Seller Handbook

Advice and inspiration for successfully running your Etsy shop

Seller Handbook

Leaving Your Mark With Packaging and Promotional Materials

Tips for creating a memorable experience for shoppers with your product labels, marketing materials and more.

By Etsy Staff Jun 10, 2018
Photo by The Small Object

Whether you’re in the early stages of establishing your business or looking to expand into wholesale, a strategic approach to packaging and promoting your products offline is key. The physical assets you develop are a concrete extension of the quality and care you take with your products. “A memorable branded experience also makes it easier for customers to recall the people they've ordered from in the past,” says stamp maker and illustrator Sarah Neuburger of The Small Object. “Even if they don’t remember your name, they will recall the look and feel of their order, and they'll be much more likely to return.”

Reflecting your brand promise and design palette in each piece of your offline marketing will cultivate a cohesive, recognizable presence for your shop. Consider the impact and impression each component will have on your target market: Will incorporating eco-friendly shipping materials help illustrate your focus on sustainability? Is your primary audience compelled by minimalist, social-media-ready product packaging? What in-person resources can you develop that will delight potential shoppers and keep your business top of mind? Read on for ideas to elevate your product presentation and build your brand following.

Prioritize product labels

As you send your items off into the world, labels make your products easily recognizable for gift recipients and appreciative passerby, enabling fans to track down your business long after the initial sale. The format will vary depending on the nature of the products you're selling and how you plan to communicate your brand to customers.

Examples of label options include:

  • Custom stamps
  • Stickers
  • Fabric labels
  • Engraved metal tags
  • Paper hang tags

Take care with packaging

Product packaging plays a variety of roles, from ensuring the integrity of your product during shipping to providing a brand-aligned first impression of your products. It can also provide an opportunity to share information about the use or care of your products, along with materials or ingredients, sizing information, and quantity where applicable. Boxes, cellophane bags, or cardboard backing can provide an excellent foundation for stickers or stamps that communicate relevant information to shoppers while presenting your items professionally.

Sarah Neuburger of The Small Object creates custom wrapping paper and product labels based on her recognizable illustrations, adding a personal, memorable touch.

Keep in mind that if you’re interested in selling wholesale, your packaging may need to meet certain retailer criteria, like labels listing explicit product details, holes for easy hanging, or a crush-proof exterior that will keep your products safe while in transit. Read How to Brand and Package Your Products for Wholesale for more tips.

Hone your marketing materials

Creating business cards and supplemental marketing materials is an exciting step in the branding process, giving your buyers more opportunities to connect and share your shop with their friends. When it comes to creating everything from thank-you notes to “About Us” postcards, Sarah recommends thinking about the kind of marketing materials you’ve enjoyed receiving as a customer. “Remember what made you feel special and excited when you opened a package or took home a purchase,” she suggests. “Try to emulate some of those experiences.”

For The Small Object orders, Sarah includes a business card and a small reusable item with every shipment. “I recently created a ‘You’re Awesome’ note that mentions my name, which buyers can pass on to a friend or coworker,” says Sarah. She also includes a printed note explaining the origins of her business to help build a relationship between her and her customers.

When Barbara Romankiewicz of Salzburg, Austria-based jewelry shop Belle Accessoires ships out orders, she includes a printed card with a photo of her production process on the front, and her business name, website and social media information on the reverse side. She also slips a handwritten thank-you note into each order. “I want the customer to see that there is a real human behind my brand, making each piece by hand,” says Barbara.

Consider materials for in-person events

When selling in person, many of your core marketing materials will remain unchanged—business cards and product labels should remain a priority. Although developing booth signage can take time to hone, keeping your established brand imagery and color palette in mind is helpful. “I use a wooden laser-cut logo, which looks elegant and fits perfectly on the table alongside my wooden products,” Barbara says.

To package purchases for in-person shoppers, Barbara uses stark white bags with black logo stickers to build recognition as customers carry their new treasures around the rest of the market. Within the bags, she includes a business card and care instructions for relevant products. Social media information is another great addition to in-person signage, helping potential customers remain connected with your business long after the craft fair has ended.

Branded stickers, bags and business cards are all important tools for Barbara’s in-person selling events, along with her laser-cut wooden logo.

It’s common to evolve and refine these pieces as your shop grows. While exploring various materials and formats, remember to factor individual costs into your overall pricing formula. If you have the space and funds to order product packaging in bulk, it’s often the most economical and expedient option.

Continue reading > Case Study: Curating a Cohesive Vintage Shop

Go back > The Ultimate Guide to Branding

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