The cradle of the ecommerce industry, also known as online trading or electronic trading lies in the 1980s. However, this completely new sales channel did not really gain acceptance until the mid-90s. Since then, however, ecommerce has hardly been stopped. Whereas in the past a purchase had to be made face to face or at least by placing an order over the phone, data transmission and thus the business relationship is now automated and purely digital. The consequences for the consumer were enormous. Instead of being limited to the local offer, the world opens up, so to speak, and you can buy where your own preferences lie. For dealers, this inevitably means increased competition. In order to withstand and make this completely new economic system usable for you, need changes. It needs to respond to the ever-changing way customers shop. Even today, online trading still differs significantly from brick-and-mortar retail. SM Custom Packaging provides the best wholesale custom packaging solutions in ecommerce.

Differences to the regular economy

Everyone knows the shopping experience in a retail store. In every shop, no matter how small, there is a special atmosphere. The products are not simply lined up in endless scroll-down lists or can be filtered by the customer as required. Instead, the individual items are on shelves or on presentation tables. Optical stimuli are decisive for how well the goods sell. For this, customers should be addressed on a sensual level and ideally more than just the visual sense is stimulated. For those who shop online, the experience is mostly purely two-dimensional. Most of the senses are excluded from the start. Customers can neither touch nor test a product before making a purchase decision.

The importance of packaging in ecommerce

While product packaging does not always play the most important role in ecommerce, it looks very different with another type of packaging. In online trading, the sales process with the digital selection of goods is by no means over. The next step is to bring the purchased products to the customer. A sometimes demanding journey often separates warehouse and recipient. At the same time, the return rate is around 30%, depending on the industry. In this case, products have to survive two tours unscathed in order to be usable for the retailer afterwards. It is therefore important to protect the product from damage with the help of packaging. Get custom packaging for small business in ecommerce by SM Custom Packaging. 

A good packaging solution in ecommerce must have various properties:

  • The packaging must reduce the number of returns by preventing shipping damage or preventing it entirely.
  • The packaging must reduce shipping costs by using smaller and lighter packaging.
  • The packaging must be recognizable and thus strengthen brand awareness.
  • The packaging must be satisfactory for the customer and give them a pleasant unpacking experience.
  • In order to find a suitable solution for all these problems in e-commerce, two types of packaging in particular have become established that are used today.

Utility packaging and branded packaging

The term useful packaging hides exactly what one would expect: packaging that was primarily designed for its use. This includes all the straightforward and simple packaging, from classic brown cardboard to white envelopes. The function is important here. The packaging is chosen in such a way that the contents are protected from external influences on the shipping route.

Branded packaging puts the focus elsewhere. Have you ever seen shipping packaging where you knew from afar which company it belonged to? Branded packaging is based on colorful designs, logos, large labels and text content.

6 effective packaging solutions for the mail order business

More is not always better, especially when it comes to packaging. Good packaging manufacturers live by the motto: less is more. This not only saves material costs, but also supports retailers in being able to carry out shipping as cheaply as possible. For this reason, we have summarized particularly efficient methods below, which you can use to deliver the ideal packaging for your products.

1: Choose packaging that matches the product

Both the actual product packaging and the shipping packaging should not simply be chosen in any size. If the packaging is chosen too tightly, the product can be squeezed in or cause unnecessary friction, which ultimately leads to unwanted damage. If packaging that is too large is chosen, the risk of product damage is also very high, especially if insufficient filling material is used. In any case, however, there is a high cost of materials here. Large cavities have to be made up for with packaging chips or writing paper, and the cardboard box or mailer itself also has more basic material. The resulting higher weight can quickly increase shipping costs to unimagined heights. Your goal should therefore be to choose packaging that that matches the product as closely as possible. This reduces the weight without becoming a risk for your goods. Many packaging elements that would have been important in stationary retail can easily be omitted in e-commerce.

