Optimize E-Commerce Packaging Operations

3 Ways To Optimize E-Commerce Packaging Operations

Optimizing your entire packaging process is almost a rule in the e-commerce business today. The fact is that, as packaging is getting smarter, more and more burdens fall on operations.

If you don't control your packaging operations, the cost of your product package will control you.

While most brands are looking for ways to improve their packaging without spending more, you don’t want your budget to deepen every year.

Lots of businesses have failed not because they did not give attention to their packaging but because they didn’t see the need for optimizing packaging operations.

In this article, we are going to be showing you 3 ways to optimize your e-commerce packaging operations.

What Does Optimization of Packaging Operations Mean?

Package optimization is simply the use of a packaging strategy to contain, communicate, and protect your product as they are being moved from a production facility, warehouse, or fulfillment center to their final destination.

custom shoe boxes

Photo Credit: packaging box on Pxfuel.com

A good product package does not fall from the sky. It is a product of proper planning, right decisions, and joint effort between machinery and labor.

Donny Salazar, CEO and Founder of MasonHub, says that you should consider the full experience of your customers from the time they place the order to the unboxing experience. Fulfillment houses like MasonHub can put together beautiful packouts for all your customers and help you cater to VIP influencers with special package details. 

It involves knowing and using the right type, size, and quantity of packaging materials, and choosing the right design, and procedures for making great packaging for your customers.

Optimizing your packaging operations is a smart decision that makes your product packaging more friendly and economical to the entire supply chain.

Here are a few things you must consider when you are trying to optimize your packaging operations-

First, you need to take into account the different types of packaging necessary to deliver your product. 

They will include your primary, secondary and tertiary packaging. This will help you form a mental image of what you need and how much hands can get the job done. 

You’ll also be able to tell whether an automated approach will be more cost-effective than hiring new hands.

Secondly, you have to identify what packaging is needed and the materials for packaging depending on how fragile the product is. Find out the vulnerabilities of your product and how easily the product could be damaged.

After identifying the packaging your product needs, the next thing is to choose the right amount of packaging that you need. 

Getting this right will you create the right balance between what your product needs and what you budgeted for it. This is why packaging companies like Arka will continue to be relevant in the business world. Arka also offers eco-friendly and sustainable custom shipper boxes and custom mailer boxes that level up your business.

Not only does it help you create the balance you need, but it also makes sure that your packaging is functional at a low cost.

As an e-commerce business owner, you have to avoid both under-packaging and over-packaging at all costs. 

Under-packaging may lead to damaged products which will eventually raise costs. In addition to this, your customers are going to return your products and you have to bear the cost.

Over-packaging leads to excessive waste and that’s not even all. 

When a product is over-packaged, it means one thing, and that is the fact that the business has used up resources that would have been channeled to other things for efficiency.

When you over-packaged you will not only need more space to store the product but also more space to transport the product.

You also need to understand that every product has its preferred means of transportation and storage area. 

Most often, the packaging of your product will be determined by how best it is stored and the way it will be moved from one place to another.

Top 3 Ways To Optimize Packaging Operations

Packaging operations involve many things. It may include bagging, boxing, canning, cutting, measuring, weighing, wrapping, and other similar processes necessary in preparation or packaging a manufactured product in a way that makes them ready for sale.

It also involves all the activities that follow after the product leaves the production facility until it gets to the final consumer.

However, when these activities are not optimized for efficiency, you end up spending more than you have budgeted for them.

As mentioned earlier, optimization is a packaging solution that can benefit every e-commerce business. 

You can optimize your packaging operations in many ways, especially if you are familiar with the entire process. 

However, some operations are very important, and the only way to get the best out of them is by optimizing each. Here are three ways to optimize your packaging operations.

1. Make Sustainable Packaging a Core Brand Value

You are probably wondering what sustainable packaging has to do with optimization but here's the gist.

A brand that adopts sustainable packaging will ensure that the entire packaging process leaves a less negative impact on the environment.

sustainable packaging process

Photo Credit: sustainable packaging life cycle on flickr.com

According to a study, 74 percent of respondents say that the use of packaging labels that communicate transparency about product ingredients builds customer loyalty.

In the same manner, packaging that contains information, stickers, or labels that communicate sustainability influences buyer's decisions more than packaging that does not contain such information.

This packaging strategy will influence the design you want to use, where you source your materials, and the amount of packaging waste that is attributed to your brand.

Sustainable packaging tends to become a working ideology that permeates every aspect of your business. 

Since you'll always consider the amount of carbon footprint your packaging emits, the entire packaging process tends to include only responsible choices.

By adopting this approach, you not only tell your subordinates what to do but also how to go about doing them.

2. Automation and Design for Efficiency

Most brands find it difficult to live up to expectations because they have wasted too many resources on hiding new hands.

Packaging operation involves different stages which means that you may need workers to do the job. 

However, it's a big mistake to stick with laborers where a machine works better or to continue with human abilities, where automated systems reduce costs.

Most modern packaging uses a lot of algorithms from automated systems to determine the length, height, and width of a product package.

By using automated systems, packaging operations are not only simplified but are also more accurate. 

