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The Complete Guide to Ecommerce Packaging Materials

Posted by TigerPak on 5/25/2020
The Complete Guide to Ecommerce Packaging Materials

Ecommerce continues to grow every year. By next year, ecommerce sales will reach $4.9 trillion. The modern buyer enjoys the convenience of ordering items online. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend will only increase.

Did you recently start an ecommerce business or are switching your brick-and-mortar store to an ecommerce platform? If so, you’ll want to know one of the most important aspects of running an ecommerce business — packing your products.

Ecommerce packaging is not only a way to connect with customers but effective packaging can protect products. This includes the type of box or envelope you ship products in and the filling you choose.

Continue reading our guide to ecommerce packaging.

Choosing Your Ecommerce Packaging

Ecommerce businesses have many packaging options, but it’s important to know the best option for your business and your products. Here’s a breakdown of different packaging choices and when you should use each.

  • Boxes

Boxes are the general packaging option. There are boxes available in many materials and sizes. With the right tape and filling, they’re very secure.

But there are different considerations to make when choosing a package box. This includes:

  • Durability
  • Product(s) weight
  • Product(s) value

These factors affect the box material you use as well as any filling.

Cardboard boxes are still the ecommerce shipping industry standard. Cardboard is a lightweight yet sturdy material. The best part? It’s recyclable.

Cardboard is also a versatile material and there’s a cardboard box available for all shipping needs. For example, you can opt for a double-walled cardboard box for fragile items. This provides extra strength and protection against damage.

Many ecommerce businesses double up on boxes for security measures. For example, if you sell a TV or a laptop, doubling up your cardboard box will conceal the product and help prevent theft.

How do you save money on cardboard boxes? If you plan on using the same size box, you can buy them in bulk and save a lot of money.

Keep in mind, protective boxes, such as double-walled cardboard boxes, are more expensive than traditional boxes.

A common mistake that ecommerce businesses make is shipping products in boxes that are too big. This not only adds to the cost of shipping but also increases the amount of fill you need.

  • Custom Boxes

Even though this option is more expensive, many brands are opting for custom boxes. This option is especially popular for subscription box businesses. Customizing your box can elevate your brand and is more memorable than a simple cardboard box.

One of the benefits of choosing custom boxes is how the box is made for your products. They will fit perfectly and will also be secure, a benefit you may not get if you only opt for traditional boxes.

Many businesses customize their boxes with their logo or another design. But you have even more customization opportunities. You can choose the color, add text, and even change the entire shape of the box.

  • Bags and Envelopes

If you usually ship smaller products, you can always opt for small bags and envelopes. Bags and envelopes in plastic or Tyvek are strong yet lightweight and even offer self-sealing so no tape is needed.

In addition, these bags and envelopes are waterproof — perfect to protect your products from the elements.

This option is best if you’re shipping small and non-fragile items, such as small items of clothing. These are also great for protecting small yet fragile items, such as fine jewelry. You can put the product in a small box and secure a bag or large envelope around it.

  • Padded Mailers

Padded mailers are another great option if you’re shipping a small product that needs extra protection. CDs, DVDs, and even some beauty products are often shipped in padded mailers.

Traditionally, padded mailers contained bubble wrap. This helped protect the product but the packaging wasn’t recyclable. More padded mailers are using a recyclable filling, such as shredded paper.

Different Types of Packing Materials

Now that we covered the most common packaging options, it’s time to go over the packaging filling to better protect your products. Here are your options:

 - Packing Peanuts

Packing peanuts are one of the most common filling choices. They’re lightweight and affordable. In addition, they also don’t weigh down on the box, making shipping more affordable.

- Padded Divider Sets

Padded divider sets are ideal when shipping multiple products in the same box. The dividers will keep your products separate. In addition, they’re made with cushioning to further protect your products.

- Bubble Bags

Bubble bags are convenient bags meant to hold small yet fragile products. You slip the product in the bag, seal it, and then pack it in a mailer or box.

They offer immense protection but are lightweight, not adding to your shipping costs. Many bubble bags are also waterproof.

- Packing Foam

Packing foam offers extra protection for fragile items. The foam can wrap around and conform to any shape. It protects the protect against abrasion, impact, dust, and even moisture.

The foam is cheap and is lightweight, so it won’t add to shipping costs.

- Tape

Last but not least, using the right tape will secure your packaging. Many shipping options, such as mailers, are made with adhesive. But you’ll need the right tape when shipping a box.

Most ecommerce shippers use basic clear acrylic tape. This is ideal for lightweight and small boxes because it’s cheap and secure.

If you need something stronger, choose water-activated tape. It’s powerful, ideal for packaging weighing 25 pounds or more. But this option is more specific — you need a dispenser to wet the tape before sealing.

We Can Help You With Your Ecommerce Packaging

There’s a lot that goes into ecommerce packaging. This is why you need a reliable packaging company to supply you with the shipping materials that you need.

We offer everything from boxes to mailers and even packaging filling. Shop our products today!