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E-Commerce Packaging: A beginner’s guide 2021 by Nupack


The number of E-commerce businesses has considerably grown over the last few years, necessitating effective e-commerce packaging solutions. Today, product packaging is given equal importance as the product itself. With the onset of Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) in 2020, the reliance on online shopping has grown and continues even rapidly. Many businesses started to rely on their e-commerce platforms to keep their sale going and keep their brand image intact.

It isn’t easy to brand differentiate with online shopping, as customers can only interact with your products’ images. That is why you’ve to keep in mind that a customized moving box, padded mailer, or simple business envelopes are the singular touchpoint between you and your customers through the e-commerce transaction.

Let’s start with understanding the core purposes of your packaging:

Primarily, the packaging is for protecting the products that you’re shipping.

Secondly, the packaging is a tool to show off your brand’s commitment to quality and customer service and promote your brand.

So with the brief overview out of the way, let’s explore a few specifics which need to be kept in mind.

Determining a budget for E-commerce packaging

Designing and branding aspects of your products often consume a lot of your time and energy when you need to focus on other core issues. That implies controlling your packaging costs and ensuring you get the most value for money. Much of your packing costs and transportation revolve around the type of products you sell – the more sturdy the material, the higher the price, both to buy and ship.

If your company deals in smaller, lighter products, you can get your packing done with less expensive materials. However, if you are trading in odd-sized products for which standard packing is not available, it is better to go for customized packaging. In such scenarios, you may end up saving a lot more on your shipping costs. Another thing to retain in mind is the potential cost of returns. Miscalculating your shipping needs could inevitably drive up your return costs.

Types of packaging

Picking the correct type of packaging can take some effort. It helps in understanding the difference in box sizes and materials to decide on your shipping needs. Let us understand further the different types of packaging materials, from simple mailers to large boxes.

Mailers are now being used to ship any flexible or foldable light-weight goods. They offer basic safety and protection and at the same time save postage and shipping costs because of being consistently light in weight. You can ship a wide range of products through mailers, be it mailer boxes, poly mailers, or bubble mailers. Even if some products require extra protection in transit, bubble pouches or bubble wrap mailers can be used, which provides additional padding and cushioning.

Next, we have cardboard boxes, which are manufactured for specific products of varied shapes and sizes. They provide excellent protection to delicate products from any transit damage. The corrugated boxes are the ultimate option for large scale movement or storage of goods. These corrugated shipping boxes come in a range of single-wall, double-wall, or triple-wall options, and one can choose according to their requirements.

Refer for more information our blog How to choose the right packaging for your products..

Securing your package

The way you secure the item or items inside is equally important as the box you ship your products in. There are two ways to ensure that your product remains intact inside the package.

  • Infill: Typically referred to as infill, this item is what keeps your products cosy and comfy throughout their travel.  Infills are used to fill all the gaps in packaging boxes so that products don’t get knocked over during transit. However, as a rule of thumb, it should only be used when necessary as it adds to your packaging costs.
  • Tape: The tape is the most important thing that holds the entire package together. While tape is something that everyone tends to choose the last, it’s not something you should overlook when strategizing your packaging approach. If a customized tape is not in your preference, then the standard clear acrylic tape is perfectly adequate for the vast majority of shipments. It’s cheap, easy to apply, has good tensile strength, and works just fine for securing the packages.
  • On the contrary, Kraft paper tape – both the water-activated and non-water activated varieties – will provide your packaging a bit more punch. It is highly customizable. It comes in all manner of colors, and you can brand it whichever way you want.

Leaving a good impression

Good quality photos and videos of your products drive traffic but it only lasts till the order arrives. Your e-commerce packaging does most of the work after that. It is one of the few ways you can interact with your customer. However, to make the customer believe in their choices, you have to create the “wow” experience during the unboxing process. You can create a long-lasting impression through packaging by being smart about the materials you use, the witty or pun-intended messages you print, and anything else you want to include in the design. You have to take advantage of modern printing opportunities and create beautiful logos; customization possibilities are truly endless. Remember, every little detail can make an impact on a first-time customer.

And Finally …

Don’t let the whole process overwhelm you — instead, see it as an opportunity to connect with your target market. When you understand what your customer is looking for, you will be able to think of packaging ideas that will help you sell your products and attract new customers!

Hopefully, these e-commerce packaging tips will help you as you begin to put together your packaging operations.

For more information, read our blog 5 E-Commerce product packaging tips and mistakes to avoid.