What Is E-Commerce Ready Packaging?

⭐️ Top considerations to optimize your packaging for e-commerce

E-commerce has been seeing a steady rise, but as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, e-commerce growth has skyrocketed.

With everyone staying at home, there has been an increasing reliance on online businesses for essential and non-essential goods.

Statistics show that the number of unique digital shoppers rose by 40% during the pandemic, bringing in new demographics that would typically not have shopped online.

Moreover, reports also highlight that consumers spent more on e-commerce in April and May of 2020 than the last 12 Cyber Mondays combined!

Example of e-commerce packaging
Source: Anagrama

As e-commerce continues to be a primary way to shop for most people, let’s take some time to explore how it all works and essential considerations for creating e-commerce ready packaging for your business.

How Does E-Commerce Work?

When thinking about how e-commerce works, you have to think about two distinct elements:

  1. How your product is presented online
  2. How to create an immediate impression with consumers rather than planning for retail shelves.

E-commerce works because of how your product is presented to customers and how you choose to optimize the experience.

Because customers cannot see your product until it arrives physically, how it looks online will be of the utmost importance.

Your customers first impression no longer relies on catching their eye in brick and mortar stores. E-commerce relies on first impressions from the comfort of your customers homes.

While this may seem more convenient than splurging on premium packaging, it’s actually much more difficult than it seems.

Your customers’ expectations and anticipation is built from a simple digital image they see on their computer screens. Your business is responsible for meeting and/or exceeding customer expectations.

Your e-commerce packaging plays a huge role in forming a customer experience that creates a positive impact on your target market.

How do you accomplish this? By choosing the best packaging that is visually attractive and keeps your products safe.

Let’s take a look at various aspects of e-commerce packaging.

What is e-commerce packaging?

When looking at what e-commerce packaging is, there are a few different definitions to consider.

The main thing to bear in mind when choosing e-commerce packaging is what the packaging tells consumers about your business.

Ultimately, the packaging is a walking billboard for your business, and you should ensure that its message is truly reflective of your brand.

The most popular option for e-commerce packaging tends to be corrugated packaging such as cardboard boxes.

 Example of corrugated packaging
Source: The Dieline

Made from recycled materials, corrugated packaging is very protective and can come in various shapes and sizes, making it incredibly versatile.

You can also opt for custom-designed shipping boxes to create more of an impact.

When thinking about e-commerce packaging and what it is, you need to think about how the product itself is packaged to ensure that it arrives safely to its destination with minimal damage.

Once you have these basic foundations decided, you can choose shipping options accordingly.

For further protection, consider going for packaging options that have to undergo ISTA 6 Amazon testing protocol.

This standardization is used for packaging testing to make certain that products will not be damaged en route to the customer when shipped.

We’ll now look at the importance of e-commerce packaging for businesses.

Importance of Ecommerce packaging

The right e-commerce packaging helps your business stand out.

The wrong choice can lead to a plethora of issues ranging from damaged products to weakened brand connections and customer retention.

To create e-commerce ready packaging, one of the better guidelines to follow is Amazon’s aim to create ‘Frustration-free packaging’ (FFP).

Source: YouTube

This consists of creating packaging that is low waste, easy to open, and offers considerable protection during shipping without driving up cost.

This seems like a lot to pack into one kind of packaging, but it is completely possible when you work with packaging experts during the design process.

Working with a packaging expert can be vital for guidance around the right materials to use and the marketing message that needs to be conveyed.

Protection

The primary reason e-commerce ready packaging is essential is because it protects what you’re trying to sell, which is a pretty simple objective.

Shipping and distribution will be a stress-free process for your business, and you’ll have a slew of happy customers that receive their product undamaged and ready to be used.

Furthermore, well-protected products add significant value to your products. There is no risk of refunds and exchange, and it creates a strong impression that serves your brand well overall.

 

Marketing

From a marketing standpoint, e-commerce ready packaging provides a lot of return if you make the proper investments.

Through the right design, you can create a meaningful unboxing experience for customers that they will always remember – which is vital for building brand equity with customers.