There'll be no reason to fear mistakes as the system will often notify you of both current and potential errors.

Automation also helps you design for efficiency. Remember that your packaging design determines more than half of the other operations involved in packaging and that's not all.

It also determines the transportation costs and the choice of materials you'll need to create the product package.

Design is one of those areas that are vital for business growth. Studies have shown that it takes just 7 seconds for customers to form an impression of your brand.

In these 7 seconds, all they can see is your packaging design. If your design is boring and unable to wow your customers, you may lose a good number of potential customers.

3. Package To Enhance Fulfillment

Packaging to enhance fulfillment is one way to improve your packaging operations. It includes receiving and storing inventory, processing orders, picking items, packing boxes, and transporting the items to the customer's shipping destination.

custom boxes

Photo Credit: custom boxes on wikipedia.org

Your product will not land at your customer's doorstep on their own. You have to ensure that they are in good condition both within and outside your warehouse.

Ensuring that your product packaging is optimized to meet every need in your supply chain is a huge step to winning.

Firms like Masonhub provide expert services that help your brand conquer its fulfillment challenges. The goal is to modernize the way your brand manages its supply chain.

Why Optimizing Entire Packaging Process is Necessary

Packaging supplies almost half of all the growth opportunities in the e-commerce business.  From building a strong brand image to serving as the sales funnel, the impact of packaging is felt in almost every part of the business.

E-commerce businesses understand that their product packaging defines what impression potential customers will have about the business. 

Since almost every important aspect of the business is online, your product presentation is the most efficient way to convince potential clients.

Product packaging is the soul of every e-commerce business, once it is not working, your business will struggle to exist. There is no exaggeration here. 

According to a report by Forbes, 60-80 percent of consumers do not return to the same business if their packaging is poor.

While you are focused on the product, customers expect your product packaging to be visually appealing, functional, relatable and filled with qualities that can create a memorable experience for them.

In e-commerce, the packaging is not just about your product cover. It includes all the intellectual activities such as planning, decision making, research, design testing, and every other effort leading to your final product.

It is also not about you alone. It is determined by the combined effort of those individuals and machinery in your packaging line.

Big brands like Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, etc, are always looking for new ways to optimize their packaging operations. 

For instance, Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the world has a new leadership role that focuses on sustainable packaging.

Optimizing your packaging operations means you are showing enough attention to your entire fulfillment process.

It also means that you can reduce packaging waste while making the best use of your limited resources. It also helps you initiate good organizational values that will lead to better results.

Optimizing packaging operations save you the effort, time, and money that would have been wasted.

Benefits of Package Optimization to Your Supply Chain

Optimizing your entire packaging process can benefit your supply chain in several ways. They include-

1. Lower cost

The best packaging strategies are the ones that capture both the marketing and supply chain goals. Package optimization is always focused on reducing the brand’s overall cost. 

According to a study, manufacturers spend more than $150 billion a year on product packaging, or roughly 7 to 10 cents of every dollar that goes into a product.

Even if most e-commerce businesses do not spend up to this on packaging, they spend a significant amount of money on product packaging and fulfillment.

By optimizing the packaging process, you'll be able to take full advantage of cost reduction opportunities. Optimizing packaging operations can reduce corrugate, transportation, and warehousing costs by up to 10%.

For instance, when your packaging design is fully optimized, you'll not only benefit from sustainable packaging but also a reduction in the cost of operation. You can ignore unnecessary add ons, and focus on what is relevant. 

2. Fewer Damages

According to an infographic, businesses have reported a 30% increase in consumer interest when those businesses show strong attention to packaging. 

Optimizing your packaging process is one of the ways to show that you are giving enough attention to packaging. It saves the stress of having to deal with a damaged product which is costly and frustrating.

First, you may have to replace the entire product and prepare for additional logistics transport. Besides, a damaged product may require an entirely new packaging, which is also an extra cost.

By optimizing packaging operation, you not only reduce packaging waste but the possibility of having a damaged product.

Optimization helps you choose the right packing material that is sturdy enough to protect the product while in transit. 

3. Less Environmental Impact

Optimizing your packaging operation reduces the amount of carbon footprint your packaging leaves on the environment.

Packaging materials like plastic, styrofoam, and cardboard boxes are proven to be harmful to the environment. Still, these materials are generally the most flexible and reliable materials for packaging.

Since we almost can not do without them, we must find a way to ensure that their impact on the environment is minimal. 

Package optimization will help reduce the use of these materials significantly as they will only be used where there is no alternative. 

E-Commerce businesses are aware that customers are more informed than they were a few centuries ago.

Today, customers want to know where you source your materials, how you use the materials, and the environmental impact of the materials.

According to a study, 77% of consumers said that packaging that uses materials designed to keep families safe builds trust. 

Package optimization helps you focus on these key areas that customers are looking out for. By optimizing your packaging operation, you can redesign packaging materials for a better experience.


Optimizing your packaging operations comes with a lot of responsibilities which we have highlighted here. However, the need to improve your packaging operations for efficiency is second to none in the e-commerce business.

Now that you've learned how to optimize your packaging operations, we expect you to take advantage of the benefits of package optimization.

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