Companies work hard to ensure their products are appealing to the purchaser, be it online or physical. Getting the sale is the first major step to brand loyalty. Great packaging, great photography or a great design can draw the consumer in, making them buy into the brands lifestyle, ethos and quality. (For more information on Innovative Packaging click here)
However, that is only the first step if you want to maximise the chance of a repeat purchase and gain an ambassador for your brand. The second step is how well will the product fair on the shelves or in the postal system. If it starts to look tired or battered, this will have an impact on the consumer experience, so attention to detail when selecting packaging is vital, as is testing.
The third step relates to the first two steps. When an item arrives, not only must it be in mint condition, but it must also meet expectations. For instance, a standard bar of soap with little fragrance will not enthral the person opening it. Expectations need to be met to ensure the consumer not only buys into the brand but is also content with the overall experience they receive. Managing expectations is all part of the design process.
The fourth and often overlooked step is longevity and suitability. If someone buys a plastic pouch of shower gel, but when they come to use it, they discover that it is too tough to rip open by hand or too slippery to handle when wet, then they will be disappointed and unlikely to re-purchase or recommend. Often over familiarity with a product can prevent the supplier from seeing the whole buy-to-use chain from the consumer’s perspective. This can ultimately mean that they may miss out vital elements such as detailed instructions, comprehensive testing of the products life cycle or researching the purchaser’s expectations. These four steps are key to achieving a positive consumer experience.