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The global eCommerce market has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US eCommerce market with a projection of USD 563.4 billion revenue size is touted to become a market leader by 2025.
This will open up new opportunities for eCommerce brands and marketers from other regions. This also means that it will be imperative for said brands and marketers to level up their strategy game to establish their foothold in the eCommerce market.
The success of any eCommerce marketplace is dependent on several factors, one of them being packaging. This article explains eCommerce packaging in detail.
What is eCommerce packaging?
eCommerce packaging refers to the selection of packaging and shipping material to deliver products to customers. It comes in different shapes, sizes, and varieties to ensure the right fit of the product.
Is packaging important for eCommerce?
eCommerce packaging is the first impression of your brand when customers receive the product. Packaging also creates product and brand differentiation for a competitive edge. Moreover, packaging adds a layer of safety to the product to prevent any damage during handling or transit.
Different types of packaging
The choice of packaging is directly related to shipping cost, type of product, and customer experience. The following options are usually available:
- Corrugated boxes
- Clipboard boxes
- Paperboard boxes
- Plastic boxes
- Rigid boxes
- Poly mailers
- Foil sealed bags
- Bubble mailers
- Custom packaging
Each of these packaging options has its pros and cons which need to be considered according to the product type.
eCommerce packaging ideas and steps to follow
Packaging can make or mar your brand reputation. The following steps will enable you to create the right packaging strategy:
Decide on the budget, dimensions, and product placement
You can keep the packaging simple or attractive, depending on how it affects your profitability. The structure of the packaging should accommodate the dimensions of the product perfectly while maintaining the safety factor. You also have to pay attention to the placement of products so that it looks presentable.
Choose a suitable packaging style
The weight, value and fragility of the product will determine the packaging style. For example, bulky and high-value products will need boxes that provide better protection. Poly mailers or padded bags would make a good choice for lightweight products.
Choose the right inside packaging material
Materials like bubble pouches, tapes, foam pallets, papers, air pillows, and void fillers are used as internal packaging. They provide a cushion for the products, fill the vacuum space, and can also serve as placement dividers.
Choose a suitable print
Customers read the print on the packaging before opening it to know what’s inside it. Hence, the print should have a clear and readable font. It should mention details like user instructions, handling care, hazards or harmful chemicals, do’s and don’ts, etc. It should also bear the brand name and logo for easy recognition.
Add custom inserts
Custom inserts are a great way to delight your customers. It is something extra or a surprise that customers do not expect to receive along with the product. Inserts could be free product samples, bonus gifts, thank you cards, personal notes, discount coupons, promotional offers, or any informative or valuable flyer.
A prototype of packaging will give you an accurate idea of how it will look before you source them in bulk. It will help you check for product fit and safety, printing details, and overall structural integrity of the packaging design.
Production and shipping
This stage comprises mass production of the packaging approved by your brand, packing the products, and shipping them to the customers. You can ship the products through courier, ground freight, air freight, or sea freight, depending on the location of customers.
Latest eCommerce packaging trends to consider
eCommerce brands are using the latest trends in packaging to deliver a wow experience for customers. A few of the popular trends are:
- Eco-friendly packaging
- Minimalistic design
- Customized style
- Storytelling-based packaging
- QR codes on the packaging
- Custom inserts
- Vibrant colors and graphics
- Space-saving design
These trends could uplift your eCommerce brand identity and product association in the minds of customers.
However, you need to ensure that these trends resonate with your brand message, are sustainable in the long term, and do not eat into your bottom line.
What is the difference between eCommerce packaging and retail packaging?
Retail customers purchase the products based on the look and feel of it. It is only the packaging interaction they have with the brand.
On the contrary, eCommerce customers’ purchases are driven by personal preferences and social reviews instead of packaging.
Moreover, retail packaging is a simple process since customers mostly pick items themselves from the store. In the case of eCommerce packaging, the process is more complex as logistics are involved in terms of warehousing, packing, wrapping, transporting, and delivery.
Since eCommerce marketplaces are vying for a larger market share than retail stores, the packaging is becoming a crucial element for them to psychologically influence customers. Hence, packaging has evolved into an experiential element of the customer’s lifecycle with the eCommerce brand.
eCommerce packaging should create a memorable, out of the box ‘unboxing’ experience for customers. If it makes a long-lasting impression, then it can enhance your eCommerce brand value and strengthen the customer relationship. It is an extra mile you can go to please your customers!
Fulfillment companies like Multib2b are completely inclusive in their services – starting from picking, packaging, international shipping, warehousing, inventory management and last mile delivery.