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Ecommerce Packaging: Best Practices For Dropshipping Product Packaging
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Aleksandra -
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Chief of Content Marketing
Aleksandra teaches marketing and management at various levels in High School. She writes about marketing, the economics and logistics of the dropshipping business and ecommerce in general.
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Chief of Content Marketing
10 minutes
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To the untrained eye, the packaging of your product may seem insignificant. In reality, your eCommerce packaging is actually crucial for establishing a great dropshipping brand and even saving costs.

Don’t worry, all will be made clear very soon. In this guide, we’ll uncover all the mysteries behind eCommerce packaging and how to do it properly.

By the end of reading this guide, you’ll know exactly how to package your products and what to tell your dropshipping suppliers if they’re the ones doing the packaging for you.

What Is Ecommerce Packaging?

eCommerce packaging plays three crucial roles in the business of selling online:

  • It determines how you protect your products during shipping
  • It sets the image of your brand
  • And it has an impact on dropshipping profit margins in the long run

Ideally, you will want to carefully think about all of these areas when planning your eCommerce packaging strategy. 

As a result, you will protect your products from getting damaged during shipping, establish a strong brand identity, and save on packaging costs as well, all at the same time. 

In short, you kill three birds with one stone! 

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Types of Ecommerce Packaging Containers

Anyone who has bought anything online has noticed that their purchases don’t always arrive in the same type of package. 

Sometimes it’s a cardboard box, sometimes it’s a padded envelope, and so on.

There are actually dozens more types of eCommerce packages that you can explore for the benefit of your business. Let’s check some of them out!

Simple Cardboard Boxes

ecommerce packaging box
  • Durable – ✅
  • Lightweight – ✅
  • Recyclable – ✅
  • Waterproof – ❌
  • For heavy items – ❌
  • For fragile items – ❌

Corrugated Cardboard Boxes

Corrugated Cardboard Boxes
  • Durable – ✅
  • Lightweight – ✅
  • Recyclable – ✅
  • Waterproof – ❌
  • For heavy items – ✅
  • For fragile items – ✅

Double-Wall Boxes

Double-Wall Boxes
  • Durable – ✅
  • Lightweight – ✅
  • Recyclable – ✅
  • Waterproof – ❌
  • For heavy items – ✅
  • For fragile items – ✅

Sealed Plastic Bags

Sealed Plastic Bags
  • Durable – ❌
  • Lightweight – ✅
  • Recyclable – ❌
  • Waterproof – ✅
  • For heavy items – ❌
  • For fragile items – ❌

Padded Envelope

Padded Envelope
  • Durable – ✅
  • Lightweight – ✅
  • Recyclable – ✅
  • Waterproof – ❌
  • For heavy items – ❌
  • For fragile items – ✅

What Is Custom eCommerce Packaging?

dropshipping custom packaging

Another type of eComm packaging is custom packaging. These are essentially containers and designs that you create or order yourself. 

With custom eCommerce packages, you can request any of the following features:

  • Type of infill inside your package
  • Type of packing tape
  • Waterproofing
  • Extra layers of protection or wrapping
  • Custom labels
  • Branding services

Depending on the packaging company that you work with, you can make these requests or ask for consultation on what type of packaging will best suit your products. 

As a result, you will have a completely custom eCommerce package that is tailored for the protection of your specific product. 

Just keep in mind that this may end up costing more.

💡Tip: If you dropship custom clothing, these print-on-demand dropshipping suppliers can help you with custom packaging and branded invoices.

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4 Highly Effective Ecommerce Packaging Solutions

How to make your packaging more durable and attractive while still not harming your profit margins

This is one of the most important steps to consider when designing your eCommerce packages. 

So, let’s look at a few eCommerce packaging solutions to make this process easier and more successful.

1. Make it As Tight As Possible

You need to carefully plan out how much your packaging will weigh and how big it will be. You can do this by first knowing the exact dimensions of your product. 

Then, design the packaging so that there’s no empty space or unnecessary compartments.

This is important for several reasons. First, smaller and lighter boxes cost less money to ship. Second, they’re easier to handle, Finally, they also cost less to produce as well.

2. Use Eco-Friendly Infill

If you sell more fragile products that require infill for protection, try to include sustainable options that also won’t break the bank.

Customers don’t want to feel guilty when they are throwing away unrecyclable packaging infill. As a result, this has excellent effects on the environment and on your branding.

3. Go Crazy With Your Design

When you’re building a new brand you need to stand out. You can’t do this by copying other designs or packaging to the tiniest detail. 

Instead, you need to be bold and really stand out with your design.

Use your creativity and make something special and unique.  As a result, people will start knowing your brand instantly when your unique design pops up in front of their eyes.

4. Add a Personal Touch

Customers absolutely love it when eCommerce brands take the time and effort to carefully package their products. 

This includes adding a personal touch showing them that a real person packed it.

For example, you can add custom hand-written thank you notes, some type of heartwarming reward, stickers, and much more.

Ecommerce Packaging Design Tips: What Should It Look Like?

ecommerce design package

You have a lot of freedom when designing the packaging for your store. However, there are a few guidelines you can follow in order to get the best possible results.

