As you might imagine, packaging plays a big role in ecommerce. It’s the method you use to send your merchandise; and it’s the first thing your customer sees when they receive their delivery. While packaging might not be the most exciting topic in the world, it is of prime importance to ecommerce vendors. Here’s the 4-1-1 on ecommerce packaging, why it’s important and how you can use it to your benefit.

ecommerce packaging tips guides

Keeping Packaging Costs Low

There are many different approaches to ecommerce packaging. One of the most common concerns is the overall cost of packaging materials. The more your product you ship, the more money you’ll spend. This can really eat into your profit if you aren’t careful.

Luckily, there are ways to bring down expenses. You can buy in bulk, negotiate with your suppliers for cheaper deals, be careful to avoid over ordering and reduce the amount of waste. Fast-Pack is a popular option, but there are likely dozens of suppliers near you.

However, if you are selling especially fragile merchandise, take no chances with your packaging materials. Breakage results in returns and disgruntled customers. Don’t make this mistake. It’ll cost you more in the long run.

Going Green with Sustainable Packaging

Cardboard boxes, shipping labels, packing peanuts—all of these materials have a negative effect on the environment by increasing CO2 and creating waste. This is something a lot of consumers consider when shopping for goods online. One study found 57 percent of shoppers consider eco-friendly packaging important.

So, the next time you want to buy packing peanuts, consider a greener alternative like compostable materials sourced from sorghum and cornstarch. Another idea is to reduce the size of your packaging. Less cardboard means less waste, which is good for the planet. Even the environmental impact of packaging labels can be improved upon with soy-based inks. There’s no shortage of sustainable packaging materials available to e-store vendors.

Restart the Sales Cycle with Promotional Materials

Packaging doesn’t have to be boring. Even if it’s just a plain cardboard box, it can be very exciting for a customer eager to open their new purchase. But once they open the box and have their goodie, don’t think the sales cycle is over. Use order fulfillment to reintroduce your offerings to your buyers.

Insert time-limited coupons into your packaging. Examples include, “limited-time free shipping on your next order”, or “20 percent off any order in the next six months.” Promos like these will delight the customer and earn you more money. These coupon codes should be unique, so you can track the success of the program.

Packaging for Special Occasions & Gifts

Another way to please customers is offering gift-wrapping through your cloud ecommerce store. While you don’t need to provide this service year-round, it can be a boon if your business specializes in personalized gifts. If not, stick to the major holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

Shh… Discreet Packaging

Keep in mind, not every consumer will want your branding affixed to the shipping box. Sometimes buyers want their orders to be delivered in discreet packaging.

There are a few reasons for this. Perhaps the shopper lives in an area ripe for doorstep theft. While the majority of your customers think your branded delivery, boxes are cute and refreshing, others might view them as a target for sticky fingers. Or perhaps the shopper is a little bit shy about their order. Nobody wants their neighbors or coworkers to know they buy underwear from the internet. It’s just too personal.

So be sure to offer discreet packaging through your checkout page.

This 411 on ecommerce packaging will help you save the planet, reduce breakage in transit and garner repeat business. All of which will serve to enlarge your bottom line.