Ultimate Guide to E-Commerce Packaging

ecommerce packaging guide

In the last couple of decades, the way we shop has changed as online shopping gained popularity. One of the biggest selling points of online shopping is the convenience at a small fraction of the shipping fee. This is why we developed an Ultimate Guide for Ecommerce Packaging. This guide will include tips and other options that are beneficial for any business that is selling and shipping products out to customers.

The rise of social media outlets also gave way to the rise of small businesses. Entrepreneurs can promote their products for free and reach consumers all over the country or the world, without the traditional advertising expense.

For a business to thrive it is important to give special attention to customer experience. This experience is not just about reeling in a customer to check your social media page and purchasing the product, it includes the presentation of the product when the customer opens the box at their doorstep.

Ultimate Guide for Ecommerce Packaging

More than anything, a product must be safely delivered, undamaged to the customer. Does not matter if the box has cool logos. If the product is not delivered in one piece the customer will most likely not be a returning shopper.

But the cool logos and amazing colors do add to the look. The packaging completes the customer experience. If done right, the packaging beautifully compliments the contents and adds value to the product. It legitimizes the customer’s decision on this great buy and opens the door to potentially buy again.

ecommerce packaging statistics

Ecommerce’s percentage of total retail trade throughout the world – Statista image

According to Statista, e-commerce sales represented 14.1% of all worldwide retail trade-in 2019. By 2023, it is expected to reach 22 %.

According to The Ultimate Guide for Ecommerce Packaging, Ecommerce companies’ rapid growth, it’s more important than ever to make a lasting impression on your customers and effectively reach to new clients. To gain trust and loyalty, it is crucial to deliver your product undamaged and the presentation of the product with the unique packaging just adds to a companies’ validity.

Brand Reputation

Ecommerce packaging example product

 

As mentioned earlier, it is important to deliver a product in one piece. But it is not always your package’s fault. Mishandling at the sorting station or delivery service is a common factor. Unfortunately, the blame is passed to the vendor. As suggested previously, unboxing the product is part of the customer experience. As per a Smithers Pira poll, 58% of respondents said packaging damage might discourage them from purchasing items from that very same seller again. But, by anticipating this problem and ensuring you have the best packing materials that are strong and durable, breaking the item to pieces may be avoided.

Product Promotion

It is important for a company to convey the product and packaging’s intention when a customer receives the box in the mail. Choosing the right print, texture, logo, and colors will enhance the product. Thru packaging it allows the vendor to showcase their brand or spark emotions as the vendor intended.

Safety

Nobody appreciates flimsy boxes. Whenever you receive dented packages, you always think that the service is subpar as you hurry to open the box, hoping the item inside is not damaged. The packaging plays an important part in the item’s safety from the time it leaves the warehouse until it is received by the client. Your item packaging should be durable enough to withstand minor wear and tear without compromising the product.

Packaging improves the Perceptions of the customers

As noted on Dotcom’s Distribution Packaging Report 2016, “Half of the customers (50%) think that using branded, especially gift-like wrapping for online purchases make a person more inclined to suggest the product to others, up from 40% in 2015.” As a result, to make a lasting impression upon the consumer, your packing must be top-notch.

Publicity through Customers

According to the Dotcom research, 39% of respondents have posted a photo or clip of purchases made, with the most popular platforms being Facebook (84%), Twitter (32%), Instagram (31%), YouTube (28%), as well as Pinterest (28%). (20 percent). Personal experience is not only shared with family and friends but extended to friends of friends of friends.

 

 Based on The Ultimate Guide for Ecommerce Packaging Here are Noteworthy Options

person shipping ecommerce packaging

There are various e-commerce packaging choices to choose from. Here are a few options to choose from based on your company and product needs:

  1. Shipping Boxes

This is the box of choice for most e-commerce businesses as it is sturdy and lightweight. Matching the product fragility and size should determine your decision to select the correct dimensions and weight.

The criteria for choosing the Shipping Box size:

  • Product Weight – the larger the items, the further robust a box is required for successful delivery; fragility – weak products are more likely to break while shipping and so require more care.
  • Product Value — It may be necessary to choose thicker boxes for important or expensive products as an additional investment to protect the item.
  1. Mailing Envelopes

Soft items sellers should use mailers since their products are typically light and smaller. Mailing Envelopes take less space and are easier to manage during transit so the cost would be a lot less compared to a box.

There are a few options for Mailing Envelopes:

  1. Plastic
  2. Paperboard
  3. Paper mailer
  4. Padded mailers
  5. Corrugated Boxes

Conventional or brown cardboard boxes are the commonly used names for Corrugated Boxes. This is the most frequently used box in cargo containers. They’re recommended since they’re light, strong, and available in a multitude of forms and sizes.  As opposed to rigid cardboard, corrugated boxes have lines of air chambers or flutes, making their corrugated paper significantly durable. The grooves add strength as well as flexibility, ensuring that your items are secure during transit.  Most Corrugated Boxes are manufactured from recycled cartons, making them ecologically friendly. It is commonly used so it is available in most stores and simple to assemble.

