As an e-commerce business, if you are not focussing on your packaging, you may be missing out!
It’s not intuitive to consider packaging as anything other than a box needed for shipping the products. But what if we told you that a humble brown box has more potential than you can imagine?
In this blog, we’ll share why packaging is important, how to choose the right packaging, types of packaging, and how some brands are using it in innovative ways!
Let’s get started.
Importance of packaging in e-commerce
Packaging plays a key role in e-commerce. Let’s have a look at why it’s so important.
- Protection: At the very least, the packaging should be appropriate for the items inside it. It needs to protect the items from damage while in transit. It saves you the cost of replacements and re-delivery.
- Brand Building: Packaging offers you an opportunity to create recall for your brand if you use it the right way. Consider adding your brand colors, logo, and other brand elements to the packaging.
- Customer Experience: You can create a wow experience for your customers by surprising them with great packaging. Make your customers feel special and they may even give you a shout-out on social media, which means free marketing for you!
- Differentiation: Packaging that is unique and interesting helps you stand out from your competition. It stays in the customer’s mind for a longer time.
How to choose the right packaging?
When deciding on the packaging for your products, there are some factors you should always keep in mind, like:
- Size of the Items: Consider the size and shape of the items you ship to find the right packaging for them. Packages that are too big will be a waste of money and too small packages may compromise the safety of goods.
- Weight of the Items: The packaging should be sturdy enough to bear the weight of the items. Shipping heavy items in flimsy packaging won’t be appropriate.
- Cost of Packaging: Consider your budget to select the packaging. Customized packaging solutions may be more expensive than standard packaging. However, don’t go for low-quality packaging that may hurt your brand just to save money. You can smartly upgrade the packaging with affordable alternatives like stickers.
- Special Packing Requirements: Some goods may require special packaging. For example, fragile items or chemical products cannot be shipped in regular boxes.
- Value of the Item: If the goods are of high value, you would want extra protection to keep them safe.
What are the different types of product packaging?
Packaging comes in many different shapes, sizes, and materials. Some of the commonly used packaging alternatives are mentioned below:
- Regular Corrugated boxes
These are basic corrugated boxes. They consist of three layers: an outer liner, an inner liner, and a corrugated medium sandwiched between them. The corrugated medium adds strength and durability to the box, making it resistant to impact, compression, and bending.
These boxes are suitable for a wide range of applications and industries. They are used for shipping and transporting various products, including electronics, clothing, household goods, and books. Regular corrugated boxes are available in different sizes and shapes making them a versatile option.
- Roll end tab lock corrugated boxes
Roll-end tab lock corrugated boxes are a specific type of corrugated packaging that offers enhanced security and convenience. These boxes are designed with double-layered side panels that provide extra strength.
The unique feature of roll-end tab lock boxes is their closure mechanism. They have tuck-in tabs on the front panel that securely lock into the side panels, eliminating the need for additional tape. This self-locking design enables easy assembly and quick sealing, saving time and effort in the packaging process.
They are commonly used for shipping items like electronics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, etc. They are also ideal for protecting valuable or fragile goods during transit. They have a neat and professional look which enhances customer experience.
- Roll End Tuck Top Corrugated Boxes
Roll-end tuck top boxes are similar to roll-end tab lock boxes. They differ in terms of closing mechanisms. The former has a tuck-in top lid whereas the latter has tuck-in tabs on the front panel. The tuck-in top lid folds down and tucks into the front panel to provide a tight and reliable seal like a pizza box.
Though you may still have to secure the top lid with a little tape to keep it in place while shipping. These boxes may not be suitable for heavy items.
- Mailing envelopes
Mailing envelopes are a cost-effective and lightweight shipping option. They are suitable for smaller and lighter items. They provide sufficient protection during transit. For example, a phone case can easily be shipped in an envelope.
There are different types of mailers – poly mailers, padded mailers, and kraft paper mailers.
Poly mailers are made of polyethylene material, which is water-resistant, and lightweight. They are commonly used for shipping clothing and non-fragile items.
Padded mailers feature a layer of bubble wrap lining on the inside to provide cushioning for fragile items. They are ideal for shipping items such as jewelry or cosmetics.
Kraft paper mailers are made from a sturdy and eco-friendly material. They are tear-resistant and provide basic protection for items like books or stationery.
In addition to the exterior packaging, businesses need to provide sufficient internal packaging as well to keep the items safely in place.
It includes bubble wrap, plastic bags, airbags, and foam. Cardboard is also used to create sections inside the box if needed.
Brands using innovative packaging
Here are 3 brands using packaging in interesting ways:
- Amazon makes the most out of its packaging by using custom tapes to seal the package. It’s an easy and affordable way to add your branding elements to the package without increasing the weight of the box.
- Stroller manufacturer Joolz created a buzz by making boxes that can be repurposed into toys. The boxes have instructions mentioned on them to turn them into an airplane, house, animal, or chair.
- Warby Parker delights its customers with the simple message “Good things await you” printed on the box. This shows that sometimes simple is better than clever.
E-commerce companies play a crucial role in promoting sustainable packaging practices, considering the environmental impact of packaging waste. Packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable should be encouraged. The packaging also needs to be done mindfully to reduce the consumption of unnecessary materials.
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Businesses need to look at packaging beyond its traditional use of protection. If used correctly, it can become a vehicle for marketing campaigns and help in turning customers into fans!