This blog is dedicated to a Lulu Direct feature we don’t talk about enough—White-Label Shipping for print-on-demand books.
White-label shipping is one of the features you requested the most, so let’s dig into what it is, how it works, and why you should be enthusiastic about using this option for your books and branding strategy.
What Does White-Label Shipping Mean?
White-Label means products (like books, calendars, etc.) are sold and shipped featuring your personal brand on the shipping receipt. When a customer receives a package in the mail that is white-label branded, it is branded to appear as if it came from the seller regardless of where it was sourced.
The branding characteristics of a white label shipment may vary, but the overall experience of the customer is seeing your brand somewhere on or in the boxed product. White-Label Shipping can appear in any of the following ways:
- the packaging
- the product
- the shipping receipt
The term White-Label Shipping is also sometimes referred to as White-Label Dropshipping or Private Label Dropshipping. For comparison, a product that is not using a White-Label Shipping feature might arrive with packaging branded by the manufacturer.
In this highly competitive ecommerce landscape, your product’s (and your brand’s) first impression starts before buyers even open the box. Merchants are vying to earn “customers for life” and pulling out all the stops to build loyalty and trust. From handwritten thank you notes to surprise extras, customers remember the experience when their product’s arrival includes something extra or unique in the box.
White-Label Shipping with Lulu Direct
Since Lulu is a print-on-demand company with a global print network, our books are literally printed all over the globe, most often literally one at a time. When a book is ordered, we route the order to the printer nearest to your customer, print the book, and ship it. We don’t have storage facilities for books, only printers. With millions of different books printed at Lulu, we created a book printing solution using technology so you can benefit from white-label shipping.
Lulu Direct is a book printing and fulfillment tool that enables you to sell, print, and fulfill books directly from your website. Lulu Direct integrates with platforms like Shopify and WordPress so that you can own the customer journey from the sale to the delivery, with the benefit of knowing who is buying your books.
Creators using Lulu Direct have the ability to white-label their shipping inserts. This means the piece of paper included in the shipment is designed by you. You can upload a logo, craft a message of your choice, and even import the order number from your system. We print the white-label shipping insert at the time of packaging and include it in the book shipment.
How Do I Customize Shipping Inserts with Lulu Direct?
Easy peasy. We have specific instructions depending on which ecommerce platform you use:
- Customize shipping inserts with the Lulu Direct Shopify App: Here
- Customize shipping inserts with Lulu Direct for WordPress and WooCommerce: Here
- Customize shipping inserts with the Lulu Print API: Here
The Benefits of White-Label Shipping for Your Brand
White-label shipping is all about personalization and the presentation of your brand. A brand takes time to develop and build. Most creators at Lulu say they’ve been creating content and developing their brand for at least five or more years.
According to a Shopify study on the future of ecommerce, here are some interesting statistics about the implications of branding:
- Consumers are willing to spend more money and accept slower shipping times—for the right brand.
- 52% of customers are more likely to purchase from a company with shared values.
- Acquisition costs are rising. Brand building will help with customer attraction and retention.
Print-on-demand books are set up to print as the order is placed. The average time this takes is between 3-6 business days. If you’re worried about not having a following because you cannot offer overnight shipping with print-on-demand books, rest assured that your fans and followers will stick with you if they have a connection to your brand. This is where something like white-label shipping inserts adds value.
With Lulu Direct, your shipping insert could include:
- Your logo
- Order ID number
- Key contact information
- Return instructions or policy (if you decide to accept returns)
- Thank you message
- Coupon for future use
- Directions for redeeming incentives (signed copy, free swag, creator coin, etc.)
- Brand story
- Something quirky that will leave an impression
Your white-label shipping insert is an opportunity for you to make a connection with your customer, and convey any key information that otherwise might get lost in email or DMs.
Using Lulu Direct for Your Brand & White-Label Inserts
When you own your personal brand, you also own your customer’s journey from beginning to end. This means you handle customer inquiries, send order/shipping notifications, and anything else you would expect from an online retailer. The time and effort you put into managing your online business will reward you with customer loyalty and brand fortification. What may seem like a large workload at the beginning will present you with future opportunities for growth.
Lulu Direct puts the creator in the business owner’s seat. As a bookseller, you’ll need to set up your brand as a business. We’re here to help with resources to get you started:
- How to Start a Bookselling Business
- Customer Service and Your Ecommerce Business
- The Complete Tech Stack for Publishing
- And of course our extensive Knowledge Base
Winning Life-long Fans
White-label branding is a differentiator in the online sales landscape. It’s an opportunity to make a personal connection with your customers, and maybe even turn a one-time shopper into a lifelong fan. If you’re playing the branding strategy long game to earn and retain customers for life, custom shipping inserts with Lulu Direct are an easy way to increase brand awareness, personalize the buying experience, and build a relationship with your customers.
Sarah is the Ecommerce Marketing Manager at Lulu. Her primary role is to educate and help those who would benefit from our direct-to-consumer tools. Sarah is passionate about helping authors and publishers find ways to connect with their audience. In previous roles, she led public relations campaigns for over 75 authors and coached many more in preparation for their book launches. When not in the office, you’ll likely find her in the bleachers at her boys’ baseball games or cheering on the UGA Bulldogs.