2: Replace immovable packaging with flexible variants

The carton is a real standard in mail order and has many advantages. However, it is not the best choice for every product when it comes to packaging. Packaging without the necessary flexibility can even pose a risk in shipping. You should therefore not send liquid products in heavy hard plastic bottles. Instead, it is better to use bags that follow the movements on the shipping route and are less prone to damage. The heavy plastic bottle would also only add unnecessary weight that you as a retailer would have to pay for. The screw cap lengthens the product unnecessarily and means that you have to choose a larger outer packaging. Flexible packaging, on the other hand, is optimally adapted to the respective product quantity and does not take up unnecessary space.

3: Use environmentally friendly and sustainable filling materials

Styrofoam packaging chips are certainly very useful and can provide the desired buffer in your packaging to protect products from falls or bumps and thus reduce the risk of shipping damage. At the same time, however, they pose a major environmental problem because disposal involves some difficulties. Consumers therefore want an environmentally friendly and safe alternative.

In most cases, packaging and packaging materials are real disposable products. Once you have reached the customer and have served your purpose, you become waste. In order to reduce your ecological footprint as a company, you should take a look at other materials. Anything that causes difficulties in recycling and is not biodegradable should only be used if there really is no alternative. Otherwise, recycling cardboard, but also new types of materials such as bamboo or packaging chips made from corn are excellent alternatives that can be completely decomposed.

4: Use multifunctional adhesive tape

In e-commerce, adhesive tape has more tasks than just sealing the package. Do not let the great potential of this product go unused. There is unused space on every adhesive tape that you can use for advertising purposes. By decorating the adhesive with the colors of your corporate design or even your logo, you can turn a purely useful packaging into a branded packaging. In this way, the adhesive tape will fulfill more than just one function in the future: It seals the box, strengthens the stability and supports your branding.

When it comes to using custom packaging to stand out from the competition, printed tape is one of the simplest and most importantly, budget-friendly options. In this way, you can individualize your packaging without incurring high costs.

5: Stand out from the crowd

Even if you place great value on useful packaging and do not want to restrict the protective effect of cardboard and filling material, you have a wide range of options for self-presentation. They can help you attract and keep your customers’ attention. So make it clear to yourself that useful packaging doesn’t have to be boring. Instead of using simple, brown cardboard boxes, you have a wide range of alternatives available. Not only can you print adhesive tape to strengthen the perception of your brand, you can also customize the entire packaging directly. Many packaging manufacturers offer different printing options for this. For example, you can print a white cardboard box in the company colors, attach your logo or use unusual designs, with which you can pick up certain seasons, for example. If you want to use a cheaper alternative, you can also use stickers in addition to printed adhesive tape, on which either your logo or a slogan is written. In any case, the goal should be for outsiders and the recipient to see your brand directly, even if they only see the packaging from a distance.

6: Create an unforgettable experience for your customers

When one of your customers opens their parcel, they should experience similar emotions as when they received a special gift. Unpacking a package offers many opportunities for businesses. Here you can work on customer loyalty and far exceed or fall short of your customers’ expectations. You can actively work to improve the relationship with your customers by relying on the following elements:

  • Colored, high-quality tissue paper as filling material or to pack the items individually
  • A personalized thank you card to personally pick up customers
  • Coupons, discount codes or upselling options to further promote your offer and turn your customers into repeat buyers
  • A small bonus in the form of a gift or a product sample to give your customers something extra

The best packaging in e-commerce

The best packaging combines form and function. They protect your products until the customer unpacks them. You also have to inspire the customer, provide them with a great experience and keep the costs for materials and shipping as low as possible. The continued popularity of unboxing videos gives companies new opportunities to promote their own offerings.

When it comes to designing your packaging, there are many aspects to consider. We hope that with this article we have been able to provide you with some assistance to make this project easier. We are happy to support you in the selection and design of suitable packaging. Simply use our contact options or try out our box configurator yourself.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here