift for a friend. 

If your branding is simple, keep the packaging simple. If it’s bright, then make the wrapping bright! Whatever your brand might be, make sure that packaging will make sense to consumers and that they’ll recognize a package from you right away. 

Be Creative

When it comes to having an online store, standing out is key. There are more than 12 million stores online, which means your niche is likely to have some competition. While functionality is important for your packaging, you also want it to stand out. 

Being creative is going to be one of the key components of having an effective online store. Every day companies are coming out with fun ways to present their merchandise and to excite customers about receiving their orders. Whether your tactic is to use graphics, second chance packaging or personalized letters, find something about your packaging that is distinct to your brand and that customers will appreciate.

All About Labeling

When it comes down to it, even the plainest cardboard box can be dressed up into a piece of artwork with great labeling. If your business isn’t quite ready for a new packaging shape or design, labeling can be your most effective tool for all kinds of things.

Keep in mind how far your parcels travel and what kind of elements they’ll be subjected to before the reach their destination. Investing in weatherproof labels might be a smart investment for a company whose parcels travel long distances, since no customer wants to receive a package that is unidentifiable, has tarnished labels or that is missing all of the personalized labels you’ve invested in.

Use labeling to inform consumers about what is inside their gift, use it to advertise your social media or use them to write personalized letters or themed jokes. The options with labeling are endless, and you can even switch up the use of labels so that each package is unique to the consumer. 


Whatever your company’s main message happens to be, you should always try to incorporate this throughout all of your business’s different parts. Online merchants can use branding and packaging to intrigue new consumers and to tell them more about the company before they decide to make any purchases. In today’s world of ecommerce, online merchants have a role that is more important than ever, and it’s imperative to recognize how important effective branding is, all the way from a simple tweet to a unique package showing up on a doorstep for the first time. 

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