Ecommerce Packaging - Product Guide
A comprehensive guide to ecommerce packaging covering the different aspects of ecommerce packaging & the different types of eco packaging for ecommerce
17 August, 2021 by
Ecommerce Packaging - Product Guide
Cameron Izard

Ecommerce Packaging - Product Guide

A comprehensive guide to eCommerce Packaging giving you all we know about the different types of packaging for online orders. Below we explore what ecommerce packaging is and give you some examples of the different types of packaging for ecommerce.

What is eCommerce Packaging?

Ecommerce packaging is packaging that has been developed for packing ecommerce orders. It is packaging that has been specially designed to be easy and fast to pack with, and give a memorable unboxing experience to the end customer. Ecommerce packaging is also very protective and often has a multi-size design that adapts to fit multi-size ecommerce orders.

Ecommerce packaging has swiftly evolved from mail order packaging designs due to the rapid increase of ecommerce. These packaging designs have been adjusted and improved on to create a group of packaging products that can be used to pack the wide range of products sold by ecommerce stores. Nearly every product is now sold online in some shape or form. And the challenges of getting some of the more delicate and awkward items to the customer requires some innovative new ecommerce packaging.

What are the different types of eCommerce Packaging?

There are five different types of ecommerce packaging that make up the primary groups of ecommerce packaging. Within these primary ecommerce packaging groups there are subtypes of ecommerce packaging that you can explore as well.

  • Ecommerce Packaging Boxes: These are boxes for ecommerce that are used for packing larger ecommerce orders.

  • Ecommerce Postal Mailers: Postal Mailers for ecommerce are wraps and envelopes that are used for packing smaller ecommerce orders.

  • Ecommerce Bags: Bags for ecommerce are often used for non breakable ecommerce orders such as clothing, and pre-boxed items.

  • Ecommerce Void Fill: Void fill for ecommerce is used for filling voids in ecommerce boxes and cushioning delicate items for courier.

  • Ecommerce Retention Packaging: Retention packaging for ecommerce is used for giving a better unboxing experience and packing delicate items.

eCommerce Packaging BoxesEcommerce Packaging Box with print on the inside

Ecommerce packaging boxes are generally used for packing medium and large size ecommerce orders. They range from low cost brown standard boxes up to high quality kraft finished custom printed ecommerce boxes. Ecommerce packaging boxes generally come in three different styles:

  • The 0201 standard box style with flaps top and bottom that need sealing with tape.

  • A crash lock box style that pops up in seconds for high speed packing.

  • A presentation box style that is similar to a pizza box for higher value items and a memorable unboxing experience.

Ecommerce packaging boxes come in various different grades and thicknesses. Thinner wall ecommerce boxes are perfect for medium size online orders up to about 5kg. If you need to pack orders heavier than 5kg you need a double wall box or a pizza box style with reinforced sidewalls for extra strength. You can read more about different types of ecommerce boxes on another of our blog posts.

eCommerce Postal Mailers

Ecommerce postal mailers are used for smaller ecommerce orders. They are a group of small postal mailers including book wraps, cardboard envelopes, PiP boxes, postal tubes, letterbox boxes, and twist wraps. Ecommerce mailers are often multi size and tend to be flatter in shape like an envelope. They are popular for sending items such as books, comics, photo frames, small gifts, games, and toys amongst many other items.

Cardboard eCommerce postal mailers are usually used for sending online orders by royal mail as the packets are normally quite small. Most postal mailers can be shipped as small packets or large letters.

eCommerce Packaging Bags

Ecommerce packaging bags are bags that can be used for packing ecommerce orders. They range from thin plastic mailing bags to heavy paper padded envelopes. Ecommerce packaging bags are especially good for high speed packing as they don't need to be made up and taped like an ecommerce box. When packing with an ecommerce bag you simply open the bag and slide the items inside then close and seal the bag with the peel & seal strip. These packaging bags are often used for non breakable online orders, as they offer relatively lower protection levels they aren't so good for sending delicate items.

eCommerce Void Fill

Ecommerce void fill is void fill that has been developed for online stores. It covers a selection of plastic and paper void fill such as shredded paper, crumpled paper void fill, and air pillows. It is designed to be low-cost protective packaging that is cost effective and easy to pack with, helping online stores to pack orders faster.

What is Ecommerce Packaging used for?

Ecommerce packaging is used by online stores and ecommerce fulfilment operations to pack orders that come through their websites. They use ecommerce packaging to pack and protect their products while they travel to their customer via courier or the postal system. Ecommerce packaging is also used to the customer a memorable unboxing experience so they remember the company.

eCommerce Packaging for fashion storesPaper mailing bag - ecommerce packaging for online fashion stores

Many fashion stores used ecommerce packaging to create a memorable unboxing experience for their customers. They use packaging such as ecommerce boxes with printing on the inside. Often the outside of the box is plain, or has minimal branding to ensure the online order travels securely. But when the customer opens the box, their order is revealed alongside the brand. Inside printing also encourages customers to share their new purchases on social media. Online fashion stores often include a printed message encouraging the customer to share their new purchase on social media.

eCommerce Packaging for subscription boxes

Ecommerce packaging has long been used for packing subscription boxes. Ecommerce packaging such as shredded paper, coloured paper void fill, and sustainable ecommerce packaging such as tissue paper and recyclable cardboard boxes are very popular as subscription packaging. Subscription boxes often have a mix of items in them, some delicate, some durable, as well as different shapes and sizes. These different items need ecommerce packaging that is size flexible and protects products well. Coloured paper void fill is great as subscription box packaging, as it is both eye-catching and protective.

How much should you spend on ecommerce packaging?

Most online stores aim to spend between 3%-7% of the product costs. This means that if the product cost of the order is £25 you would aim to spend between 75p and £1.75 on ecommerce packaging for sending the order. However, many boutiques and brand conscious online stores spend up to 10% of their product costs on packaging. This means that if you are trying to build your brand awareness you could look to spend up to £2.50 on sending your order.

A good method of working out how much to spend on ecommerce packaging is to work out the average product costs per order. Do this by adding up the cost of the products sold over a month long period, then divide it by the number of orders that you have sent. This will give you the average product cost per order. When you have an average product cost for your ecommerce orders, multiply this by 5% and that will give you the average packaging cost that most online stores will be paying to despatch an order of that value.

The next thing is to consider if your brand is important to you. If you are trying to build your brand awareness, be prepared to double the cost of your packaging to get an attractive branded box. Or use coloured void fill & printed tissue paper to wrap your items. Remember, a nicely presented online order has a good chance of being shared on social media. And an impressed customer will very likely return with a repeat purchase.

On the flip side, if you are selling a low margin product you need to be careful of spending your pennies on packaging. In this case you need to be aiming at a cost of half of your average packaging cost. It normally takes volume to buy ecommerce packaging at a low cost, so consider what storage space you have and try and buy in as much bulk as possible. Many packaging companies will offer better prices for bulk purchases in pallet quantities.

Ecommerce Packaging - Product Guide
Cameron Izard 17 August, 2021
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