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2023 Guide to eCommerce Packaging

2023 Guide to eCommerce Packaging

February 7, 2023
Posted By
Austin Kreinz
Title asset to the "Summer Shipping" blog post from Atomix Logistics. A small green 3D truck with a small sun floating above it portrays the hot summer sun during order transport. KW: Ecommerce, 3PL, order fulfillment, fulfillment center, summer order fulfillment, new orders, new customer, temperature, protection, packaging, eco-friendly, sustainability

A book should not be judged by its cover, but good books deserve good covers. Of course, we're talking about eCommerce packaging. If you're unfamiliar with the industry, it's natural to dismiss packaging as an afterthought — after all, what's inside is what matters, right? That's why it’s important to find a specialized partner.

Packaging serves two functions: it protects products while also making a stylish, branded statement that will set you apart from the competition. There are also numerous options to choose from, which, while exciting, can make finding the ideal solution a little overwhelming.

Table of Contents

  • What is eCommerce Packaging?
  • What type of packaging does my business need?
  • Types of eCommerce Packaging
  • First Steps to Use eCommerce Packaging
  • How to Use Custom Packaging

What is eCommerce Packaging?

The packaging you select for your products has a major effect on various facets of your business, ranging from shipping costs to marketing. For an ideal customer experience that furthers the growth of your company, it is essential to choose the finest possible packaging when selling items through electronic commerce. Packaging materials not only offer protection during transit but also help develop a memorable brand image. It's important to remember that even though many people view packaging for online transactions as an add-on afterthought, selecting appropriate materials can be incredibly beneficial.

Why does it matter?

When selling online, product packaging design can be a great way to set yourself apart from competitors and create a memorable brand experience for customers. Whereas traditional physical retail typically offers many touch points in the retail process, there are fewer opportunities when shopping online. Because of this fact, it is essential that retailers pay extra attention to the limited touch points available to them and utilize them as an opportunity to provide a great experience.

What type of packaging does my business need?

Allow us to pave the way in your packaging journey, whether you're just getting started or looking to spice things up. Let's start!

Standard Items

Not all products require a lot of upkeep. For instance, cardboard boxes are a common shipping necessity—and for good reason! They are not only capable of handling a wide range of situations, but they are also widely accessible, convenient to keep, and durable on the road. Kraft paper and biodegradable packing peanuts provide additional padding that is both durable and environmentally friendly.

Fragile Items

can be delicate and often require a safe, enclosed place where they won't be exposed to the risk of breaking or becoming tangled from excessive movement. Fortunately, bubble mailers and bubble wrap are an easy cure! If you want to stay true to the eco-friendly ethos, look for ones that are corrugated and compostable.

Oversized Items

each carrier has a different definition of the term. For UPS, Anything that weighs more than 150 pounds and measures more than 165 inches in length and breadth , and 90 pounds and 130 inches for FedEx. Whatever the case, strength is everything in this situation. They should be able to suggest the best packing and/or even assist you in locating it if you're dealing with an experienced 3PL (a particularly prudent choice for big goods!).

Heat-Sensitive items

Shipping food and drink may not be as simple as shipping t-shirts, but extras like gel packs and liner bags make sure your food products don’t leak during transit! Put that inside a dependable cardboard box, test it out, and you're good to go!

Hazmat Items

Hazardous materials, or "hazmat," are defined as having the potential to be combustible, pressurized, or corrosive. As a result, hazardous products are subject to strict regulations and must be appropriately packaged and labeled. Additionally, depending on the type of goods, these standards may change. There isn't much opportunity for originality, but on this particular occasion, you can get away with skipping aesthetic in favor of functionality.

Types of eCommerce Packaging

Getting your products ready to go out into the world is an essential step in fulfilling orders, and that starts with packaging. When it comes to ensuring your items are secure during transit, there are a few typical choices for reliable packaging:

  1. Corrugated boxes
  2. Padded mailers
  3. Bags and envelopes
  4. Custom product packaging

How to Choose

No matter what type of item you are sending, most require some kind of packaging in order to ensure safe transport. To protect goods and guarantee that your customer receives their orders undamaged, it is important to choose the right box and stuffing or product cushioning for your ecommerce packages. Some types include:

Corrugated Boxes

Using corrugated boxes for packaging continues to be a popular choice among retailers, and it's easy to understand why. Not only are they strong enough to hold most items, but they don't put extra weight into your packages. Plus, you can recycle them once they're no longer useful.

Padded Mailers

When it comes to transporting smaller, fragile items such as jewelry, handmade crafts, publications or electronic devices and gadgets, opting for the right kind of packaging is essential. To give your package an extra layer of protection you can use either recyclable paper or bubble wrap - though the latter isn't environmentally friendly.

Bags and Envelopes

Poly mailers, Tyvek envelopes, and plastic mailing bags are great options for shipping products that don't require a tremendous amount of care. These materials are lightweight yet durable enough to protect your items during delivery. Furthermore, they come with self-sealing features making it an easy way to ship smaller orders or boxes from the comfort of your own home or warehouse.

