Online Shoes Masters the Box Step

MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT THREE YEARS AGO RAN AN ARTICLE TITLED “THE BOX STEP.” This refers to the catalog box dance — the happy jig customers do, hopefully, when a catalog or web order arrives and they are getting ready to open the package.

The article covered the appearance of the shipping box, inserts, packing material, branding and service strategies and more. “Every catalog or web marketer shipping goods to customers has the opportunity to make magic when the order shipment arrives,” according to author Lois Brayfield.

An MCM staffer thought about the box step when she received a parcel from web merchant OnlineShoes.com. She had ordered a pair of rainboots in January to prepare for when the mounds of piled up snow started melting. Not the most exciting purchase, but she was ready to do a happy dance when the box arrived at her doorstep.

It wasn’t just that she received the boots quickly-although that was a bonus. It was also the shipping box, which instead of standard brown corrugated was a bright orange and had a white ribbon design embossed on it to make it look like a present. The outer box is a branding opportunity and a way to get the customer pumped about what’s inside. OnlineShoes goes one better by capturing part of the excitement of shopping online or through a catalog: When the order arrives, it always feels like you’re getting a present.

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