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Shipping Tips & Solutions

7 Do's and Don'ts of Custom Packaging

Custom packaging is an excellent option for businesses looking to spruce up their shipping boxes. Here's how you can offer custom packaging for your customers.
7 Do's and Don'ts of Custom Packaging
Alexandra Ortolani

By Alexandra Ortolani

 

October 5, 2021

Competition is fierce in eCommerce, so it’s essential to make an excellent first impression on your customers. Custom packaging helps you make unboxing special for buyers and encourage future purchases. Forty percent of shoppers surveyed say they are more likely to repeat purchases from an online merchant that uses premium packaging.

Custom packaging refers to packaging specifically designed for your eCommerce business. You can customize your packaging by adding logos to your shipping boxes or anything else you desire. Plus, custom packaging may help you retain and re-sell to customers, but it also increases shipping costs.

Is custom packaging worth it? If so, what’s the best way to proceed with differentiating your brand? This blog provides tips to help you decide if custom packaging is suitable for you and how to use custom packaging cost-effectively.

Easyship helps you create a delivery experience tailored to your customers. With our post-purchase branding suite, add your logo to all your tracking emails, packing slips, and more. Plus, our dedicated tracking pages and shipment notifications help you create a seamless, rewarding shipping experience.

Table of Contents

Do: Consider Recycled Packaging

Sustainable packaging is an eco-friendly way to ship that’s gaining traction with consumers. In fact, 38% of US consumers say it’s vital for brands to use sustainable packaging. Plus, 78% of customers between the ages of 18-72 say they feel more optimistic about a product that uses recycled packaging.

Sustainable packaging is made of biodegradable, compostable, mushroom filament, or recycled boxes. This type of packaging uses minimal materials or recycled materials to minimize environmental harm – since 23% of all US waste is from packaging materials.

Typical forms of sustainable packaging include:

  • Biodegradable packing peanuts
  • Recycled cardboard packaging
  • Recycled padded mailers

The drawback of going green? Eco-friendly packaging is more costly than standard shipping boxes. For instance, you pay $95.00 for 100 recycled padded mailers from Noissue, while you can get cardboard shipping boxes from USPS, UPS, and FedEx for free.

Though recycled packaging costs more upfront, you get repaid in the form of loyalty from the growing body of eco-aware customers. So if you can afford the extra expense, you may decide that branding yourself as a green company is a smart move that’ll pay dividends in a greener future.

Do: Include a Personal Touch

A personalized touch like a handwritten note significantly impacts customers for how little time it takes. Recipients of personalized notes or extra flourishes feel special, encouraging them to shop at your store again.

Eighty percent of customers say they are more likely to purchase a product with a company that creates a personalized shipping experience. Unsurprisingly, brands that make a standout experience for buyers can expect higher rates of brand recall, retention, and loyalty.

Handwritten notes aren’t the only way you can add a personal touch to your packaging. Here are some other ways you can add a personal touch to your packaging:

Promotional Materials

Everyone loves saving money, which means everyone loves coupons. You can help retain customers by personalizing your promotional materials (using a customer’s name). Plus, promotional materials are low-cost, so you don’t need to invest much to get value from them.

Branded Packing Slips

Forty-nine percent of shoppers say they are more excited about products that arrive in premium packaging like branded packing slips. Adding your logo to your packing slip is a simple way to personalize the shipping experience for enhanced customer loyalty.

Easyship’s post-purchase branding suite lets you add your logo to packing slips to your shipments. That way, your customers enjoy an exceptional shipping experience.

Personal touches are a low-cost, high-reward way to customize your packaging. Meaning, you really can’t go wrong here.

Do: Add Samples or Gifts

Freebies are a great way to enhance the delivery experience for customers. Your generosity will be appreciated, which can lead to sales and greater customer loyalty. What you include in your shipment should be a strategic choice, so consider how you want customers to react when deciding on your freebies.

Consider adding free samples in the following scenarios:

  • Starting a new business: Say a customer orders your skincare products. You can throw in a few samples of your latest product to entice another purchase
  • Seasonal events: Offering free samples or gifts is one way to send some cheer during the holiday season and get some goodwill in return
  • Customer bonus: Offer free samples to customers who spend a certain amount of money.  For instance, the popular skincare brand Glossier offers customers free skincare samples with any purchase over $50

Adding samples or gifts not only helps you gain loyalty but also increases the likelihood of repurchase. Giving to get is a lynchpin of marketing these days. The more distinctive your giveaways, the more compelled your customers will be to respond.

