PackMojo Custom Packaging

eCommerce Packaging Guide

Packaging 101 for eCommerce Brands

Whether you have your product on Etsy or lifestyle brand on Shopify, you know that packaging is the key to making a great first impression. We're here to provide everything you need to know to create the best packaging for your products and brand.

Custom Mailer Box eCommerce Packaging

1 - Types of eCommerce Packaging

With the number of packaging options available today, it often becomes difficult to select the most appropriate packaging solution for your product. We're here to highlight some of the most popular packaging options you can use to enhance your product & customer experience.

eCommerce Packaging Paperboard Boxes
Paperboard Boxes

Paperboard boxes are made of paper sourced from wood pulp or recycled materials, and then bleached. These types of boxes are lightweight, yet sturdy. Some comon materials include:

  • SBS (solid bleached sulfate)
  • CCNB (clay coated news back)
  • Kraft paper (natural paper that is unbleached, with minimal chemical processing)

Some examples of paperboard boxes include:

Ideal for: beauty products, lightweight items, food products.

eCommerce Packaging Custom Corrugated Boxes
Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated boxes contain a specific type of material called fluting (the wavy, middle layer of boxes). These boxes have at least 3 layers:

  1. An outside layer of paper (sometimes called substrate)
  2. The fluting (wavy, middle layer)
  3. An inner layer of paper attached to the fluting itself (the inner layer and fluting together are known as corrugated board)

This is what gives the corrugated boxes its rigidity and strength. Some examples of corrugated boxes include:

Ideal for: subscription boxes, eCommerce packaging, heavy products.

eCommerce Packaging Custom Rigid Boxes
Rigid Boxes

Rigid boxes are the sturdier type of boxes most commonly used for luxury and premium products. It's made out of highly condensed paperboard that is typically 4x thicker than regular paperboard boxes (e.g. 800-1200gsm). Rigid boxes are more expensive to produce and typically are non-collapsible, which makes it more expensive to ship.

Some examples of rigid boxes include:

  • 2 piece full cover rigid boxes
  • 2 piece partial cover rigid boxes
  • 1 piece magnetic rigid box

Ideal for: jewelry, hardware, luxury products.

eCommerce Packaging Custom Pouches
Custom Pouches

Custom pouches can be made out of thin, flexible plastic or a canvas type material. Plastic pouches or polybags are most commonly used in food packaging and magazines, where canvas pouches are most commonly used for jewelry or small items.

2 - Selecting your Packaging

Now that you have an understanding of the different types of eCommerce packaging options available, it's time to select the best type of packaging for your product.

1. Weigh your product

Get a scale and weigh your product. If your product is lightweight, a folding carton box made out of paperboard will do. If your product is heavy and needs extra protection, then a corrugated mailer box may be the way to go.

2. Measure your product

Take out a ruler and determine the dimensions of your product (i.e. length, width, height). Your packaging should be slightly larger than this, otherwise your product will not fit in the packaging.

3. Determine placement & size

Based on the size of your product and how you want your product positioned, you can now determine the size of your packaging. We'd recommend at least a 0.5 inch (1.27cm) buffer between your product and your packaging but this will depend on how tight you want your products packed.

3 - Packaging Design

With the basics of packaging type and packaging size covered, now's the time to decide how you want to bring your packaging to life and tell your brand story.

eCommerce Packaging Blank Box
Blank Box

The easiest thing you can do is to place your products in blank boxes and ship it out to your customers as is. While this is the cheapest option, it doesn't make a good first impression on your customers.

eCommerce Packaging Boxes and Stickers
Packaging Boxes and Stickers

Another way to add an element of branding to your boxes is with custom stickers. You can place a sticker with your logo printed on it on top of your box, or use a sticker to seal your box shut.

eCommerce Packaging Custom Packaging Sleeves
Packaging Sleeves

Another creative way to brand your business is by using custom printed sleeves that are wrapped around your box or product. Paper sleeves provide more real estate for creativity than stickers - you can add as much text, images, and color to your sleeves.

eCommerce Packaging Custom Printed Boxes
Custom Printed Boxes

The beauty about paper is that it can be printed on. Your box is a blank canvas for you to unleash your creativity. Whether you're going for a minimal packaging look, want to add hashtags on the side of your box, or have a full-blown pattern across all sides of your box, having a printed box will impact the first impression your customers and ensure they remember your brand.

4 - Think Inside the Box

While the external design of your packaging is important, what's inside your packaging and the impression it makes on your customers is equally as important. Here, we'll share some ideas on how to create amazing unboxing experiences your customers will remember.

eCommerce Packaging Custom Box Inserts
Void Fillers & Box Inserts

Every product is unique in shape and size. Void fillers such as tissue paper and shredded up kraft paper can be used to fill the empty space in your box. You can also use a custom box insert with a unique mould to keep your products in place and present them nicely.

eCommerce Packaging Unboxing Inside Printing
Interior Box Design

Customize the design on the inside of your box to enhance the unboxing experience. For example, change the inside box color to match your brand, add designs, and even text such as welcome messages and hashtags.

eCommerce Packaging Custom Printed Card
Beyond the Box

To go the extra mile, you can even consider adding a handwritten thank you note or a personalized birthday message inside the box. Personal touches go a long way. What else can you include in your unboxing experience?

5 - Shipping & Delivery

Once you have your packaging sorted, now's the time to package it up and ship it out to your customers. Remember that you'll also need to put the sender's address, the recipient's address, and any customs labels onto this external packaging.

eCommerce Packaging Shipping Mailer Boxes
Shipping Boxes & Mailer Boxes

Mailer boxes are perfect for eCommerce shipping because they're corrugated and sturdy. Whether you're placing multiple items in the mailer box or simply have one item, your products will be protected and make it safely from point A to B.

eCommerce Packaging Wrapping Paper
Wrapping Paper & Envelopes

If you prefer not to have another exterior box, you could use an envelope or wrap paper around your packaging like you would wrap a gift. This option doesn't add weight to your shipment, but the paper could tear while in transit.

eCommerce Packaging Poly Mailer Shipping
Poly mailer bags

Poly mailer bags are made of plastic and won't tear like wrapping paper would. While it's lightweight and can protect your packaging, it's not as eco-friendly and doesn't provide as great of a protection as an external shipping box would.

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