shipping

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I’m back with a packaging review! It’s been a while, but since I had never ordered from Colourpop before, it seemed like a good time to get back into these posts.

I ordered a palette when they had a sale, and it arrived within a few days. Let’s take a look.

Customized with the sticker, but it doesn’t appear to be a custom envelope.

Here’s a look at the back, and also at the bubble-wrapped package contents.

Out of the bubble wrap, we have a little Colourpop catalog/brochure, the packing list, and the palette in its outer box.

Here’s the inside of the brochure and a shot of the very cute note that was also included.

Spoiler alert – this is my favorite thing in this blog post. They label the palette with release dating! Every company should do this!

The front of the All I See is Magic palette. Unfortunately, you can see that some shadow has escaped the palette and smudged on the outer cover of the palette.

Sadly, this is a bit worse on the inside of the palette. There are issues on some of the individual shadows as well. I don’t know if this is because the palette wasn’t padded enough in shipping, or if the formula of the eyeshadows is such that they are fragile and that this is to be expected, no matter the padding for shipment.

This is the back of the palette. This is the thing that bothers me the most. I can accept that there is a cost savings in not printing eyeshadow names on the inside of the palette. These names are on the back of the palette, but the issue is that it is confusing when you have to flip it over to get the names, because if the shade name is behind where it actually lives in the palette is probably not the name?(The color descriptions on the website do clear this up.)

This could be improved in a few ways:

  • If possible, make it work so that the color names can be printed on the inside of the palette
  • Use photos of the actual shades on the sticker on the back to ID colors, to avoid the confusion of the layout
  • Put this sticker on the inside of the palette! These palettes don’t often have mirrors, so the sticker could just be placed there for ease in seeing the shadow names

The back of the palette box has the same information as on the sticker on the back of the actual palette. This all could be a little bit better. Again, I know that Colourpop is known for being budget-friendly for great quality, but I would still prefer that they identify issues like this and work it out so that the experience of their brand is just that much better.

I think Colourpop is a really interesting brand, and they appear to be growing like crazy, so I’m hopeful that they can address issues like these while still being able to maintain the tenets of their brand that has brought them to their current place in the market.

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I have written about Parabo Press products in the past. I have tried out two different companies to have Instagram prints done, and this one has a lovely product. I received a message about a free set of prints (I paid for the shipping), and placed an order. I received the following email alerting me to my Parabo Press shipment.

The content of this email is good – I love the reference to the obsessive tracking that some of us definitely do while waiting for online orders. Where it goes wrong for me is significant though, because this is a shipping confirmation email.

The tracking link is under “Square Prints” in a larger, bold font. It isn’t immediately obvious that this is the link to my tracking information. I would MUCH prefer that this link said something different, even a “click here to track your order” would be fine. In addition, there needs to be some spacing between the listing of the item I bought and the link for my shipping.

Another strange addition is “if you are not going to be present leave a note with your signature so we can leave your order.” I don’t remember ever getting this kind of messaging from any other company, and while I appreciate the warning that I might have a FedEx door sticker in my future, it is in no way clear or helpful.

Here’s how I would change this email:

Once I clicked the link in this email, I was taken to the Parabo Press Aftership page. Aftership is another company that e-commerce companies can use to better present their shipping information to customers. I do not know if my problems with the shipping page is specific to Aftership, or if my issue is with how Parabo Press is customizing the Aftership page.

Let’s look at the page I see when I click the shipping link:

It’s a very simple page, as you can see. I have more issues here:

  • The tracking number is not a link to the tracking information available via FedEx.com. I understand that part of the point of using Aftership as a service is to translate tracking into a single page that better aligns with your brand, but I don’t see an issue with having this link open a new tab.
  • The “view tracking history” is a link to expand the page, but it isn’t very clear! It isn’t underlined, it doesn’t feature an arrow or another symbol that would indicate clearly and prominently that all of the information from FedEx is being translated into this Aftership page.

Here’s how I would update this page.

Why have such a service in place if you aren’t going to utilize it in a way that is clear and easy to use?

I would love to know more about the decisions made by companies with regard to things like this. Is “good enough” really good enough? It just isn’t impressive or surprising, and Parabo Press makes a lovely product. To me, it is disappointing that a company would have good focus on their product quality, but don’t necessarily have the same commitment to a quality experience throughout the purchase process.

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BeardBro Packaging | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on February 2, 2017

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An ad on Facebook totally worked on me, and I purchased a BeardBro for Will’s Christmas stocking. When I received my shipment, I was so incredibly happy with the packaging. I had just been through it with the NYX order packing issues, so this was a welcome change.

Tiny and perfect. This is the opposite of what I experienced with NYX. For a moment, I wanted to chalk it up to the BeardBro people only selling one thing, but it turns out that they sell a variety of items, so hopefully they are this efficient with all of their shipped packages.

My only wish is that these could have some sort of fun branding or identifying marks.

Of course, the BeardBro comes with an instruction manual.

My favorite part of this is the mention of the BeardBro YouTube channel, because watching a video has to be easier than trying to read along while you shave.