Do: Buy Boxes From Discounted Retailers

You can spend upwards of $3 per custom unboxing (ouch!). Fortunately, there are a few affordable options for custom eCommerce boxes and packaging.

Major carriers like FedEx offer free boxes, sure, but if you’re looking to go the extra mile, you’ll want to look at custom boxes from discount retailers, whether it’s mailers or cardboard boxes.

You’ll also want to consider the factors that influence the cost of custom packaging and the price so you know what works best for your eCommerce business. For example, the type of corrugated material, the number of printed sides, and the number of boxes all come into play when considering the price of custom packaging.

Mailer boxes are an excellent option for smaller items. On the other hand, shipping boxes are for bulkier items. Below is a list of companies that are both reputable and affordable options for businesses of all sizes.

  • Packola
  • UPrinting
  • Box Genie
  • Printplace

Ready to customize your packaging? Here’s a list of prices for different types of custom mailer box sizes from Packola.

3” x 3” x 1.25” mailer box

  • Cost: $1.01 per box
  • Features: Standard white corrugated cardboard with a printed design on the outside

7” x 7” x 3” shipping box

  • Cost: $1.99 per box
  • Features: Standard white corrugated cardboard with a printed design on the outside

Don’t: Buy Before Calculating

Custom packaging isn’t free, so make sure your profit margins can handle it. For instance, forking over $780.00 for 250 custom boxes, or $3.12 per box, probably isn’t in your budget for small businesses. Instead, basics like branded poly mailers are a good starting point. You can spend as little as $0.18 per poly mailer for a 100-pack.

Calculate shipping costs with the custom packaging to see if you can afford the extra.. Say you’re shipping a 3-pound package of skincare products from New York to Los Angeles. We’ll calculate shipping costs using Easyship’s free shipping calculator.

As we can see, you can spend anywhere from $4.57 to $49.04 on shipping costs from NY to LA. Easyship saves users up to 70% off discounted shipping rates for 250+ couriers 一 making it easy to scale your business globally while saving money.

Now, let’s calculate the cost of custom boxes to get our total. For this example, let’s say you’re looking for the best value shipping rate and a standard custom box design with your logo on the side.

  • Cost of shipping: $9.52 for USPS Priority Mail
  • Cost of custom packaging: $1.01 for a mailer box

Total: $10.53 per shipping box

Always consider the shipping costs when deciding on custom packaging before. That way you know how much you can afford to pay per total shipment.

Don’t: Go Overboard

Start small with custom packaging if you’re a newbie to eCommerce. Try out basics like branded poly mailers or boxes with your company logo on the outside.

Custom packaging is most beneficial for mature brands in competitive niches that need to differentiate themselves from their competitors. If your product is unique, though, you may be able to skate by without spending a dime on custom packaging.

Don’t: Forget to Promote

If you want to get a return on investment, promoting your packaging is vital. Social media is the easiest way to market your custom packaging. For instance, unboxing photos sourced from users is a popular way to capture your brand’s personality. Forty-nine percent of TikTok users purchased a product after seeing it promoted on the platform.

Plus, when followers visualize themselves unpacking their item, they’re more inclined to purchase it. Here are some other ways you can promote your packaging:

  • Include high-quality pictures of your packaging on your website
  • Change your packaging for seasonal promotions (i.e. Christmas packaging)

How Easyship Can Help

At the end of the day, customers are attracted to nice packaging. Custom packaging helps you to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Recycled packaging, personalized notes, promotional materials, or product samples are also some other ways to add a little flair to your packaging and customer experience. Though it can add to your shipping cost for custom packaging, it’s essential to calculate what you can afford before you start shipping away.

Easyship can help your eCommerce business create a delivery experience consistent with your brand. Add your logo and advertisement materials to your packing slips or even tracking emails to add a little flair to your packaging. Plus, Easyship users save up to 70% discounted shipping rates on 250+ couriers.

Ready to start saving on shipping? Sign up today for Easyship to elevate your delivery experience.


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