Custom Packaging

Creating a memorable unboxing experience for your clients is easy with the use of personalized boxes and packaging. There are countless possibilities when it comes to customization, from fonts to tissue to gift wrap. You can also take advantage of full-box printing which allows you to fully display your brand in an effective manner and make the entire experience more enjoyable for those who are opening it up.

First Steps to Use eCommerce Packaging

When you're first starting out in eCommerce, there are a lot of things to think about - from what you're going to sell, to how you're going to market your products. One of the things that's often overlooked is packaging. But the truth is, packaging is a crucial part of running a successful eCommerce business. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the basics of eCommerce packaging, and give you some tips on getting started.

Step 1 - Get Inspired.

When creating a new packaging design, starting with a blank canvas can be difficult. To gain some inspiration, consider the visual aspects of your favorite brands' packaging. Analyze their product placement and designs for ideas about what may work for you. Additionally, take a look at companies that offer similar products to yours to get other perspectives. Use the examples from your research as building blocks and create something unique to your brand.

Step 2 - Decide on your packaging type(s)

These are important factors to consider when deciding on the type of packaging to use:

  • Budget
  • Transportation
  • Materials And Sustainability
  • Size
  • Design And Branding

Step 3 - Weigh, measure and decide on placement.

It’s time to get a scale and do some measuring. Some suppliers may ask this in order to determine the best packaging type and materials for your products, as it's important to ensure your packaging sustains the weight of your products. The weight of your product is also good to know because it'll affect how much you pay for shipping costs. Measure the size of your product so you know how much space it takes up. This will help you decide how much room you need for packing and shipping. Measure the height, width and depth of each of your items individually, as well as their combined measurements. You can use a ruler or measuring tape for this step.

Step 4 - Design your packaging.

Your packaging design is what will grab your customers' attention. The box, or however you choose to package your products, is a storyboard for you to tell your story and share your values. Here are some things to consider: 

When designing your packaging, you can choose to go with a minimalist design with just a logo and name of your product. For food products, you may want to add a list of ingredients. Whatever you decide, it's important to keep your customer in mind.

How to Use Custom Packaging

Evaluate your packaging needs

Packaging is an important part of the marketing mix. It's what catches customers' eyes, so it needs to be pretty, but it also needs to get the job done.

Many businesses have no idea how to evaluate their packaging needs. They know that they need to package up their products, but they don't know what kind of packaging will work best for them. Here are some tips for evaluating your company's packaging needs.

What are your expectations? There are two main categories of expectations when it comes to packaging: aesthetic and functional. You want your product to look good on store shelves, but you also want it to protect its contents from damage during shipping and storage. There are many different ways you can meet these expectations without breaking the bank on expensive materials or equipment.

Who do you want your product packaged for? If you're selling online only, then there really isn't any reason for a fancy box or sleeve around your item. However, if you're selling through brick-and-mortar stores, then those stores might have certain requirements that dictate how your items should be packaged. Some stores may require boxes with dividers or inserts inside them while others may require shrink-wrapping or bubble wrap around each individual product.

Choose what packaging you’ll use

Choosing the right packaging for your product can be a challenge, but it's an important step in ensuring that you're delivering a quality product and experience to your customers. Here are some tips that can help you make the best decision possible.

Consider Your Product

The first thing you'll want to do is consider what sort of product you're selling. If it's something that will be handled often, such as a smartphone case or other electronic accessory, you may want to consider purchasing a box with high-quality protective foam inserts. On the other hand, if your item is fragile or expensive then you may want to invest in additional protection like bubble wrap or foam peanuts.

Look At Your Target Audience

Next, think about who your target audience is and what they might expect from their purchases. Are they looking for convenience above all else? Or do they value quality over everything else?

Consider The Environment

Finally, consider how much environmental impact your packaging will have on both producers and consumers alike. If possible, choose products with recycled content or ones made from sustainable materials like bamboo or soybeans rather than petroleum-based plastics or paperboard

The Post-Purchase Experience

“Upselling Products through Branded Packaging” not only provides a better overall experience for customers but also can offer a superior customer experience while simultaneously increasing profits. “Providing Custom or Sustainable Packaging” creates a stellar unboxing experience that keeps customers coming back often and For emerging brands with ever-increasing growth, they understand that small details count when it comes to having a positive shipping and fulfillment experience, “the little things matter when it comes to fulfillment & shipping to create a great packaging experience.”

Here are some things to include that can enhance the post-purchase experience:

  • Promotional inserts
  • Stickers
  • “Thank you” Notes
  • Branded packing tape


Don't let the process overwhelm you; rather, view it as a chance to engage with your target audience. It will be easier for you to create packaging that will sell your goods and draw in new clients once you know what your target market wants!

Even though it could seem difficult to begin your own e-commerce packaging project, any firm can obtain a professional e-commerce packaging solution with the right planning and assistance from reliable vendors. 

Are you ready to start your eCommerce brand's Custom Packaging process? Schedule a free consultation with us today and we’ll be more than happy to help you get started! Click Here

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