If you’re an online retailer, one of the most important aspects of your business is making sure your products get to your customers without damage. As a result, it’s important to pay close attention to the details when you’re selecting the right box for your products.
With the right packaging you will attract new customers, ensure product safety, and preserve long-term freshness. Consequently, you’ll be able to reinforce your brand’s quality and trust within your customers and increase long-term profitability.
All things considered, poor packaging decisions can be detrimental. In fact, it’s more costly for e-commerce businesses to replace damaged goods than investing in good packaging from the start.
So, how can you choose the right box for your product? Well, in an ideal world, you can find a “one size fits all” solution. However, in reality there’s no perfect packaging solution because there are several factors that need to be considered.
To aid you in selecting the right packaging specific to your product, we’ve created the following guide.
When it comes to packaging materials, there are a lot of options you can choose from. For example, you can opt for food-grade cardboard boxes if you’re selling pre-packaged food. Food-grade cardboard boxes are relatively common, budget friendly and recyclable.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to ship apparel, t-shirts and non-fragile items, you can opt to choose mailer bags as an alternative to cardboard solutions. Poly mailers are lightweight, easy to ship, flexible and can even be customized to be water-resistant and compostable.
With recent product developments, you can readily find more eco-friendly packaging options. For instance, there are many alternatives to plastic such as cornstarch and bamboo packaging. These materials are food-grade certified and unlike plastic, they’re compostable. If sustainability is important to your business, eco-friendly packaging materials may be something you’d like to consider.
It’s important to understand your products needs when you are choosing the best packaging material.
Size and Shape
When selecting the right box for your product, the ease a customer has of opening the package should be a priority.
The last thing you want is a package that’s going to take time and effort to open. Even worse, the customer may resort to aggressively cutting into the package (guilty as charged) and damaging the contents.
Your packaging solution must never weigh more than the actual product itself because it will require extra force from the customer to open the box.
At the same time, it’s important that the box adheres to the product’s dimensions to prevent damage during transportation. A way to achieve this is by using custom inserts. Custom inserts are a great way to optimize space within any given box and reduce packaging waste.
In addition to custom inserts, you can opt for flexible packaging solutions. Flexible packaging is a growing trend and are usually ideal for pre-packaged foods and liquids because they take the form of the product. This provides more unity between the overall package, the product and provides additional security.
In today’s world of e-commerce, it’s likely that a lot of your customers will not be located near your warehouse. In turn, the package will undergo a distribution route that might take a few days to reach the customer.
If your product is damaged before it reaches the customer, you clearly haven’t thought about the distribution factors.
For example, if you’re transporting glass and other fragile items, you need to ensure it’s well-packaged for transportation otherwise it’s going to break.
If the product is heavy and it’s situated in a large heavy-duty cardboard box, that isn’t always going to be enough protection. You may need to consider additional accessories such as packing foam in addition to strong packaging materials.
Likewise, if you’re not directly shipping to the customer, you need to consider the shelf-life of your products. If the product has a long shelf life, it’s important that it stands out even after a long time. A superior print finish, such as a UV treated high-gloss and liquid-based coating could help protect and maintain the package.
While it’s important to consider transportation, materials, and package design, you must keep your audience at the forefront of each of these decisions.
Consider the “unboxing experience.” As an e-commerce business, this might be the only time your customer will directly interact with your brand.
Up until this point, the customer may not have had much contact with either a sales representative nor a traditional store setting to visit. However, they still have the ability to advertise your brand through word-of-mouth marketing. Opt for bright colours, labels and unique packing material – something that represents you and your brand.
The more attractive your packaging is, the higher the chance they’ll be sharing their unboxing experience with the rest of their friends and family. You may consider adding a personal touch in terms of thank you cards, free samples and additional packaging inserts.
In the long run, you can achieve customer loyalty, increase brand awareness and have the opportunity to go viral.
Make sure to conduct market research and understand your customers enough before you make these key marketing and branding decisions. Different generations have attractions to different things – the worst thing you can do is miss the mark on what your target audience likes and dislikes.
How Can We Help You?
Although, there’s no definite answer to how you can choose the right box for your product, there are many factors to consider. Think of your product’s needs, packaging materials, size, shape, distribution and design.
Nonetheless, this can be a very exhausting process as you may forget to review all these factors before making a decision. Fortunately, we’ve been in the business of custom packaging for the past 14 years. We’re committed to providing excellent packaging solutions to our customers and can help you find the best fit for your product.
Our custom packaging specialists are ready to properly advise you on packaging based on your budget, products and individual needs. Contact Us today for your free consultation!