Six Types of Custom Packaging for Your Business

Sometimes, it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts! When it comes to making a connection with your customers, it’s important to consider the type of packaging you ship your product inside of. The right packaging can increase the perceived value of your product, and show customers that you care about a quality presentation. 

That’s not all; good product packaging has even led to a slew of “unboxing videos,” in which people post videos on social media highlighting their excitement over receiving a particularly well-packaged product (check out YouTube’s top 15 unboxing channels here). Who knows? With the right packaging, your product could be the star of the next viral video! 

In the meantime, here are six types of packaging you may want to consider when it’s time to ship.

1. Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated boxes are better known as cardboard; it’s what you’d expect to find your new pair of Nike sneakers inside of. This is the most used form of transport packaging, with about 95% of North American consumer goods being shipped inside of them. It’s important to know that there are different types of corrugated cardboard which impact the durability and strength of the box. The types are differentiated by their “flutes,” which are those waves you may see in some cardboard material (flutes are found between liner boards, which are glued on top and on bottom).

Generally, the larger the size of the flute, the better the cushioning and compression resistance. You’ll want to be sure the product you’re shipping is appropriate for the flute size in the corrugated box you’re using. It’s also not uncommon to find a corrugated box using multiple levels of flutes to strengthen the box.

2. Paperboard Boxes

Lightweight yet tough, paperboard boxes are folding carton boxes that lay flat when not in use. They can also easily be cut and manipulated to create custom shapes and structures. If you have the time, this can add a nice touch of personalization to your packaging. There are several types of paperboard boxes to consider:

  1. Solid bleached sulfate (SBS) boxes. These paperboard boxes have a brilliant white color due to their clay-coated surface and are excellent for custom-printed packages because the top ply of bleached virgin hardwood fibers make them particularly smooth. SBS boxes are generally the choice for perishables, including frozen and wet foods, meats, dairy, bakery items, medical products, and cosmetics.
  2. Coated unbleached kraft (CUK) boxes. More environmentally-friendly but also less resistant to moisture, CUK boxes appeal to customers who prefer the natural look of recycled material. The long, large pine fibers used to create the box provide excellent strength, making CUK boxes ideal for heavy items such as soft drinks, beer, laundry detergents, and hardware. Want to know more about green packaging options? Check out this blog by the Green Business Bureau.
  3. Coated recycled paperboard. This paperboard is made of recycled fibers but still used a clay coating to improve print performance. This type of box is often chosen by eCommerce retailers selling paper products and dry foods such as pasta and cereal.
  4. Chipboard paperboard. Chipboard is a paperboard made from reclaimed stock. It’s cost-effective, but because it is so lightweight, it can’t be used for heavy items. Chipboard material can easily weaken in storage environments with high moisture levels, causing them to expand and become discolored.

3. Rigid Boxes

This type of branded packaging is used by many luxury names. It comes at a price, of course, and so do the items you’ll normally find inside—examples include Tiffany & Co. jewelry, Jimmy Choo shoes, and the latest iPhones. 

What makes these boxes so special? Rigid boxes are made out of highly-condensed paperboard, making it four times thicker than standard paperboard. They’re also designed not to be collapsible, which makes them more expensive to use and ship. 

While small eCommerce businesses may not be ready for the expense of a rigid box, it’s certainly something to aspire toward!

4. Plastic Boxes

Another popular choice among eCommerce retailers, plastic boxes are generally stronger than paperboard boxes and, if airtight, can preserve the quality of food while reducing the potential for contamination. It’s also flexible and lightweight, and a film or coating can always be added to enhance its appearance.

Companies with an eye toward cost and the environment also like plastic boxes because they’re cost-effective and recyclable, despite what some may believe.

5. Poly Bags

You might refer to this as a pouch or a plastic bag. No matter what you call it, it’s a flexible, thin, plastic film fabric. It’s very common to find it wrapped around food products, flowers, chemicals, magazines, and the like. 

Why use a poly bag? They’re lightweight, saving you on shipping costs, and they’re flexible. So, if your product design comes in multiple sizes, a poly bag may be able to accommodate them all. 

6. Foil-Sealed Bags

You’ve seen these before—it’s the packaging used on products like coffee, cheese, and cured meats to maintain freshness, increase shelf life, and reduce bacteria contamination. When using a foil-sealed bag, oxygen is sucked out to keep the fabric tight and secure. It’s not the cheapest packaging option, but may be necessary depending on what you plan to ship.

Custom Packaging with The Fulfillment Lab

So many boxes, so little time! If you’re interested in improving the customer experience through customized packaging but are already too busy, turn to the experts at The Fulfillment Lab. Customized order fulfillment, a component of our fulfillment marketing services, is how we combine fulfillment and marketing to create a better customer experience. 

Our custom packaging strategy uses existing customer data to create a unique order fulfillment experience with every delivery. We use the type of custom shipping boxes you think are right for your customers and your budget, creating a nice presentation at an affordable cost. We can also add coupons, flyers, inserts, and more, each tailored to the recipient.

Want to know about custom packaging for small businesses with The Fulfillment Lab? Contact us today!

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