As an eCommerce brand, you know your products inside and out. However, you may need some tips about your eCommerce packaging. Box Genie has all the information you need to use eCommerce packaging creatively and effectively. 

Here’s what you need to know:

What Is eCommerce Packaging?

eCommerce packaging is packaging that’s well-suited for eCommerce brands. This packaging is designed for shipping products from sellers to buyers. However, it’s much more than that. 

Ecommerce packaging is a great way to set your brand apart from competitors in your industry, which is extremely valuable in a time when the eCommerce world is booming. 

How Does It Differ From Other Types of Packaging?

Ecommerce packaging differs from your traditional retail packaging. Retail packaging isn’t designed to be shipped. Instead, it’s only designed to get products from the storefront to the customer’s home in their personal vehicle. 

Alternatively, eCommerce packaging has to go from the seller’s warehouse to shipping centers and, finally, to the customer. This journey isn’t always easy and can often lead to damages from poor handling or even exposure to the elements. 

There’s a misconception that since customers have already bought the products online, eCommerce packaging doesn’t have to be anything special. 

Instead, it’s assumed that retail packaging has to be better and fancier since it’s actually influencing the customer’s purchasing decision. 

However, this isn’t necessarily the case as eCommerce packaging also presents eCommerce brands with a unique opportunity to build and promote their brand with their packaging materials and extras. 

4 Essential Features of eCommerce Packaging

Ecommerce packaging does more than you think! Here are the four essential features of eCommerce packaging: 

1. Protective

Ecommerce packaging is protective so that your products make it through the shipping process undamaged and intact. However, the degree of protectiveness needed will vary depending on your products. 

For example, if you’re an eCommerce clothing brand, you would likely need a different type of packaging compared to an eCommerce brand that sells wine glasses. 

2. Lightweight

Ecommerce packaging also needs to be lightweight to avoid extra shipping costs since they are calculated using both the size and weight of the package. 

The good news is that there are tons of different lightweight options to choose from based on your other shipping needs. 

3. Economical

Ecommerce packaging needs to be economical so that your packaging costs don’t cut into your bottom line. However, packaging costs can quickly add up when you account for the actual containers and extras. 

The best way to get packaging at more affordable rates is to buy in bulk from companies that source and manufacture the products themselves. 

4. Eye-Catching

Finally, your eCommerce packaging needs to be eye-catching. While many brands simply choose a plain cardboard box for their products, packaging provides you with an opportunity to set yourself apart from those other brands. 

Eye-catching packaging will impress everyone from the mailman to friends, and of course, customers themselves. 

3 Different Types of eCommerce Packaging

There are three main types of eCommerce packaging to consider: corrugated cardboard, padded mailers, and poly mailers. 

Let’s discuss each type in greater detail so that you can make the best decision for your packaging needs: 

1. Corrugated Cardboard

One of the most popular types of eCommerce packaging is corrugated cardboard boxes. Corrugated cardboard is an extremely durable yet lightweight material that appeals to many eCommerce brands. This material comes in many different styles and thicknesses depending on the weight and fragility of your products. 

For example, if you’re shipping heavy or fragile items, you may want to go with a thicker corrugated cardboard box with type “A” fluting that’s five millimeters thick. 

However, if you’re shipping lightweight items that aren’t breakable, you’d be fine going with a thinner corrugated cardboard box with type “B” fluting that’s only three millimeters thick. 

In the middle of the two is type “C” fluting, the most common type of fluting that’s four millimeters thick. 

2. Padded Mailers

Another commonly used type of eCommerce packaging is padded mailers. These look like your typical mailers, but they come with an extra layer of protection and insulation in the form of bubble wrap. 

Padded mailers are commonly used to ship flat items that can fit in envelopes but need more protection during the shipping process, for example, books, CDs, jewelry, and documents. 

3. Poly Mailers

The final type of eCommerce packaging is poly mailers. These mailers made of polyethylene film are extremely thin, lightweight, and weather-proof. 

As a result, they’re ideal for shipping non-fragile items, specifically clothing items and other types of fabric items. 

