The Post-Purchase Silent Salesman – 4 Things You Need to Know

Ever heard of the term: ‘the Silent Salesman’?

No, we're not talking about the voice inside your heard involuntarily convinces you on an impulse purchase.

It's the indirect influence that packaging and merchandising exerts on the customer's purchasing behaviour, in order to drive sales whilst minimising the input of a sales person. And more and more businesses are realising it's hidden powers.

  1. Understand the Importance of Your Silent and Walking Salesman

The potential to tap into new customers may already be in your customer's hands, ie, the retail shopping bag. In an era where markets are cluttered with competitors and media, we need to find new ways to differentiate our business and approach all available avenues linked to our consumer’s experience. Statistics tells us that the average shopper can be exposed to 20 000 more products in a shopping visit that may last less than 30 minutes; which can inevitably lead to unplanned purchases.

So how can we do this?

One answer is: recognising, developing and improving our silent salesman - our packaging - as important driver for sales.

That bags reminds consumers of the brand and [therefore] it should look like the store. It is all involved in what we call the customer experience" spoken by Chris Turbyfill, executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Design Packaging.

If you’re yet to understand it's power, think about this: how well do you think your customers remember your business, aside from the level of service or what they purchased? It is important to increase branding consistency across all available avenues, to make a lasting impression with your customers. A perfect example of how well a brand became iconic for its favourable brand associations is Bloomingdale’s Brown Shopping bag.

Image Credit: Nick Ferrari

Marvin S. Traub, who was CEO and Chairman of Bloomingdale, deliberately left the store name off the bag completely. Notorious for the name ‘Big Brown Bag’, it became born from the need of the eco-conscious. The Big Brown lettering appealed to its ‘chic and smart’ image, overall making the ordinary shopping bag “[…] a piece of advertising that our customers proudly exhibit walking down the street, going to the market, at the airport and in countless other scenarios extending beyond shopping at Bloomingdale's” (Executive Vice President of Creative Services Jack Hruska)

  1. Let your brand image immerse!

“That bag needs to reflect the imagery and feel of the brand […] and when consumers go home and put the bag on the table, it is a subtle reminder of what happened in the store.”

Something we often disregard or pay less attention to, is the fact that the experience of the customer does not stop after the point of purchase. It extends beyond this. While the salesperson may be in-store, the 'Silent Salesman' travels with the customer, all the way home. This is best demonstrated by customised retail shopping bags, and how they significantly enhance brand awareness.

Many companies underutilise the brand building possibility of their retail shopping bag. Packaging design is not only for luxury businesses; all businesses who understand the importance of brand identity will invest in a bag that customers won't want to throw away (which also means your brand stays with them).

Your ultimate goal here is wanting your customers and non-customers to be drawn by your intricate packaging design, and you want them to know how it feels and ultimately where it came from. Give them the opportunity to notice your brand, re-use them, and with the power of social media, these customers will become potential influencers. With the growing hype of sharing images across Social Media, an attractive and exciting bag will help your brand will prosper.

  1. Understand the Behaviours of your Customers

While it's true that your retail bag may only serve one function, that is, to protect products and be a means for transportation of your merchandise. Some of your customers however, want to do their environmental part to the world and re-use their bag.

Plastic bags are not biodegradable and are a non-renewable source, which ultimately causes drastic harm for our marine life in particular. Paper bags can predominantly increase your chances of customers re-using your bags because, to them, it is convenient and also environmentally friendly (click here to see why).

Furthermore, customising your paper bag and creating an attractive appearance of your retail shopping bag will enhance your shopper’s consideration, and ultimately provides your customers more reason to re-use the bag.

To rethink your retail shopping bag design, you first need to carefully analyse the behaviour and expectations of your customers. Not only does your bag need to achieve its utilitarian purpose of protection and convenience, it needs to connect and engagement your target market to inevitably encourage re-use and act as a walking billboard.

  1. Online Presence – Get on Instagram!

A primarily important touch-point of customer behaviour is their social media presence. We’ve mentioned before in a previous post that a powerful marketing tool to successfully promote your retail shopping bag and interact with your customers is through Instagram, or better seen as the visual word-of-mouth.

Business activity on Instagram has reached an all-time high, with a huge emphasis in communicating the brand in a single snapshot. Creating attractive images that showcase your branding will inevitably encourage your customers to share their excitement and anticipation to their own follower base. This ultimately gives you the potential to grow a large social following on your Instagram profile and thereon.

In future, we will go into depth on how to enhance your social media presence through customised packaging design, however do not hesitate to begin exploring the midst of Instagram’s potential right away.

Here at Gispac, we strive to understand your business needs and deliver packaging that sets you apart. Connect with us on Instagram by searching @Gispac or contact us so we can show to you how we can make your silent salesman more powerful.

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