In 2018 alone, businesses in the eCommerce industry brought in more than $517.36 billion in sales in the United States. With more people placing orders online instead of heading to local shops, that number will only increase over the next few years.
This means that now is the perfect time to start selling online. However, before you can send out your first shipment, you need to choose the right eCommerce packaging materials for your business.
With so many different packing box sizes and materials, figuring out which ones are right for your needs can be tough. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you start your search.
- Remember Your Budget
When you’re deciding on the best type of boxes to use for your upcoming shipments, you need to keep your budget in mind. Typically, it’s cheaper to order boxes in bulk than it is to place smaller orders more frequently.
Get quotes from different packaging providers and discuss your needs with them in detail. Once you have quotes from several companies, choose the provider that gives you the best value for the money you’re spending.
Just don’t panic when you see a large number upfront. Break the price down by box and consider the overall costs that way.
- Think About What You’re Shipping
Before you can decide on the best type of eCommerce packaging for your business, you need to consider the items you’re selling to consumers.
Think about how large and heavy those items are. The heavier the item is, the sturdier your boxes need to be. If they’re smaller and lighter, you’ll be able to choose a small cardboard box or even an envelope to ship items to consumers.
Choosing the wrong size and strength box could result in damage to your items before they even reach your customers. Ultimately, this will cause you to lose more money on returns and replacements than you’d ever spend on high-quality packing materials.
- Make It Personal
When you run a brick-and-mortar retail store, the store itself is what gives your customers a peek into your personality and values. When you run an online store, you have to find a different way to showcase those values to your customers. While it often starts with your website, you need to make sure your brand carries over onto your packaging.
If possible, get your logo and brand name printed on the exterior of the box so customers know where it came from at first glance. Depending on your budget, you can also look into getting custom box liners and branded padding materials.
The more personal you can make the box, the more professional and successful it will make your brand appear. It’s the best way to make a lasting impression with your customers and can go a long way toward improving your brand’s recognition.
- Pay Attention to Security
Not all boxes are able to stand up to the demands of shipping long distances. They get crushed, torn, and fall open in-transit.
Your customers expect their order to reach them in pristine condition. This means you need boxes that can stand up to the abuse they’ll suffer throughout the shipping process.
When choosing the best packing box sizes for your products, choose options that are thick enough and sturdy enough to stand up to both the shipping process and the weight of the materials you’re shipping. Find out more about the types of closures they use and look for ones that will adequately secure the items inside.
- Consider Recyclability
Customers love businesses that support eco-friendly initiatives. This means choosing packing materials that are recyclable at a bare minimum.
Think of fun and creative ways to incorporate repurposed materials into your eCommerce packaging. This could mean choosing boxes made from 100 percent recycled materials or making padding out of shredded newspapers or biodegradable packing peanuts.
The more thought you put into your packaging, the more your customers will appreciate it and notice your efforts. This can go a long way toward encouraging their willingness to order from you again in the future.
- Don’t Neglect Room for Padding and Other Items
Typically, smaller standard box sizes will cost less than larger ones. This can make it tempting to choose the smallest possible boxes for your items.
However, that doesn’t mean you should. You still need to leave room for padding, promotional materials, and anything else you want to include inside the box.
Make sure the boxes you choose have enough room to adequately pad the items as needed. You also need to make sure to order several box sizes to accommodate larger orders. Remember, customers prefer to receive their orders in single shipments rather than getting several smaller boxes.
You don’t have to go crazy here. Just choose several different sizes and adjust the amount of padding you use accordingly. This will let you better customize your shipping options based on the orders you receive.
- Get Inspiration From Your Competition
If you’re really not sure where to start, take a look at how your competition packs their orders. Use this as a guide.
Look at the types of boxes they use and the way they pack their orders. If you like what you see, think about how you can mimic those tactics and improve upon them with your own orders.
You can use their methods as a starting point and gradually customize your shipping materials over time.
The Right eCommerce Packaging Is Key
Choosing the right types of eCommerce packaging can make all the difference in how customers view your brand and how confident they’ll feel ordering from you again.
Keep these tips in mind when you first start looking for boxes and packing materials. This way, you’ll be ready to choose the best options for your business.
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