Example of branded packaging
Source: Behance

The right e-commerce packaging will ultimately be your differentiator and help customers distinguish the products from computer screens to their homes.

It primes them for the product itself and creates a sense of excitement. Ultimately, all of this will serve as crucial components in building an authentic and long-lasting connection with your customers.

We’ll now look at considerations for how to package your products.

How Do I Package My Products

How do I package my products? It  is a question that comes up a lot, and it’s important from the start that everyone has different objectives for their packaging.

However, creating the best e-commerce packaging for your product will need a few different things as a foundation to build upon.

Here are some of the fundamental aspects of e-commerce ready packaging to bear in mind when designing your own:

Optimizing Online Exposure Through Your Packaging

As your customer starts the journey from online purchase to receiving the physical product, the whole experience needs to be optimized.

How can you retain and hold that online exposure through your packaging?

This will likely include various branding elements on the packaging, protective measures inside, and creating a powerful message from the start.

You can look at different examples to better understand how various products are packaged and optimized for online exposure.

Budget, Product Placement & Determining Dimension

Once you’ve thought about what you’d like to accomplish with your packaging, then the practical part comes.

  • How much can you afford per package?
  • How will the product be placed inside?
  • How large or small does the packaging need to be?
  • What kind of impact does that have on cost?
Example of product placement optimization
Source: Behance

You’ll need to think about short-term issues such as how fast packaging can be created and whether it will survive shipping.

Long-term, you’ll need to consider whether you can afford your choice long-term and potential growth impact.

Choosing the Packaging Style

Choosing the packaging style is all about visual design and what will appeal to customers…and of course, what will keep your product protected.

Working with a packaging expert can be particularly useful here since they can help you choose the best packaging style for your budget and needs.

Style does matter in this context, as does practicality, so you’ll have to balance both to create outstanding e-commerce ready packaging.

 

Consider Material Thickness Options

As briefly mentioned, corrugated packaging seems to be the most popular option amongst the e-commerce world for obvious reasons;

  • Durability
  • Stability
  • Protection
  • Versatile customization options

However, it’s not enough to just opt for any type of corrugated packaging. There are material thickness options that you may want to consider to accommodate your products more effectively.

If you have heavier items you may want to opt for a thicker corrugated material to offer your products extra stability and protection during shipping.

Want to learn more about corrugated packaging options? Check out this master guide for more in depth information.

 

Custom Inserts

Inserts are a great addition to packaging as a protective measure and for branding.

You can add custom inserts as a finishing touch to make your packaging stand out even more.

And since they are available in various materials, you have options in choosing the best fit for your products and brand it accordingly.

Whether it’s something protective like a foam insert or a paper insert to say thank you, there are many different ways to go about using custom inserts for your e-commerce packaging.

We’ll now look at some other e-commerce packaging design elements.

E-commerce packaging Design

There are various ways you can add more design to your packaging to create an experience and an impression on consumers.

Using a few different methods, you can create memorable packaging that keeps people returning to your e-commerce business.

One of the best ways to do this is through high-quality printing and finishing.

The packaging material you choose will be an integral element in how branding elements are printed and finished.

You should work with a packaging expert to ensure that you have selected the best options based on what kind of printing and finishing you need for your boxes.

You can also add branded stickers for a unique and budget-friendly touch or opt for custom shipping labels to be incorporated into your packaging design.

Stickers and labels are a fun way to elevate packaging and add a bit more fun to it without detracting from the experience.

With the right packaging design, your e-commerce package will be memorable for your customers as well as the postman!

You can create a design that will stand out in the mailroom and make it a fun and exciting moment for customers when it arrives.

(INSERT IMAGE: https://www.awwwards.com/awards/images/2012/07/packaging-9.jpg) Source: Awwwards (Excerpt: Example of custom printed packaging)

Source: Awwwards

Getting your e-commerce packaging ready is about a strategic choice between form and function and keeping the products protected without compromising the packaging’s look and feel, which will ultimately reflect heavily on your brand.

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