Guest Article by AMZ Advisers
One of the most exciting events for any shopper receiving a new product is the unboxing experience. Proof of this is the “Unboxing” trend, which emerged in the early 2000s on websites like Unbox.it and unboxing.com. People would use these platforms to upload videos of them opening a package that had just arrived and explain its features to viewers.
This was the start of a new approach to the art of packaging: Product Inserts.
Take a moment to learn more about how you can upgrade your customers’ unboxing experience on Amazon by using product inserts the right way.
What are Product Inserts?
Product inserts (also known as packaging inserts) come in the form of business cards or flyers and are added into packages before sending them to customers to either thank them for their purchase, sell other items in the catalog (cross-selling and upselling), or to give out a promo.
Over the years, these small cards have become very popular in the e-commerce world, and they turned out to be an effective strategy for creating brand loyalty and increase customer engagement with many Amazon sellers adding them to their FBA packages.
Why Are Product Inserts Helpful?
Amazon encourages small and medium-sized companies to satisfy their customers with new approaches to meet their expectations and needs. However, Amazon wants customers to have a good experience. That’s why in 2017 Amazon allowed customers to opt-out of emails from third-party sellers.
Email was previously a way for sellers to get customer feedback and reviews from customers. Our research shows that approximately 31% of customers on Amazon have opted out of emails. Furthermore, we typically see about 30% open rates on our customers email campaigns. That means you are only reaching about 20% of your total buyers to ask them for product feedback.
Product inserts can be a cost-effective way to reach every customer. Each package sent can help you increase your sales and create a closer relationship with your customers, as long as you comply with Amazon’s ToS.
What Type of Sellers Can Use Product Inserts as a Marketing Strategy?
Only Professional Sellers are allowed to add product inserts into packages. (In order to obtain brand registry, you must provide Amazon an image of your product packaging. So, make sure you have all of this figured out before attempting to add any product inserts into your packages.)
Amazon Sellers have two primary selling options: Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) or Fulfilment by Merchant (FBM).
The packaging requirements for both FBA Sellers and FBM Sellers are different.
FBA Sellers sell the product, and Amazon ships it. For this reason, they need to print the inserts and then insert them before sending products to Amazon’s warehouse. While for FBM Sellers it’s a lot easier. Since they fulfill their own orders, they can just add the inserts to each package and send it off to customers.
Since having branded packaging is one of the requirements to obtain your brand registry on Amazon, the last thing you want to do is to put your product into a clear poly bag with a barcode printed on it.
Follow these suggestions and get the most out of your packaging strategy:
1. Protect Your Product – Remember that packaging is the first impression a customer receives of your product. Most companies choose cost-effectiveness over quality when it comes to packaging, but as the saying goes “buy cheap, buy twice”—you don’t want your products to become damaged, so, make sure you use the right size and material that will keep your products safe and sound.
2. Go Green – If your packaging materials are recyclable, your customers will appreciate it. An eco-friendly business is a business anyone would trust.
3. Make Your Brand Visible – What’s the point of having a great logo if people can’t see it? Both your product and packaging must be clearly labelled, so your customers are certain that your company is reliable.
Creating a fully enjoyable experience for the customer will increase the effectiveness of your packaging insert. Whether you are asking for a review, feedback or a second purchase – guaranteeing a great buying experience is necessary to get your there.
Amazon Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions
Amazon commits itself to ensure the privacy and security of its users. Therefore, it has established a list of guidelines that you should always abide by before implementing any product insert marketing strategy.
These are some of the things you MUST avoid when using product inserts:
• Attempts to Divert Transactions or Buyers: Offering discounts to your product website in return for reviews or other channels that lead, prompt, or encourage Amazon users to leave the Amazon website is prohibited.
• Unauthorised and Improper Business Names: You should always use the business name that you registered on Amazon, and that you have the right to use, of course. Also, you are not allowed to use a business name that contains an email suffix. i.e., .com, .net.
• Improper Treatment of Customer Personal Information: If you are an FBM Seller, Amazon will give you access to customer phone numbers, names and addresses so that you can comply with label requirements. However, you will be required to adhere to certain policies to ensure you use customer information correctly. Do not try to customise product inserts or use personally identifiable information in a product insert.
Playing by The Rules with Amazon Product Inserts
Now that you are aware of some of the things you are NOT allowed to do regarding product inserts, here’s a clearer view of what you can do to make your product inserts useful:
• Promote other products from your Amazon store/catalogue
• Create a sense of urgency by letting the customer know about a limited-time offer and redirect them to Amazon, NOT to your company’s website
• Ask customers about their satisfaction level and offer them assistance through the order page (this is a great way to avoid negative reviews)
• Remind customers of your product benefits by including detailed instructions on how to use it
• Asking your customers to share a picture of them using your product on your social media is within Amazon guidelines, just remember: do not lead them to any other channels
Tips and Best Practices
These are few different strategies you could take with your packaging inserts. Each one can help you achieve different goals, so it is important to determine which is the best one for you.
Discount offers – you can use your product insert to offer a promotional discount if they purchase your product again. You can also use a discount to promote another product in your catalogue.
Product samples – Instead of using a card sample alone you could include a small sample size package of another product in your catalogue.
Thank-you cards and personal notes – this can help you increase customer satisfaction. Providing better customer service is always one way to increase the likelihood that someone will leave you a review.
Product review – You can ask a customer for a review however it cannot specify what type of review they should leave.
No matter what type of insert you decide to use, aim for it to be appealing to the eye, by:
• Using colours that are in-line with the ones that represent your brand
• Providing instructions that are easy to follow
• Not wasting valuable space by making letters or images too big
• Making sure your offers are attractive
• Adding time scarcity
Remember, the goal of product or mailing inserts is to improve customer experience. You should focus on trying to keep the customer satisfied and making them happy. That means you shouldn’t push them to take any action that they don’t want to voluntarily.
Product inserts are important because they allow you to exceed your customers’ expectations at a low cost. Think of them as the equivalent of receiving a gift with a note from a loved one. Everybody loves surprises, and the package has been shipped, so—you might as well take the risk.