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Your Packaging 101 Guide

Whether you're about to launch your product on Etsy or create a lifestyle brand on Shopify, you know that packaging is the key to making a great first impression. That's why we're here to help provide everything you need to create the most ideal packaging for your brand.

Custom Packaging
Custom Packaging

1 - Types of 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.

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.

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.

Rigid Boxes
Rigid Boxes

Rigid boxes are the sturdier type of boxes most commonly used in luxury and premium goods. It's made out of highly condensed paperboard that is typically 4x thicker than regular paperboard boxes. Rigid boxes are more expensive to produce and are non-collapsible, which adds to the volume and increasing shipping fees.

Some examples of rigid boxes include:

  • The 2 piece boxes used for iPhones
  • Boxes for Rolex watches
  • Tiffany & Co jewellery boxes
Poly Bags
Poly Bags

Poly bags, or pouches, are made out of thin, flexible plastic and are most commonly used in food packaging, magazines, hardware, and clothing. While poly bags are lightweight and offer product protection, many companies are opting for more eco-friendly and biodegradable packaging options.

Note: PackMojo does not provide any plastic packaging options.

2 - Selecting your Packaging

Now that you have an understanding of the different types of packaging options, 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

Based on the size of your product, how do you want to place it in your packaging? Will it be sideways or standing upright? What do you want your unboxing experience to be? Knowing this will allow you to confidently select a size with the correct box orientation.

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.

Blank Box
Blank Box

The easiest thing you can do is get 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.

Boxes and Stickers
Packaging + Sticker

One common way to add a small element of branding to your boxes is with stickers. You can place a sticker with your logo printed on it on top of your box or at the closure of your box. While this option is a step up to blank boxes, it offers little room to be creative.

Packaging Sleeves
Packaging Sleeves

Another creative way to add additional branding to your boxes is through paper sleeves wrapped around your box. Paper sleeves provide more real estate for creativity than stickers - you can essentially add as much text, images, and color to your sleeves.

Branded Boxes with Print
Branded Boxes with Print

The beauty about paper is that it can be printed on. Your box is essentially a blank canvas for you to unleash your creativity. Whether you're going for a minimal brand 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.

1. Void Fillers & 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 in the empty space in your box. Alternatively, you can use a custom paper insert with a unique mould that would fit your product.

2. Interior 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.

3. 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

And the final piece of the package - shipping. 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 documents onto this external packaging. Here are some ideas in how you can do so.

Shipping Boxes
Shipping Box

For heavier items, a shipping box with corrugation is recommended. Whether you're placing multiple items in the shipping box or simply have one item, your products will be protected and make it safely from point A to B.

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.

Poly Mailers
Poly Mailer

Poly mailer bags are made of plastic and won't tear like wrapping paper would. While it 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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