Shout out to Melbourne! I went to college with many people from the Melbourne area.

This is the product sleeve. The design and branding here is great. I love a subtle logo image in the background, instead of plain grey.

Looking at this item, you can see that the square sleeve is ideal.

I think I sort of offended my husband with this purchase, as he has yet to use the BeardBro. I will continue to hold out hope.

The BeardBro is available here.

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The Body Shop | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on April 4, 2013

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This post was born from a need to replace a tube of The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector that I think I had for around 5 years. It was finally time to reorder, so naturally, I documented the process.

Shopping

I really like the homepage navigation callout for “What’s Hot” menu choices. These are also available in the top nav bar, but I think the immediate recognition of what is most popular is fantastic. As I’ve mentioned before, I also really like a clear and prominent mention of what I have to do to get free shipping. It’s right at the top!

My first menu choice was Skin Care/Top Rated.

Other than not seeing the relation between the description and the section name, I really like the simple and unobtrusive headers.

After adding some face wash to my cart from the Top Rated section, I used Shop Ingredients/Hemp as my next menu choice. I REALLY like the Shop Ingredients option. I think this is especially appropriate for The Body Shop.

The header on this page (the section header, not the overall site header) is great, showing a group shot of the collection, and a great description of the Hemp line of products.

I don’t find much fault with the individual product pages. Super clear, great product information. Reviews are easy to find, and the page takes into account that I already have something in my cart and tells me how much more to spend to get free shipping. I love how right underneath that, it’s also telling me how much I WILL have to pay for shipping if I don’t reach the predetermined free shipping amount.

Added to my cart. Pretty basic, and really selling that free shipping option.

I decided to check out the full shipping page, and WOW, I love this. The information given here is really precise and detailed. This is when they will be processing orders, this is how long each step takes, this is an explanation of the information you will receive—I find this very impressive.

Checkout

This was my cart. Simple layout, easy to add additional items, there is information on the loyalty program, and as before, an indication of how much more to spend for free shipping. I had what I needed so I decided to pay the $5.95. I certainly will not forget that any future purchases from The Body Shop will have free shipping if I spend more than $50. I do wish that the link to the shipping information was not grouped in with the Verisign logo. I had completely missed that and my proofreader caught it. I completely glossed over it, and when I went back to click it, it opens the shipping info in the same window, which is a pet peeve of mine. Don’t make your users leave the page from which they buy things.

Three customer types! However, my issue with guest checkout is this: Since you have to hand over a bunch of information to make a purchase, why would you not simply create an account? It’s maybe 1 or 2 additional fields. I’m guessing there is enough data regarding page abandonment when people think they have to create an account to justify telling them that they don’t have to. As always, wishing I had access to statistics.

I see this all the time now, and appreciate the step to make my order more shipping-friendly.

All of the checkout information is on one page, which is expected at this point. I especially like this more than the tabbed versions I see where it makes it difficult to look back at your previous steps. I do wish there was a link to that amazing shipping information page in the shipping section, or a pop-up containing it, because it is incredibly helpful.

I do not understand how a website that has been so well-designed wouldn’t give you the option to also print a receipt. I see that I’ll receive something in my inbox, but I don’t think the effort for a printed receipt is too tricky.

I really like the social sharing option for shopping. It’s more of a “why not” than a “why” at this point.

Here’s my email confirmation. It is clear here that if I did not create an account during checkout, I will have to rely solely on emails to track my order. This is another instance where I wish I had access to a company’s data on how many guest checkouts they have in comparison to those with accounts.

Packaging

My package arrived 6 days after my order was placed.

Although the box seems to have taken a bit of a hit during transport, I’m still pleased. I also really like the customization on the outside. I had to go back to the website to find out what Wood Positive meant. The site says that The Body Shop is committed to growing more wood than is used in their packaging.

Here’s the open box. Note the folded packing list, which arrived in fine condition. The customized packaging continues on the inside as well.

Here’s a shot of the interior printing on the box.

I found this stamp on the packing list. Someone with a number packed my order with care. I find this to be a good way to suggest personal handling without the issues that might come along with sharing someone’s name. This hasn’t stopped Neiman Marcus though.

Here is a helpful message about product delivery and easy instructions on finding return information.

There should be little bubble hearts around this image, because this packaging was SO nice. Yes, that is basic brown paper, but The Body Shop has taken the time to very securely wrap my items, and add a little extra touch with the logo sticker. This is what this project is about. The Body Shop has taken completely standard packaging materials and made me really happy because of the extra effort to treat my purchase this well.

The last image from the package opening experience. My not-too-delicate items, packaged in a lovely cocoon of basic brown packing paper. Sure, I like fancier wrapping too, but The Body Shop has made their mission to not be wasteful with packaging very clear, and they’ve done wonderful things with the packaging materials they have chosen.

Report Card

Other than some small issues, The Body Shop performed incredibly well. I will definitely be going back for more!

As always, I am interested in comments on this post and also suggestions for sites to shop on in the future for the project. Thanks for reading!

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