Packaging 101: The Complete Guide

Meet Kyla Moore, the dynamic project coordinator at Arka, who is driven by her passion for sustainable packaging. She is dedicated to assisting businesses.

Why is Ecommerce Packaging Important?

Before you continue reading our expert guide, you must understand why eCommerce packaging is essential. Do you wonder, “what does e-commerce packaging mean” or “what are its benefits”? We got you covered! Here are multiple benefits all entrepreneurs can get, and they are:

Product protection: the transportation of goods is a complex process. Products can always get damaged, which is why they need good protection. If the packaging is adequate (good size, shape, and structure), such problems can easily be solved. Damaged products (even if you have a good return policy) will always negatively impact the satisfaction of consumers.

Enhancing brand identity and differentiation from competitors: all eCommerce brands should strive to be unique. One of the ways to do that is to customize your packages adequately. You should think of creative designs and shapes that consumers will easily recognize. Collaborating with Arka would be perfect if you do not know how to turn your creative ideas into reality.

Improved customer experience: the adequate eCommerce packages will provide a personal touch to all consumers. Apart from that, re-shaped and customized packages can be much easier to handle.

Amazon ecommerce packaging

Credits: Amazon

Better unboxing experience: improved and customized eCommerce packaging will also ensure a better unboxing experience. The emotions and feelings customers get whenever they open the product they ordered are extremely valuable. Those senses will stay in their subconsciousness, which is why there may make another order from your online store. Also, they may want to share the same emotion with someone close to them. Your products can become the number one choice for anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, etc.

Reduced return rate: damaged products will not only disappoint consumers. They will also ensure you a better profit. You will reduce your return rate, avoid additional shipping fees, and free replacements.

Improvement of brand value: with unique packaging designs, you won’t just split from the mass of competitors and become recognizable. You will also boost your brand’s value. However, to achieve such a goal, you must define “value”. More precisely, you need to understand what your target audience considers valuable.

Better profit margins: everything we just said will ensure better profit margins. If you boost the value of your brand, you will have the freedom to raise the price of your products. On the other hand, if you collaborate with manufacturers like Arka, larger quantities will ensure a lower price for each package.

Key Factors to Consider for Effective E-Commerce Packaging

Choosing the best eCommerce packaging is not quite easy. You must put into consideration four main factors before making the final choice. After analyzing those factors, you will need to get in touch with manufacturers that will turn all your ideas into reality. With Arka, it is always possible to ask for an opinion or direct recommendations. But, before you do that, we recommend you analyze the four criteria below.

Durability and Protection

Before everything, it is essential to ensure adequate protection for all the products that need to be transported. In eCommerce, the buyer’s address can be thousands of miles from the warehouse. That is why you must pick packages made of strong and durable materials. They need to be weather-resistant, dust-resistant, moisture-resistant, and so on.

Size and Weight Optimization

Optimizing the size and weight of eCommerce packages is crucial for different purposes. Logically, the appropriate size and weight will ensure the best possible protection. However, they can also bring you profit in another way! Entrepreneurs will manage to transport more packages at once in the same vehicle. On the other hand, they will have more space in the warehouses. In other words, they will not have to rent a bigger, more expensive one when their business improves.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness

Sustainable packages are no longer an expectation but a requirement. More than 80% of consumers expect to receive a product packed in an eco-friendly package. Those percentages are even higher among Generation Z. The good news is that the same group is willing to pay even more for those products. That ensures better profit!

Branding and Functional Design

The purpose of eCommerce packaging is to promote the brand and boosts its value. Choosing the materials and optimizing the size for technical reasons is necessary. Yet, you must not neglect the importance of branding. When thinking of the look of your packaging, put all those factors into consideration.

10 Essential Ecommerce Packaging Materials and Accessories

The list of the most essential eCommerce packaging materials and accessories can serve as an inspiration. It is more important to put into consideration the factors previously mentioned. Yet, we are sure that at least one option from the list will be perfect for your eCommerce brand. So, let’s start!