It is important to match your product to the correct Corrugated Box size and weight. Depending on your item’s shape, you may need to fill the box with tissue or fillers to pad and avoid the item from shifting during transit. Choosing the correct size will avoid excessive space, hence avoiding filling the space with fillers that add to the weight of the box and making freight charges expensive.  The key is to adopt a consistent size to keep freight expenses down and eliminate the danger of product damage. You may also consider printing your company’s logo on the corrugated boxes.

  1. Shipping Box Colors

Per Globe Guard Products, if you want e-commerce packaging with black, purple, crimson, pink, or other colors, you’ll have to get it imprinted on brown (Natural Kraft) or whiteboards.

Brown corrugated board is organic and may include 60-100 percent recycled content, providing it the most environmentally friendly packaging material available.

Food, health and medical vendors’ color of choice are white boxes as it has that clean and sanitary appearance.

However, white shipping boxes have a bad reputation for having the need to use bleach by some firms and sectors. Furthermore, small marks on white shipping boxes tend to look dirtier compared to Natural Kraft or colored boxes.

Weight Pricing based on The Ultimate Guide for Ecommerce Packaging

The type of shipping container you choose is influenced by dimensional price. This approach is used by carriers such as UPS, FedEx, as well as USPS to determine package delivery charges, a strategy that allows courier firms to punish shippers that use large boxes.

The dimensional weight pricing (DIM) model was launched in 2015, and it determines transportation rates depending on the number of space goods take up on courier tracks rather than their weight.

You may calculate the dimensional weight of your shipment by multiplying its height, length, plus width in inches. After measuring, make sure to pick the longest position on the sides and account for any bulges or oddly shaped sides.

 

  Shipping Poly Mailers Kraft Mailers Padded Mailers
Advantages Outstanding presentation.

For outgoing delivery, this box stacks nicely which allow you to utilize storage space better.

The material is compostable as well as recyclable.

This is light in weight compared to other Mailers, making it more cost-effective material-wise and delivery costs.

Weatherproof.

Returns are reusable.

Recyclable.

Even if the product does not entirely fill the package, it retains its form.

Customers are more likely to appropriately discard of biodegradable as well as recyclable items.

Even if the substance doesn’t entirely fill it out, it retains its form.

Provides cushioning and protection.

Customers are more likely to appropriately dispose of biodegradable as well as recyclable items.

 

Disadvantages Compared to Mailers this is bulkier, so it takes up more storage space.

Assembly requires tape, does not have built-in adhesive to put together.

If the product doesn’t really entirely fill this out, this loses its form.

Flimsy presentation (although Flap & Seal can be used to improve the client experience)

Not completely waterproof. To safeguard your goods, apply a transparent Flap & Seal. Not 100% weatherproof.

 

Types of Packaging Materials

 

Outer Packaging:

This is the main packaging that carries your product and gets transported from one location to the next.  Corrugated boxes, Tab Lockboxes, Envelope Mailers are just a few examples under this category.

Inner Packaging:

The accessories and fillers used to protect the contents inside the boxes or envelopes is called Inner Packaging. Plastic wrap, tissue, cardboard, and foam pellets are used as inner packing materials. Cushioning, void filling, safety protection dividers, including shock absorption are some of the reasons inner packaging materials are needed. Besides preventing product damage, some inner packaging materials may avoid item tampering.

Steps to Package your Product according to the Ultimate Guide for Ecommerce Packaging are as follows

easy steps to ecommerce packaging diagram

 

  • Analyze

Carefully examine the item to be shipped. Take note of the product’s height, weight, fragility, and value. From this point, you can determine the appropriate container, like a box or envelope, the correct size and material weight or durability of the container. Also, consider the type of product to ship, such as liquids or powder that require additional protection. Check your selected courier’s packing guidelines and package your cargo accordingly.

  • Pack

Select the appropriate packing materials and insert your product inside. Choose well-lined cartons or envelopes. If necessary, use a double box or a flap & seal bag for added protection in case the external packaging gets compromised. Place the object at a 6cm separation from the package’s wall. Add fillers as needed to avoid shifting during transit.

  • Seal

Completely close the package across all sides. Use pressure-sensitive or water-resistant adhesives. The package’s edges should be firmly wrapped, and it must be solid on all sides. If you’re using more than a layer, ensure every side of the packaging are well sealed. When sealing boxes, use the H-tape method.