  1. Internal design matters – don’t just design and print the outside of your boxes. Incorporate a simple design on the inside of the box to surprise your customers.
  1. Stick with your brand’s colors – don’t use completely separate colors from those that represent your brand. Try to stick as close to those colors as possible on your packaging designs.
  1. Unboxing is everything – your customers are going to be furious if your boxes are hard to open. As a result, make it simple, elegant, and fulfilling when opening the box.

3 Ecommerce Brands With Amazing Packaging

Here’s some inspiration on how you can create your packaging design and containers.

Acne Studios

Acne Studios products

This drawer box design is both unique and highly convenient for the customer. It’s easy to get the product out and put it back inside as well. 

In addition, this type of box is extremely durable and hard to bend or break.

Raylo

Raylo shipping package

This is what’s known as “box-in-a-box packaging”. It serves several purposes. It’s a more durable way of shipping your product and offers a premium unboxing experience.

Apple

Apple product packaging

Speaking of premium unboxing experiences, we can’t forget the pioneer of luxury products. 

It’s only natural that Apple offers high-quality packaging, as anyone who owns one of their products has noticed that their unboxing experience is unmatched.

Ecommerce Packaging Companies That Can Help Your Business

Eventually, you’ll reach that wonderful point where you don’t have enough time to package all of your dropshipping orders. 

When that time comes, you can use the help of these companies that can take over and even improve your packaging.

Shorr

Phone: 888-885-0055

Shorr offers several cost-efficient eCommerce packaging solutions that any dropshipping business can instantly benefit from. 

They have multiple facilities all over the US and offer several other services aside from only packaging.

Services:

  • 3PL services
  • Manufacturing
  • Custom package design
  • Distribution
  • Contract packaging

Smurfit Kappa

Phone: 01946-61671

Smurfit Kappa is a highly experienced eCommerce services company that has worked with thousands of customers.

You will highly benefit from this partner if you sell fragile products.

Why?

Because Smurfit Kappa stress-tests your packages. They have an ISTA-certified lab to ensure your products always arrive unharmed. 

As a result, you can improve your brand reputation and decrease the rate of dropshipping returns.

Services:

  • Consumer packaging
  • Retail Packaging
  • Industrial packaging
  • eCommerce packaging
  • Display solutions
  • Bag-in-box packaging

Ameson

Phone: +86-181-5036-8610

Email: info@amesonpak.com

Ameson is a reliable packaging company with over 15 years of experience. 

They’ve established partnerships with leading brands such as Amazon, BMW, Panasonic, Alibaba, and more.

Ameson also features a massive list of available packaging types and other services that can definitely come in handy. 

Services:

  • Air cushion protection
  • Foam in place packaging
  • Paper void-fill solutions
  • Gummed tape packaging

WestRock

Phone: +1 (770)-448-2193

You can work with WestRock if you’re in need of affordable custom packaging for your products. 

WestRock is among the best eCommerce packaging solutions that make it easier to scale with various types of custom packaging while still maintaining healthy profit margins.

Lastly, WestRock is equipped with state-of-the-art packaging technology that works fast and securely.

Services:

  • Specialty printing & packaging
  • Automation
  • Recycling
  • Corrugated packaging
  • Display packaging
  • Paper solutions
  • Consumer packaging solutions
  • Market-based packaging

Packaging Corporation of America (PCA)

Contact: List of phone numbers for all states

PCA is a massive packaging company that instills plenty of customer trust as a result of its hard work and top-of-the-shelf packaging solutions.

They have multiple locations around the United States, ensuring quick packaging. The downside, however, is that this company is available only for US citizens.

Although, PCA does have an international program but it’s only useful for China and no other locations.

Services:

  • Design services
  • Technical services
  • Display and graphics sales
  • Value improvement process
  • Brand and marketing services
  • Collaborative project management
  • National accounts sales

What Is the Best Type of Ecommerce Packaging?

The answer to this question really depends on what you are selling. 

For example, you can’t use plastic bag packaging if you’re selling expensive wine glasses or dropshipping watches that cost hundreds of dollars.

Similarly, you don’t need to use expensive corrugated boxes if you’re dropshipping socks.

So, the only way to decide is to consider how fragile your product is and how premium you want the unboxing experience to be. Then, you can use the appropriate packaging material and design for it.

How to Improve Your Current Ecommerce Packaging – 3 Tips

If you’re already using some form of packaging and feel it needs changes, here are three tips that can show you how to make effective improvements.

  1. Ask your customers – prepare a survey asking your customers what they like best and least about your packaging. As a result, you’ll get instant feedback on what to change.
  1. Go through the unboxing yourself – order one of your own products and unbox it yourself as if it’s the first time you’re doing so. There’s a chance you’ll realize if something sucks about this process.
  1. Learn from your competitors – the best way to learn is from other successful brands. First, find the most similar competitors and look at their packaging. Then, order a few products and learn from the unboxing experience.

Summary

In dropshipping and eCommerce in general, how you package your products is more important than many are led to believe. 

Regardless of whether you’re dropshipping knives or pillows, your packaging needs to be elegant, well-branded, and most important of all, protected.

Therefore, take advantage of all the tips here to ensure you meet these requirements and make every single one of your customers happier.

About the Author

Profile picture of Aleksandra
Aleksandra Miteva
Aleksandra teaches marketing and management at various levels in High School. She writes about marketing, the economics and logistics of the dropshipping business and ecommerce in general.