Cardboard Boxes

This type of eCommerce packaging is good for multiple reasons. Cardboard is recyclable, sturdy, and does not influence the weight of the package a lot. You can use the so-called double-walled cardboard boxes if you work with heavy products. They come with an additional layer of protection strong enough to keep even the heaviest items properly protected. You can also check Arka’s premium custom shipping boxes or mailer boxes!

cardboard box

Credits: Christopher Bill

Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated boxes are actually brown cardboard boxes. The biggest number of eCommerce stores commonly use them. They are lightweight, durable, and can be found in different sizes and shapes. Thanks to their flexibility, manufacturers can easily customize them. Because of the rows of air columns they contain, they are even stronger than typical cardboard boxes.

corrugated box

Credits: CURVD®

Poly Mailers

This eCommerce packaging is probably the most flexible one on this list. There are two options in front of you - poly mailers made of paper or those made of polyethylene LDPE. Although they cannot be used for heavy products, they are perfect for small and medium-sized goods.

Arka's custom poly mailer

Bubble Mailers

Their main benefits are sustainability, the ability to recycle them, and a good layer of protection. In most cases, they will come with post-consumer material. Sometimes, bubble mailers can be reused, but that depends on their design. They are made of paper content which makes them easily recyclable.

bubble mailer by Arka

Paperboard Mailers

Paperboard may not be as flexible as other options on this list. But they are a perfect option if you sell things like books, calendars, documents, etc. Their purpose is to remain flat during the entire transportation procedure. The good thing is that they come in different styles and colors, making them ultra-easy for customization.

paperboard mailers by Amazon

Credits: Amazon

Air Pillows

Air pillows have gained huge popularity in the last few years as eCommerce packaging infills. They are a pretty cheap option and an excellent choice for those entrepreneurs concerned about package weight.

air pillows for packaging

Credits: ALAMY

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wraps are usually the most interesting eCommerce packaging for consumers. More precisely, people usually do not consider them just packaging. They are an entertaining bonus trip. We all like to pop up the bubble after we open the package. This eCommerce packaging is cost-effective and lightweight. It protects the product from any sort of pressure that could appear during the shipping process.

bubble wraps

Credits: Wander Fleur

Labels and Stickers

Labels and custom stickers have multiple purposes. You can use them as a message you want to send customers. For instance, you can say more about the product and your brand or share other useful information. Apart from that, they are a perfect decoration tool and can be part of eCommerce packaging design.

custom stickers by Arka

Custom Tape and Inserts

Both custom inserts and tapes can benefit eCommerce stores. They can make the product more convenient and provide additional protection. Plus, thanks to their flexibility in terms of design, the eCommerce packaging can look more entertaining. That will automatically improve customer satisfaction.

custom inserts by ARKA

Custom Tissue Paper

Tissue papers have almost identical benefits to tapes and custom inserts. They can be used as a marketing tool that boosts the customer experience. In most cases, they are completely sustainable. That is the reason why they are one of the favorite eCommerce accessories.

custom tissue paper by Arka

Ecommerce Packaging Trends

Two things influence the eCommerce packaging trends - people’s requirements and advanced technology. Thanks to these two factors, the packages of different eCommerce brands have changed a lot in the last few years. Following these trends can help you remain competitive. So, the main packaging trends are:

• Minimalistic packaging: try to remain as simple as possible;

Eco-friendly solutions: use packages made of sustainable materials;

Personalization and customization: customizing the packages will ensure a better customer experience and boost your brand awareness/value;

Smart packaging: although smart packaging isn’t popular, it will eventually grow in further years. It involves interactive technology that boosts the customer experience;

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve answered the question “What is ecommerce packaging” and uncovered all facts, we hope our ecommerce packaging expert guide will benefit entrepreneurs. You now understand why packages are important for the success of your store. Consider all the relevant factors and choose one of the options from our list. Always strive to follow the latest trends to remain competitive.

FAQs on Ecommerce Packaging

Are there any regulations or guidelines for Ecommerce packaging?

Yes, the FDA has established regulations for eCommerce packaging that all entrepreneurs should follow. Read those rules carefully, or connect with Arka, and we will take care of that.

How does Ecommerce packaging impact shipping costs?

There is no precise answer to this question. It directly depends on the way you optimize your eCommerce packages. If you reduce their size and weight, that can eventually lower the shipping costs. We recommend using lightweight materials, especially those we mentioned on this page.

How can Ecommerce businesses choose the right packaging suppliers?

There are multiple factors you should put into consideration. Some of them are price, variety of eCommerce packaging types, testimonials, certificates, experience, etc. Always discuss your ideas before making an order. Professional suppliers will always carefully listen to your ideas and provide suggestions if necessary.

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