Shipping Label

The Shipping Label serves as the package’s identification. All the shipping information, such as the name of the person, address, tracking# need to be accurate. Attach your shipping label and/or documents to the container’s top surface, making sure it’s easy to read or scan.

Packaging Methods

Courier firms propose a variety of packaging techniques. Here are a few suggestions:

 Single  Single Box Method  For small, non-fragile items and will not travel long-distance, a single, double-walled box could be used to package the goods. This technique provides less protection but is appropriate for its size, purpose, and transit time. Loose fillers inside may be utilized to fill in the gaps.
 Double  Box-in-box Method  The box-in-box technique provides more protection and therefore is ideal for fragile products such as glass. The manufacturer’s box should be the initial box, which is then placed inside a larger box as a supplementary package.

 

Considerations for Packing a Product based on The Ultimate Guide for Ecommerce Packaging

Weight:

The product’s mass must be identified to determine the required packaging type, size, dimensions, and materials to ensure the product and container are delivered in perfect shape.

Size and Shape:

Besides the product dimensions, consider the item’s shape. The traditional packaging containers may not be suitable for the contents and may require a custom-made box.

Product Types:

Specific products, like liquid, require a different approach to pack to avoid spills during transit. Ensure that product containers are properly sealed, or fillers are used to avoid damages.

Product Value:

Expensive and important items require special care. If necessary, use the Box-In-Box method or add fillers to ensure items are safely delivered.

Consider what you are shipping

Arts & Prints

Rolled prints or posters: From our corrugated box selection, we propose custom-cut Triangular Tube (TT) mailers.

Stacked Print: A specially cut One Panel Fold (OPF) corrugated box or a Rigid Mailer is recommended for a stack of prints or greeting cards. The stiff mailers in bigger sizes include ingenious creasing that allows them to spread.

Framed Print: A specially cut One Panel Fold (OPF) corrugated box is recommended for framed prints. Consider utilizing Green Wrap, tissue paper, corrugated bubble, or packing paper to safeguard your print if the item is fragile.

A Single Print: We have been blown away by the ingenuity of our Eco Family members, who have come up with fantastic methods to wrap, preserve and pack their prints. So here are some ideas to get you started.

Option 1: Rigid Mailer. These are durable chipboard mailers that can handle most printing on their own. However, if you believe it may be useful, you might want to consider using a Chipboard Pad to back it up.

Option 2: Poly Mailer: Artists usually wrap prints with Corrugated Pads (PAD, on the custom, cut corrugated box page) and protect them with a Flap & Seal since these are recycled plastic and are not hard.

Option 3: Kraft Mailer: Kraft mailers are made of paper, ideal to ship soft goods. Prints might be protected with a Flap & Seal and backed with Corrugated Pads.

Bags and other Accessories

Hats and caps: Choose from our selection of Corrugated Boxes in a variety of sizes. We recommend using wrapping paper for added protection to keep the shape of your precious baseball hat. Our 100% Recycled Poly Mailers (available in both Ivory and Gray) is perfect to ship softer material such as your beanie or bucket hat.

Jewelry: Padded Mailers is a wonderful option to ship small items like jewelry but with added protection from the padding. Otherwise, a personalized gift box (complete with tissue paper) would be ideal! You could also use Green Wrap and Ornament Paper Shred to cover and cushion. Small Flap & Seals is often used to package chunkier, bigger jewelry, which could then be mailed in a Kraft Mailer, Padded Mailer, or a personalized corrugated box.

Purses or Backpacks: These items will perfectly hold its shape with either a professionally made Corrugated Box or 100% Recyclable Poly Mailer (available in both Ivory and Gray).

Shoes: Instead of using a shoebox, use a custom-cut corrugated box to save time and money. Tuck Top Boxes are another option as they are presentable and sturdy to protect the shape of your shoes. Use a 100% Recycled Poly Mailer (available in both Ivory and Gray) to ship to your customer.

Hand bands & Hair Accessories: Poly Mailers, Recycled Bubble Mailers, and Kraft Mailers are excellent for headbands and hair accessories. These are perfect options to keep the item’s natural form and lightweight to avoid the extra shipping expense.

Beauty and Health Products

Custom Cut Corrugated Boxes: Presentation is key to finishing the customer experience when buying online. We may custom-create the appropriate box size to your requirements. Use Ornament Paper Shred or Tissue to add some protection. It is such a pleasant experience as you are unwrapping layer after layer of tissue until you finally get to the end, a peak of the much-awaited product. A few of our clients use Green Wrap to preserve their products while also adding a little additional “wow” factor!

Padded Mailers and Recycled Bubble Mailers: If you’re only sending a couple of items, these secure mailers will do an excellent job of protecting them and keeping them in place. With an exception of our Poly Mailers, these maintain their form even if a product does not entirely fill the mailer. You could also use a Rigid Mailer for items that are flatter.

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