What’s Next in Shipping Labels?

Colorized deals, vibrant images, QR codes and special promotions can help shipping labels stand out and capture customers’ attention. Image courtesy of Epson America, Inc.

How Color Can Change the Game

By Tessa Kohl, Product Manager of DX Solutions at Epson America, Inc.

Businesses are always looking for creative and affordable methods to grow revenue and build customer loyalty. With this comes an opportunity to think about ways to color outside the lines.

The standard shipping label, while functional, traditionally is not an intriguing or eye-catching aspect of packaging. As businesses take a deeper look at reimagining how to leverage the tools at their disposal, there is an opportunity to use shipping labels in new ways and to their benefit.

Adding color to traditional black-and-white shipping labels can reinvigorate the standard shipping label and help draw attention to key data on labels – for both operations teams who are responsible for managing packages and shipments, as well as customers who receive the packages. Below are some ways businesses can transform a boring shipping label and make it their own – bursting with both color and opportunity – to help elevate the brand and build customer loyalty.

Adding eye-catching ads and coupons to shipping labels can boost engagement. Image courtesy of Epson America, Inc.

Branding

Important to any business, branding helps define a company’s identity and makes it stand out from competitors that sell similar products. The package receipt and unboxing experience is a critical part of the ecommerce customer journey and can impact that overall branding feel.

By adding brand colors, design elements, or a logo or brand asset to a shipping label, ecommerce retailers can help ensure brand visibility and consistency, without the hassle and expense of fully customized packaging.

Coupons

Coupons are a tried-and-true marketing tactic – no matter the size of a business. With coupons, companies can introduce customers to new offerings, cross-promote, help sell excess inventory, and encourage customers to buy profitable products to help boost profit margins. Coupons can also create loyalty with existing customers by using the discount as an incentive to both thank them for their business as well as ensure they continue to return and purchase more goods. In fact, a report by Coupon Donkey estimated that over half of consumers made an unplanned purchase solely because of a coupon or discount.

Adding coupons to the outside of the box can help skip the hassle and cost of adding marketing inserts. Automating the addition of marketing materials can reduce human error associated with manually choosing the matching insert for each package. In addition, including a color coupon on a shipping label can catch the customer’s attention immediately and encourage future buying.

Businesses can use color on shipping labels to provide clear instructions for packages that need special or expedited processing. Image courtesy of Epson America, Inc.

Secondary labels

In shipping, secondary labels can improve processes and highlight critical information to provide clear instructions for packages that need special handling, such as fragile and caution labels or urgent next day air notices. Adding color to a secondary label can help reduce associated material and labor costs while improving shipping processes.

For example, logistics can be improved with on-label instructions and material costs can be reduced for regulatory labeling. Adding a custom phrase in color on shipping labels can also call out delivery urgency, such as overnight shipping, which helps to drive accuracy in package handling. Businesses can also easily identify which delivery vendor they are using by tying them to a color code, for simplified internal tracking.

Dynamic content

Highlighting critical information on shipping labels can provide clear instructions for packages that need special or expedited processing. With a solution designed to specifically add color to shipping labels, messaging can easily be added, modified or highlighted based on the customer’s location or delivery date.

For example, if dedicated holidays or annual sales are coming up, companies can add specific labels for promotions, coupons or print advertisements to the shipping label. Or if a customer is in a specific location, perhaps a business can include important regulatory or state-specific information on the label.

Conclusion

There is an untapped opportunity – and a colorful future – for shipping labels. Businesses can create new opportunities for marketing, reduce material and labor costs, and streamline operations by reimagining their shipping labels and adding a bit of color to stand out.

About the Author

Tessa Kohl is the product manager for DX Solutions at Epson, working to expand Epson’s digital offerings across color label and point-of-sale solutions.  Learn more at: www.epson.com/labelboost

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