Strategy

8 packaging design ideas that retailers can incorporate

The number of people buying from e-commerce small business owners is increasing with each passing hour. Despite surpassing expectations, customer feedback indicates there’s room for improvement, especially in packaging design. Some common customer complaints include “visible damage or loss,” “unsealed package” or “concealed or invisible damage to product,” all of which indicate a failure in the packaging department.

In this article, we will look at some packaging ideas for e-commerce businesses which will not only ensure that product reaches customers safely and in good condition, but also delights them when opening the package.

1. Incorporate eco-friendly, recyclable packaging.

It’s important to let your customers know that your business uses “zero waste” shipping that reduces carbon impact on the environment. There are numerous options to achieve eco-friendly packaging such as packaging that has excellent crush protection for shipped goods like post-consumer waste (PCW) corrugated boxes, Kraft and newsprint paper, and biodegradable cellophane wrap.

2. Use package inserts to target loyal customers.

Targeting your loyal customers is much easier than acquiring new ones. You can retain customers through various measures, including package inserts. For example, you can use a package insert to promote the launch a new product or to offer additional discounts on future purchases. Even a personalised thank-you note can go a long way.

Related story: Perfecting the Unboxing Experience is Do or Die for E-Tailers

3. Use the right package size.

E-commerce retailers must use the right box size whenever possible. The box should be big enough to fit the protective material apart from the product; however, it should not be too big as compared to the product inside. Shipping small products in large boxes won’t just increase your shipping costs, but is also an inconvenience to customers.

4. Use the right amount of packaging material.

This is particularly important for fragile products. When you don’t use the right packaging material to cushion a fragile product, the chances of it getting damaged during shipping increase significantly. This will affect sales, as customers won’t repeat orders or choose fragile objects from your e-commerce site again.

5. Choose packaging material that can be reused.

When you choose reusable packaging material, it encourages online ordering as well as customer loyalty. It’s not uncommon to see customers willing to pay more for packaging that allows them to use it again for storing goods, other purposes or even recycling.

6. Use consistent packaging materials.

When you use consistent packaging materials, customers are able to dispose of all the packaging in the same place. This helps in increasing the rate of recycling when paper-based materials are used.

7. Exceed customers expectations.

One of the most common business mottos is “underpromise and overdeliver.” While customers know the product(s) they ordered, they don’t know what to expect when it comes to your packaging. By employing innovative packaging design ideas, you’ll create a positive unboxing experience for customers and can generate a positive online buzz. However, ensure that your packaging design aligns with your brand’s values. Doing this will help exceed customer expectations.

8. Opt for space-efficient packaging.

The shipping container should be of an appropriate size. This helps in ensuring that the contents are economical throughout the supply chain. Any unused space within packages would contribute to environmental waste, increase shipping costs, and reduce the usable cargo space for carriers.

Furthermore, customers don’t appreciate getting a huge package for a small product. Increase the range of box sizes that you keep for shipping in order to reduce the amount of unused space per shipment.

Smart and innovative packaging ideas are beneficial in more ways than one. Incorporate the ones that will help your business propel ahead.


Abhijeet Shah is the head of digital marketing for Packing Supply, a leading name in the packaging supply industry. He believes that its not only what’s on the inside that matters, but how products are packaged is just as important. Abhijeet stays updated with the latest trends and innovations in the industry and is quick to share them with his readers. He loves travelling and is often tempted to buy products that he comes across with unique packaging from all over the world, which he then adds to his ever-expanding collection of “bags and boxes”.

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