Ways to Be Creative With eCommerce Packaging

It pays to be creative with your eCommerce packaging. Here are five tips for doing just that: 

1. Go Custom

If you want to make an impression on your customers with your eCommerce packaging, then you should consider customizing it. With companies like Box Genie, it’s easy to customize nearly every aspect of your eCommerce packaging with your company logo, font, colors, and more. 

Box Genie allows you to customize your packaging — front, back, and sides. If you don’t want the pressure of complete customization, we also have pre-made designs to choose from in our Design Showcase

We offer a wide variety of different packaging options to meet your needs, including mailer boxes, one-piece folder boxes, shipping boxes, and triangle document mailers. In addition, we also offer custom inserts and dividers

2. Be Eco-Friendly

If you pride yourself on being an eco-friendly brand, you should consider using eco-friendly packaging materials. Consumers are increasingly concerned about environmental issues and are looking to buy from companies that share their concerns. Consumers are also willing to pay more to buy from green brands that use green packaging. 

Box Genie offers eco-friendly packaging solutions perfect for green eCommerce brands. The majority of our corrugated material contains recycled content, and our Kraft and Essential White materials both consist of a majority of recycled material. 

In addition, we use odorless water-based inks that pass food-safety standards thanks to zero UV-reactive chemicals and zero hazardous air pollutants. We also source our corrugated material locally, reducing carbon emissions. 

3. Consider Reusable Packaging

Take eco-friendly packaging a step further with reusable packaging for your eCommerce brand. Using reusable packaging essentially gives your customers two products for the price of one! They get the product they ordered and the packaging that they can reuse. 

Reusable packaging can also act as a marketing tool when existing customers reuse it and carry it all around town. The right design will catch everyone’s eye and help build your brand awareness. 

Some examples of reusable packaging include cloth tote bags, cloth pouches, paper bags, glass jars, and more. 

4. Incorporate Packaging Extras

Another way to take your eCommerce packaging to the next level is to go beyond your basic packaging components by incorporating packaging extras. For example, you could use customized packaging tape to spice up a boring cardboard box. 

You could use custom packaging inserts to protect your products better. Or you could use special stickers to build rapport with customers. 

The more fragile your items are, the more packaging extras you need. Some packaging extras are designed to be decorative, while others are designed to be functional. 

For example, decorative packaging extras include ribbons, stickers, and tissue paper, whereas functional packaging extras include bubble wrap, air pillows, and packing peanuts. 

But that doesn’t mean that “functional” packaging extras can’t be decorative as well! Take filler paper, for example. 

Filler paper should be considered functional due to its protective nature, but at the same time, you can use it to enhance the design of your packaging. 

5. Create an Exciting Unboxing Experience

You can combine all of these methods to create an exciting unboxing experience — something that consumers have come to expect from eCommerce brands. Set yourself apart from the competing eCommerce brands in your industry by giving your customers an unbeatable unboxing experience. 

Customers have come to expect customized packaging components that range from boxes to tissue paper, tape, stickers, ribbons, and inserts. Take things further with hand-written thank you notes, freebies, and discount coupons. 

Wrap Up on eCommerce Packaging

With the right amount of creativity, your eCommerce packaging can serve double duty by being both functional and appealing. To take your eCommerce packaging to the next level, check out the custom box offerings from Box Genie

If you have any questions about our products or design process, feel free to reach out to our packaging experts.


Ecommerce Packaging Vs. Retail: A Different Standard? | Business Upside

Most Consumers Want Sustainable Products and Packaging | Business News Daily

Turn Your Shipping Box Into a Competitive Advantage | Forbes

Trusted by top brands worldwide. Dedicated to smaller businesses like yours.

Over 2,000 brands trust us to help them grow and build successful businesses. Find out how custom packaging can work to help take your brilliant brand to the next level!

  • Black & Decker logo
  • Bose logo
  • Canon logo
  • Ecologic logo
  • Sergeant's logo

“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”

Megan D., CEO at SSBD

“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”

Megan D., CEO at SSBD

Ready to design your own box?

Start building your custom box now to see a preview of how it will look!