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Shoe Shopping From Home
Learning of the Month
Learning Objectives
Analyze how e-commerce packaging can influence your buying decisions
Investigate material and design elements when unboxing your (shoe) packaging
Examine the correlation of quality between the packaging and the products within

So, the other day I needed some shoes. I went online to check them out, and I was given the option of selecting up to three shoes that I might want, and, without paying for them, I ordered them and they arrived in this box.

And now I have the opportunity to check them out, try them on, and I have seven days to make a decision.

So, let's see how packaging can influence your decision, pre-purchase, in your own home.

By the end of this short lesson, you will be able to:

  • Analyze how e-commerce packaging can influence your buying decisions 

  • Investigate material and design elements when unboxing your (shoe) packaging 

  • Examine the correlation of quality between the packaging and the products within

Alright, so look how they came. These look like ordinary shoe boxes, which they are. They got some dunnage off to the side.

Let's take them out. This one looks nice. Now they all cost different, but the price tag is not here, so that becomes a little interesting to really know which one is greater value.

This one's nice. Got some gold foil on it. And here's another one, and here's another one. This one seems pretty bare bones. I've got the product size, product details here, but this one over here just is a little level up. There's a little claim and it really does stand out. It is high contrast. And this one, this one looks totally different. I've got, instead of, you know, one piece design here, I have a two piece design. I've got foil, I've got a different color, I've got foil out here. I've got a nice, something that's standing out and, you know, some icon, nice claim, still have the product information on the outside.

So, clearly one of these looks different than the rest. And this one over here seems to be, there's something a little bit more special, and over here it kind of feels, you know, as I would've expected. Maybe it's a good, better, best.

So, this is what we have. And when we're looking straight down on this, there are some differences. These corrugated containers themselves are of the same material, but this one has a rollover. There's just a nicer finish. Look at this. You see this really nice rollover finish compared to the exposed corrugations and different materials. It just comes across a little bit different, and it does make a difference.

The shoes themselves are wrapped in paper. So we've got paper here, another full wrap of paper here, but there's something just a little bit different here. Look at this. It's branded—got a branded paper. And you know, my first instinct is like—I wonder if it's a higher quality shoe, right? It's just different in this stack. 

There's also a divider from each. So, we're going here for the . . . for what appears to be less premium. It's just a piece of one, one sided board, kind of just kinda just folded, stuck in there. Over here, instead of being folded, it's just a single sheet. So, there's a little bit of difference here, but same brand. When looking here, I have double white, so it's just a little bit of an upgrade here.

Let's look at the products themselves and see if there's any major differences. So, let’s go ahead and unbox these guys.

In terms of the product, it's the same style of shoe. We're just going, what appears to be, from good, better, best. And let's see that.

We've already seen that in the primary packaging, but what about just in the packing of the product? I'm gonna go for these bare ones. They have, like a paper straw, really. It's just a paper tube that's going in and it's holding the shoes up with wadded up paper. So we've got this here. And what I like about this is that it's a hundred percent recyclable. I could toss all of this in the recycling center. Next up is, it looks very similar. I still have these paper tubes, but they're much more stout. If you can see here, it’s much thicker and it still bends, but this one definitely came deformed. These ones look really good, really straight, but definitely more sturdy and stout. Let's pull out and see what they have protecting these shoes. It's different. I have a wadded piece of paper, but on top of it I've got a formed piece of paper and there's no coating on it. It's just, it looks like it's just been pressed and formed, definitely different—maybe it holds up the shoe a little bit better. But definitely when comparing, there certainly is a difference. We'll see these premium shoes here. Now the premium shoes don't have anything pushing onto the back, but they certainly have a different way of holding up these shoes. Kind of snug in there. Well, look at that. This is significantly different. We've got a fully molded pulp which is recyclable in the paper waste stream. So, this actually had a tool around it and this is a pulp option, you know, a really nice one-piece. There's a big difference here. 

So, in the future context of making a decision, when the marketplace comes to you, we're gonna see a lot more of that in the future of the products coming into a home and then you're trying them on and looking at them, and you'll be making these types of decisions. Little tiny things can make or break a decision because I haven't paid for these now, and now I still have seven days to try them all out to see which one I want. But the packaging certainly had an impression. They were very different. There were much more premium materials used throughout that entire unboxing process, including as it went directly on into the product protection.

So, as you're thinking about your products and thinking about the future of the marketplace where you and your competition, or maybe even within your own product portfolio, are here side-by-side, how are you using packaging to communicate the quality of the product as we go from good, better, to best.

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