Building and sustaining customer satisfaction in eCommerce goes beyond providing quality products at favorable prices. That is, of course, vital to a brand’s success, but today, you must impress shoppers at every touchpoint to maintain a positive image and stay top-of-mind. According to a study conducted by Package InSight, the materials used in eCommerce packaging play a significant role in creating customer excitement. More specifically, the study revealed that tissue paper creates a more pleasant experience than materials like air pillows and Kraft paper void-fill. Thus, including tissue paper as one of the materials used in your online order packaging can improve consumer satisfaction, leading to increased sales revenue driven by repeat purchases.

Tissue Paper Boosts Emotional Attachment

Package Insight used emotion-mapping technology (non-conscious biometric data gathering) to analyze the reactions of the respondents – Clemson University Alumni – throughout the entire study. Each participant was provided with a package containing the same item; aside from the internal packaging, all items were identical. The results showed that tissue-clad packages elicited not only the highest volume of positive emotions, but those emotions were enjoyed for the longest duration. This emotional response was exceptionally apparent when the tissue paper donned Clemson’s colors and tiger paw symbol. At the “moment of opening,” participants with packages containing branded tiger paw tissue displayed the highest incidence of joy (34%), with 77% of all respondents experiencing positive feelings at the sight of it. Conversely, air pillows garnered the highest incidence of anger during this time. What we saw at this stage was that branded tissue paper immediately hooks customers more than any other materials tested in the study, and using undesirable packing elements can creative a negative experience. They don’t say “first impressions last forever” for nothing. With so few touchpoints to offer online customers tangible interaction, compared to in-store, it’s so crucial to win them over in the earliest stages.  While branded tissue may not always be the least expensive of all packaging materials, the investment has shown to be worthwhile in the long term.

Participants’ preferences remained consistent for the rest of the interaction, as the tiger paw tissue held the highest incidence of all positive emotions (63%), whereas the highest percentage of participants experienced disgust and for Kraft paper void-fill and air pillows, respectively. Additionally, when asked if they’d be more likely to recommend a brand that took the time to wrap package contents in branded tissue paper, 41% of respondents said yes. Branded or not, eight of 10 participants reported that their overall experience was improved with tissue paper. Forty percent (40%) of participants who received tissue-clad packages also recalled high-end companies they have previously ordered from, such as Coach and J. Crew, using similar elements. This means that the packaging inspired good brand recall and that customers associate the use of this material in eCommerce packaging with some of the most popular upscale fashion brands.

There’s a scientific reason that branded, colored tissue paper creates these effects. Studies have concluded that creating an unboxing experience that replicates the act of receiving a gift causes elevated levels of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin in the brain. These neurochemicals are associated with feelings of excitement, anticipation and desire. By designing their packaging to resemble a gift, brands can elicit emotions among customers that would compel them to recreate the experience and the associated feelings. Adding branded elements to the materials ensures that these positive emotions are more closely associated with the brand. From an eCommerce standpoint, this translates to improved customer loyalty and more repeat purchases.

Use the Experience to Set Your Brand Apart

With the rapid growth of the eCommerce industry, it’s difficult for a brand to set itself apart from the competition. While product quality and price are vital factors, so too is the customer experience. In fact, a recent Walker study found that customer experience will soon become the key brand differentiator. Along with aesthetic appeal, the use of tissue paper in product packaging shows that the contents were cautiously handled by people with the proper attention instead of being sped through an assembly line. To this point, the majority of participants said that their overall impression of a brand improves if the contents are wrapped in colored or branded tissue paper, as it gives the impression that the brand cares. Though air pillows and Kraft paper void-fill can adequately protect products, they lack the personal touch that tissue-clad packages have. And as the assembly line approach becomes the norm in the online retail space, taking the time to hand-wrap package contents in colorful and/or branded tissue paper can give brands an edge over competitors. Where industry goliaths can more frequently offer free or same-day shipping, they often lack packaging finesse, and that’s exactly where emerging brands can compete. The more excited customers are by packaging, the more likely they are to make repeat purchases and become a brand evangelist. These emotions also build anticipation as the shoppers await the delivery of their next purchases, further boosting the value of the experience.

Tissue paper can also play a role in creating an environmentally conscious image for an eCommerce brand. Even if they’re recyclable, over-packing a box with air pillows or other unnecessary void-fill that ultimately is disposed of upon opening is wasteful. On the other end of the spectrum, 40% of respondents reported that they reuse tissue paper if it is in good condition. Using more easily recyclable and reusable materials can gain the favor of today’s conscious consumer. For example, 72% of millennial shoppers said they’d spend more money on brands that demonstrate social and environmental commitment. By using sustainable tissue paper instead of other less eco-friendly materials (sometimes in excess), eCommerce brands can show a greener side of their brand that appeals to eco-conscious consumers.

Seaman Paper recognizes the value added to an experience by utilizing colored and branded tissue paper. Through the SatinWrap™ Program, Seaman Paper offers premium-quality tissue paper in fashion colors, designer prints, and even one-of-a-kind specialty wrapping to excite customers and promote brand image. Created using fibers from responsibly managed forests and recycled fibers, all of Seaman Paper’s products are 100% recyclable, emphasizing our commitment to sustainability.

The unboxing experience serves as an opportunity to create a positive first impression and extend the brand experience into customers’ homes. Though it plays a significant role in bolstering an initial positive image among first-time shoppers, the value of tissue paper in eCommerce packaging extends well beyond the emotional attachment created when customers open their packages. To learn more about how branded and colored tissue paper can yield better retention, as well as perceptions of higher value and quality among online shoppers, download our white paper and infographic detailing the results of the study.

tissue paper creates emotional attachment