Guidelines to e-Commerce Packaging

The convenience of online shopping has led to exponential growth in demand and, as a result, in e-commerce goods

The convenience of online shopping has led to exponential growth in demand and, as a result, an increase in the amount of e-commerce by new and existing companies alike.

As the owner of an e-commerce business, it is important to understand how to utilize one’s budget to achieve maximum impact on your customers. Details are what make the difference between a simple one-off sale and a loyal, returning customer.

What is e-Commerce Packaging?

E-commerce packaging determines how your brand is perceived before the product ever touches your customer’s hands. One simply has to look around to see how various products are packaged to enhance the “unboxing” experience. Successful retailers have always known that shopping is associated with a feeling. And now that more people have surrendered to the undeniable appeal of e-commerce, eliciting the appropriate excitement is key in any brand strategy. There can be multiple elements to any e-commerce package:

External Packaging

This refers to the package that will house your products for shipping, and includes:

  1. Poly mailer: For lower ticket or individual items, this standard mailer with adhesive strip is the most economical option. Poly mailers can be custom-printed and sized where Minimum Order Quantities [MOQs] apply), plain with a custom-printed label, or blank for anonymity.
  2. Corrugated shipper: This can be a standard regular slotted container (RSC) or folding mailer.
  • RSC: This standard shipping box can be bought from stock or made to measure in reasonable quantities without the cost of expensive cutting dies. RSCs can be plain or custom-printed. The bottom and top is sealed with packing tape, which can also be customized at a relatively reasonable cost.
  • Folding mailer: These popular boxes are hand-folded with a lid that comes down and seals with locking tabs. A tamper-proof seal is still recommended, be it packing tape or a simple sticker. Folding mailers are generally more costly—and custom sizes may initially require cutting and printing dies—but they do have a higher potential for creative print design (where quantity and budget allows).

Internal Packaging

This can refer to products that come in their own proprietary boxes, like cosmetics or electronics, or those that include protective decorative materials like tissue and shred. Tissue can also be custom-printed, and in some cases it can even envelop the product. The package might be finished with a custom sticker or ribbon to maximize the unboxing experience.

There are three things to consider when developing your e-commerce packaging:

Identifying your customer: Whether your product caters to “first class” or “economy” customers, the idea is to create a pleasant experience for them. The difference lies in the cost of that experience.

Brand impact value: Creating custom-packaging cannot be pursued half-heartedly. A custom e-commerce mailer with full-colour print inside and out requires an up-front investment of several thousand dollars, which is understandable if quantities number in the thousands, but much less so if only in the hundreds. Alternatives exist for lower quantities as well, but creative choices and flexibility are key.

Unboxing: This growing trend identified the fact that any package delivered to one’s home should feel like a gift—whether intended for a third party or simply as a gift for oneself. The act of “revealing” is as much a part of the purchasing experience as the use of the product itself. As a result, some major brands have even made the conscious decision to devote more design to the INSIDE of the package than the outside. The exterior of a package will almost certainly be marred or blemished during transport—but inside, the promise of a pristine unveiling remains, and it is this feature that will create the most lasting impression for your brand. That feeling will not only build long-standing personal loyalty, but perhaps even open the door for customers to share that same sensation as a gift to others. This can be achieved by way of print design, tissue paper, ribbon, custom-printed stickers, or even a brief message that says “We value our customers.”

In essence, the importance of choosing the appropriate e-commerce packaging to suit your product and brand is of paramount importance and can be overwhelming.

Contact In the Bag to consult with a certified packaging expert who can guide you toward the best packaging options to meet your needs and deliver outstanding returns.

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