In today’s post we’re going to cover everything you need to know on how to package a product for shipping.
We’ll look at different ecommerce packaging elements, and how you can create a branded, memorable packaging experience that delights your customers.
You’ve done the hard work of attracting your ideal customer and closing the sale. but you can easily undo all that goodwork by offering a poor unboxing experiencing.
Or worse, a package that arrives broken or damaged.
So let’s start by saying that your first concern is to make sure whatever you use, it is durable enough to travel well.
From the moment the postman put the package in their hands your brands irl experience has begun.
Read this post and learn how to make it a good one.
I always wrap my products in several layers of tissue paper. Bottles are then placed in a close fitting box, filled-in with crinkled paper stuffing. Leave no empty space, but likewise don’t overstuff.
Think about your product? What level of protection is. needed to make ensure flawless delivery to your customer.
If you sell T-shirt, tissue won’t really protect the product. But it does add an additional layer of excitement and elegance to your overall unboxing experience.
Custom printed tissue goes the extra mile, but even solid coloured tissue paper will add that edge.
When you’re thinking about how to pack a product for shipping, tissue is nearly always a good idea.
Custom packaging boxes
Nothing says we mean business like a completely on-brand custom unboxing experience.
The fact that you went to the step of designing and printing your own boxes will make you standout in a sea of plain kraft pouches.
You have options for printing and customising all your packaging elements, from tissue to tape to packing slips. At the end of this post you’ll find my resource list of printing companies.
Packaging beads and paper filler
Depending on what you’re selling and how fragile it is, it’s always worth adding some packaging beads or other filler materials. Your package gets some rough treatment as it’s processed to be sent to your customer.
Make sure you add enough packaging that your product will not be broken easily.
Don’t sleep on the tape.
It’s so easy to overlook. The thing is, these days that’s such a diverse variety of interesting tape options that will complement your brand and really add the finishing touch.
Good old Amazon is a good place to get custom tape at affordable prices.
The good thing about stickers is that not only are they versatile, they can also be very inexpensive depending on where and how many you buy.
If you use plain tissue paper, a branded sticker will pull the whole look together.
You can also use stickers on your box as a way to keep the budget lower but still offer of more branded experience.
Depending on the size and weight of your product, padded envelopes can be a great low cost alternative to custom boxes. And with some tissue, custom tape and stickers you can still pull off an incredibly polished experience
Word of warning.
Nw you know how to package a product for shipping, don’t start going on a crazy buying spree.
Before you make any large orders for poly mailers, boxes or stickers, do a smaller sampler order to make sure you like the quality and service.
Doing a sample order will also mean you can double check the size is perfect and there are no typos.
How to package a product for shipping: Go the extra mile
Having attractive and durable packaging is very important, but brands that go the extra mile tend to be more memorable.
So what are some affordable ways you can stand out with your packaging and branded experience?
Include a free sample or tester
Got a new product launching or something you’d like to clear? Where possible offer a free sample.
Look how cute this soap company have made their samples.
Offer a discount code off their next order
Reward customers quickly and you’ll encourage them to order again. A discount code sent shortly after their first purchase is often the most effective time to send this, as you have your customers attention.
If they have a great unboxing experience and love the product, they’ll be more inclined to use the discount code
Include a personal note
Nothing has quite the personal touch like a handwritten note.
When your business is small take this opportunity to be personal with your early customers. Make it your goal to convert them into loyal brand fans.
Business cards and promotional materials
Forget what the nay sayers say, business cards are still a good cost effective way to share additional contact information with you customer.
Remember there’s no need to go all corporate-y.
Your business card or insert should reflect your brand and should be used to better connect with your customers.
If there is any way possible your customer could be confused about how to use or get the best out of your product?
Then you should think about also including educational materials as you make decisions about how to package a product for shipping.
Once your product arrives in one piece and you’ve wowed them with the unboxing, educational material will ensure they can use their purchase with ease.
In fact, lack of educational and information is a common complaint especially for small and newer brands.
What about shipping costs: How to package a product for shipping
There are several factors that affect shipping costs.
Let’s take a look at them.
Size, weight, and distance
If you’re shipping a heavy, bulky package halfway across the continent, don’t be surprised if you have to pay through the nose for it.
High shipping costs, especially internationally, is one the main reasons new brands don’t expand into new markets. Shipping (even small orders) cripples them.
If you’re going to adjust your shipping based on weight, make sure you’re very accurate otherwise this could be costly.
Another approach is to set a flat rate of shipping based on certain parameters.
This is standardised shipping for your customers, but you should also consider how these shipping costs affect your profit.
Check out The Profit Plan to learn how to pick and price your wholesale inventory for profit.
That said, even shipping domestically has increased dramatically, so make sure you stay on top of any changes and price accordingly.
How to stand out when you package a product for shipping
Depending on your brands over look and feel, there will be things which feel more authentic and relevant.
But a great low cost way to standout from other brands is to think how you can use unusual materials or colours in your ecommerce product packaging.
Don’t just think old school ribbons and printed papers. With a little creativity you can often make low-cost materials work equally as well.
Here are a few ideas to get you inspired
- Stained butcher paper
- Custom wrapping paper
- Takeaway boxes
- Tubes – see through or solid
- Twine, yarn and raffia
- Embossed stamps
As we wrap up this article on how to package a product for shipping, I want to come full circle and say, when it doubt, always make it more secure.
A customer would rather have to get scissors to gain access, than to have their packaging arrive looking a mess with their product exposed.
Helpful resources for packaging your online orders
- Fantastapack – a wide variety of boxes and packaging options
- Arka – great for custom poly mailers and boxes
- UPrinting – packaging, pouches, stickers and great prices
- Packlane – great for custom box design popular with millenials
- Lumi – great for EVERYTHING like literally
- noissue – sustainable packaging and tissue that is hella cute
- Tape Jungle – custom printed tape a little more commercial than artisanal
- Envelopes – does what it says on the tin envelopes and also mailers
- Hero Packaging – packaging can be eco friendly and cute
- Sticker Giant – very popular sticker printing they have a great rep
- Sticker Mule – great for customer mailers and all the things
- Vista Prints – great for business cards and marketing materials
So that’s it. We come to the end of the my post on how to package a product for shipping.
I hope you have found it educational and inspirational, and I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.