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Web-only article:
Brown paper packages tied up with string may have been a few of Julie Andrews’ favorite things, but it turns out that if they’re looking for a lift in loyalty, marketing and awareness, online retailers may want to jazz up their boxes.

Research released last month by Dotcom Distribution finds that premium packaging -- defined as unique, gift-like branded boxes or bags -- can yield considerable returns. More than half (52 percent) of consumers are likely to make a repeat purchase from an e-retailer that delivers orders in premium packaging.

The study also finds that retailers gain awareness from consumers reusing branded bags or boxes in public. Three in 10 consumers have discovered a new brand after seeing a customer carrying the retailer’s packaging in public: Given that 90 percent of consumers re-use branded packaging, the opportunity is substantial.

Also not to be overlooked is the value of social media. Dotcom found that nearly four in 10 consumers would share a picture of an online delivery via social media if it came in a unique, branded or gift-like box; 83 percent of those consumers would do so on Facebook.

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