ECOMMERCE PACKAGING GUIDE
What is Ecommerce Packaging?
In an economy that is shifting more towards a digital landscape, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to place a stronger emphasis on branding as it pertains to packaging. As it becomes easier to find affordable alternatives for most products in today’s digital world, it becomes even more difficult for brands to differentiate themselves based on product quality alone. That said, one effective way in which companies can separate themselves from the competition is through ecommerce packaging.
Ecommerce packaging involves protecting your product & establishing your brand. Oftentimes, the first actual physical interaction consumers have with a brand is when they’re holding the package that has been delivered to them in their hands. This is a critical moment in the fulfillment life cycle as it serves as the first impression of your product and presents the opportunity to tell the story of your brand.
Choosing the appropriate ecommerce packaging can serve as a “double whammy” of sorts for companies by improving both profitability and the customer experience as a whole. The right ecommerce packaging will lower the return rate of products by preventing shipping damages, establishing and increasing brand identity, improving overall customer satisfaction, and reducing shipping costs.
This article will examine the different ways in which your company can use ecommerce packaging to benefit your brand and bottom line!
Who needs Ecommerce Packaging?
In short, any company that engages in the online sale and shipping of a product or good should place a priority on ecommerce packaging. Realistically, the packaging of most products plays a minimal role in a consumer’s initial purchasing decision. That said, the quality of packaging that a product is delivered in can play a significant role on a consumer’s impression of the brand and, ultimately, their decision to repurchase in the future.
For instance, if a customer were to receive a damaged package and had to return their product because it was harmed during shipment, you run the risk of that customer beginning to associate your brand with thoughts of lower quality. Inversely, if the package is delivered in tip-top condition, is visually appealing, and enjoyable to open, you can solidify your brand as a go-to option in their minds.
When it comes to selecting optimal ecommerce packaging, the three most important factors to consider are packaging type, tape, and infill.
Types of Packaging
When it comes to types of ecommerce packaging, there are a number of different options that companies can use depending on their end goal. These include, but are not limited to, the following materials:
Stock Corrugated Boxes:
By far the most common packaging of choice for most of the industry, corrugated boxes are structurally sound, lightweight, and recyclable. This type of packaging tends to be good for larger, more fragile products. Stock corrugated boxes are also a great option for companies looking to simplify their packaging and manage their supply chain with this in-stock option.
Bags and Envelopes:
This type of packaging can be effective for lighter, less fragile goods such as clothing where you don’t have to worry about the product being damaged during shipping. An added benefit of this type of packaging is that it is often waterproof, which allows products to be protected from the elements.
Padded mailers provide a tremendous option for smaller, fragile products, such as jewelry and artwork. With an interior most commonly lined with bubble wrap, padded mailers help ensure safe transit for products.
Custom Corrugated and Chipboard Boxes:
Custom corrugated and chipboard boxes are very popular for start-ups and big consumer-driven companies alike because they offer unrestricted branding and marketing opportunities. Chipboard is a commonly used material in our Design department because of it’s thinner nature, making it easier to manipulate for unique designs. Chipboard also offers a quick turnaround thanks to the speed of cutting and shaping of the box at any dimension in comparison to corrugated. Custom boxes can make any product stand out among other parcels in the mail and are well suited for ecommerce sales channels. Personalized boxes can tell the story of a company and its brand before a customer even holds the product itself.
Types of Tape
While this might seem like an inconsequential part of ecommerce packaging, the type of tape that you chose to secure your packaging with can make a huge difference. At the end of the day, the packaging and infill you use doesn’t matter if the package opens during transit. The two main types of tape for ecommerce packaging are clear carton sealing tape and aggressive water-activated tape.
Carton Sealing Tape:
There are two types of carton sealing tape – acrylic tape and hot melt tape. Acrylic tape is most commonly used for packages up to around 15 pounds, this type of tape is a reliable and inexpensive option for securing your packaging. The only drawbacks to this tape is that it becomes less effective for heavier products and is difficult to recycle. Also, the humidity and overall climate in your packing facility can affect the adhesiveness of the tape to your boxes. Hot melt tape, on the other hand, is made up of 3 layers – a film layer, a release coat that let’s the product easily unspool, and a much more aggressive adhesive layer. Hot Melt Tape holds well at steady temperatures, which makes it a fantastic option if your business will be storing product for a long period of time.
By far the stronger of the two options, water-activated tape provides a more secure and reliable option for packages weighing over 25 pounds. In addition to being stronger and tamper-evident, water-activated tape is also easier to recycle than basic clear acrylic tape and provides a great opportunity for branding with custom print options available. The only drawback is that you will need a dispenser to wet the tape before it can be used.
Types of Infill
Infill is arguably the most important part of ecommerce packaging because it protects the contents inside the box. There are a handful of different infill options, ranging from void fill solutions to protective packaging, to choose from to make the most out of your packaging.
An incredibly versatile and cost-effective void fill option that can be easily recycled, kraft paper can be ripped or folded to help secure what’s inside the box.
Air pillows are air-filled sacs that are good for minimizing the weight of your package and securing your product inside the box. If sustainability is a concern to your company, you may have heard air pillows tend to be harder to recycle than some of their paper-based alternatives. Morrisette is committed to the environment and can provide air pillow solutions that are, in fact, sustainable, biodegradable, or environmentally friendly.
Forget packing peanuts! Here at Morrisette, we prioritize custom routed foam and protective foam inserts. These custom foam inserts prove much better than loose fill because the customization of routed foam allows the material to be designed with your exact product in mind, providing the utmost protection.
Bubble wrap is a classic protective packaging solution that provides a secure option for the most fragile of items, including glassware, fine china, and beauty products. Beyond its protective capabilities, bubble wrap is both economical and sustainable.
While there are many other alternatives to infill, these four tend to be the most commonly used.
To Wrap It All Up
In conclusion, if you are a company that engages in the sale and delivery of a physical product through ecommerce channels, you should emphasize high-quality, ecommerce-specific packaging. The importance of making a strong first impression in the eyes of consumers cannot be understated. Whether it’s used to provide cost-saving benefits to your company or to help amplify your brand message, investing in effective ecommerce packaging solutions is simply a no-brainer.