In marketing, emphasis is often placed on the initial efforts to get a customer interested in a product or service. This is a natural part of the sales cycle, of course, but it tends to overshadow the very important aspect of repeat business and the contribution it makes to overall success.
Giving your customers the tools to easily return and purchase additional units of what your business offers is actually just as important as the advertising that brought them to you in the first place.
Competition is fierce in every corner of the market, which means that your rivals are always waiting for you to cut corners on details so that they can step in and triumph. If your customer runs out of your product and isn’t sure where to quickly get more, you’ve missed an opportunity to divert them from a search that may lead to sales for another company.
Making return and repurchase information readily available to customers also shows that your product comes from a company that anticipates customer needs, gaining you valuable positive consideration in the mind of the consumer.
Where to focus
Packaging is the first part of your product that the consumer sees, so this is an excellent place to put reordering information. Adding reorder information to the area that contains product information, ingredients, or usage instructions positions this subtle marketing cue where a customer is already inclined to look.
Think about the consumer who pulls out her large box of individually wrapped granola bars only to find that it is empty. Yes, the customer is confronted with an empty package, but she also has the means to remedy that in the same moment if reordering is easy. Always print reordering information on a durable part of the product’s packaging; this ensures the best chance of it remaining readable throughout the product’s life cycle.
What to include
Reordering information should obviously include the full model name and number, as well as a catalog name, website address, and phone number. Armed with the knowledge of what they are looking for and where to find it quickly, customers are more inclined to act rather than scribble the information on a to-do list.
To go a step further, include information on a compatible product, if appropriate, to reassure the customer that he or she is buying the correct item. For instance, stating that your printer ink cartridge is “compatible with models XYZ and ABC” eliminates confusion if your customer happens to own several printers. Simplifying longer model numbers with a shorter “quick reorder” code is also an excellent idea, if you’re able to incorporate it into your order management system.
What to avoid
Reordering information needs to be clearly labeled and consistent throughout your product line. If it appears to the left of the barcode, keep it to the left of the barcode on everything you produce to “train” customers where to look.
Don’t muddy the waters by placing a model number alongside a string of unrelated text or numbers; instead, ensure that each element of your packaging design is separate and distinct. Also, don’t scatter the information that complements the reordering process — the phone number and website address should be close to the model number so that they can be used at the same time.
Putting reordering information on your product packaging boosts sales and encourages an ever-expanding customer base. Calls to action can be set aside when a computer is turned off, a magazine is closed, or a television channel is changed, but reordering information withstands all of these classic opt-outs when it appears clearly, consistently and directly on the package.
Empower your customers by guiding them to product loyalty – with just a few short lines of text you’ll be setting up a powerful tool for repeat business. Don’t neglect this important business tool, or you can rest assured your competitors will pick up the slack.
Jeff Giedt is Vice President and General Manager of Pioneer Packaging, a division of the Heritage Pioneer Corporate Group.