How to package products for e-commerce

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Understanding how to package various products is important knowledge for any business to possess. The benefits for you and your customers are numerous, whether its reducing costs from damaged products, lower packaging overheads and lower shipping fees or improving the unboxing experience for your customers.

Protecting your products

The protective properties of packaging are the most important aspect to consider when you are thinking about your product’s packaging. An ugly package that gets a product in one piece to your customers is better than a package that looks great if it can’t properly protect your products (although we will talk about the importance of making your packaging look great later). It’s important that you consider how fragile each of your items is and ensure that you add adequate protective packaging to them. Although it’s useful to add fragile tape to a box that needs it as it will let whoever is handling it know that it requires some extra care, it’s not a substitute for adding proper protective packaging as accidents still happen and often parcels are put through automated sorting machines. To avoid unnecessary and costly returns from customers complaining about their damaged orders you should ensure that your packages are able to survive being dropped, vibrations during sorting and transport and stacking weight. For items that require some padding, make sure to add bubble wrap, foam, scrunched up Kraft paper or any of the number of types of protective packaging available. You might also want to put them in double or triple wall boxes as they will be more sturdy and rigid than their single wall counterparts (for heavier and more valuable products you may also wish to use shipping crates). Make sure that you don’t add more packaging to your products than you need to as it will cost you more on packaging supplies and more in postage if you end up with a bigger parcel to post.

Fragile items = cardboard box + protective packaging + packing tape

Books/DvD's = book boxes/ padded envelopes

Shoes = Shoes box + tissue paper + mailing bag

Clothing = mailing bag

Bottles = bottle box + packing tape

Creating a better unboxing experience

Once you’ve got the practical aspects of your packaging thought out, you’ll want to start thinking about how you’re going to make it stand out and how to package your products in a way that you can improve the overall experience for your customer. When you first start out as a small company you can use printed labels to give your boxes some customisation. As you start to grow though you might want to start thinking about custom printed boxes, mailing bags, tapes and other types of packaging to reinforce your brand and make your parcels more memorable for your customers. To show your customers that you appreciate them and their business, consider adding personal thank you note, freebies or other small personal touches to make them feel valued and encourage them to come back to you in the future. Often, it’s human nature to make purchases based on emotional choices rather than purely logical ones so this is an excellent area to focus on to drive sales in the long run.

You can also improve the unboxing experience by making it as hassle-free as possible for your customers to open your packages when they receive them. When a customer receives an item that they ordered they’re probably going to want to open it quickly and get the product they ordered out to use it. By using packaging with built-in tear strips, you can make getting into the parcels much easier for your customers, leaving them with a more positive experience.

Receiving a postal box

Keeping your costs low

Keeping packaging costs low is on the minds of many businesses’ owners and even more so for e-commerce retailers as the extra packaging further increases the costs associated with each sale, making this an important factor to consider when thinking about how to package your products. The good news is that you don’t have to compromise on the quality to lower costs.

Unbranded packaging can be a great way to save some money, and when compared to branded equivalents, the differences are often minimal. With our huge range of quality products at great prices, all you need to do is take a look and find the perfect packaging solution for you. If you have a busy packing room, you can reduce the amount of time (and therefore your costs) it takes for your staff to package each product by using products with self-seal strips and boxes that have fold and lock constructions.


Whether you sell part time from home or are part of an international company that sends parcels all over the world, it’s important to make sure that you are packing your products correctly. Make sure that you are thinking about your products needs and tailoring your packaging towards them and finally don’t forget you can use packaging as part of your marketing strategy at a sustainable cost!

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Sarah Hickson

With more than seven years experience as a member of the Davpack sales team, there are few who know more about the range of packaging materials we sell than Sarah. She recently left the company to become a full-time mother, but still maintains regular contact with her former colleagues. As well as sharing her own accumulated wisdom and experience on the blog, Sarah is looking forward to passing on stories from the front line of packaging sales. Davpack

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