Ecommerce Packaging

Everything you need to know about protective packaging for ecommerce

6 mins

Since Covid-19 hit, ecommerce has dramatically increased in popularity. Before the pandemic, consumers would shop online through choice, but a year ago it became a necessity and has since developed into a consumer habit.

Due to this rapid and vast expansion, ecommerce now presents new challenges for shipping and packaging as the increased volume of shipped products means packages are travelling further and for longer periods.

This means that protective packaging is more vital for ecommerce businesses than ever before, especially because the number of touchpoints have increased during transportation. For example, it is said on average an ecommerce package is handled 20 times more frequently than shop purchased goods. With the package being handled so many times, this increases the chances of damage to the product and as we know from a recent DHL survey, 50% of ecommerce customers would likely not purchase again from a business if a package arrives damaged!

So, how does your business adapt to the ecommerce growth and ensure that the products are delivered safe and secure? In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about protective ecommerce packaging.

First impressions on protective packaging really do count

One of the most crucial things you need to remember when it comes to ecommerce is that first impressions really do count, and what do customers see first when they receive their product? That’s right – the packaging.

If the packaging arrives damaged, then it already leaves a bad impression before the customer has even got to the product. It also doesn’t do the brand’s image any favours either, as the consumer could think that the company didn’t take the care to ensure the packaging protected the product, or it can look like they didn’t know what they were doing in terms of finding the right packaging.

Statistics have shown that a dissatisfied customer will tell 9-15 people about their experience with a brand, meaning that your poor packaging will not only be exposed to the person it was shipped to, but also all their friends, family, and colleagues. Doesn’t sound too great, does it? Here are some questions you can ask yourself when designing your protective packaging:

  • Does the package protect the goods from damage and degradation?
  • Does the packaging look professional, in line with your brand and engaging?
  • Does the package include all the information that the customer would need?
  • Does the package fit the product correctly so that it won’t move around during transit?

If struggling to find a protective packaging solution that does the above, not to worry, you can always contact our packaging experts at Swiftpak who will be able to help you. We also have an in-house packaging designer that will be able to design the perfect fitting package for your needs.

Protective packaging inside your ecommerce box

Protective packaging fillers may look pretty, but their main role is of course keeping the contents of your box safe and secure by filling up any empty space. Good void fill products will protect your product against the rigours of transport like being bounced around or thrown into a van. Protective packaging fillers can also be used as an extra layer to stop those pesky pointy corners of a product from piercing even the toughest corrugated box.

Paper packaging filler in particular is great for wrapping up products to build on unboxing anticipation and for adding a rustic and minimalist touch to packaging. It’s also much better for the environment and will get a nod of approval from eco-conscious brands that want to use recycled and recyclable materials. For example, in a recent survey, respondents were asked to choose their preferred packaging material and 63% of consumers chose paper due to it being better for the environment with 57% choosing paper because it is easy to recycle.

Packaging filler can also be customised in terms of print, shape, and texture to suit your branding. At Swiftpak, we have a range of protective packaging fillers you can use to ensure your products stay protected:

  • Voidfill: We stock a variety of void fill packaging to suit the needs of your packaging operation. From airbags to foam chips and environmentally friendly paper void fill, we have a void fill solution that will fit seamlessly into your packaging operation. Our void fill also comes in a range of colours to make your packaging stand out.
  • Honeycomb Paper Wrap: We recently launched our honeycomb paper wrap as an alternative to bubble wrap with no compromise on performance. It is made from 100% recyclable die-cut kraft paper and is quick and easy to use.
  • Paper Bubble Wrap: A cost-effective solution thanks to its paper-based materials, paper bubble wrap is lightweight, highly protective, and allows for easy storage.
ecommerce packaging example

Sustainable ecommerce packaging

From the survey results mentioned above, it is clear that consumer habits are changing. 70% of respondents also said they were taking steps to reduce their plastic packaging in the future. This means we need to be re-thinking protective packaging from a sustainability perspective.

Combining sustainability, an unboxing experience, and protective packaging is a challenge that ecommerce packaging companies will have to face. This is because protective packaging does not always perform well regarding performance and sustainability as either the packaging concedes too much to unsustainable materials, or its sustainability credentials are robust but its protective elements are not.

Some ideas to make sure your packaging is more sustainable include:

  • Reduce packaging: ‘Over packing’ is a widespread issue in ecommerce. Not only does doing this result in more packaging waste, but it also costs your business more to over-package a product. Make sure to streamline your packaging design so that your business can lower its carbon footprint. If you want advice from our in-house packaging designer on this topic, please contact us today.
  • Recycled or reusable packaging: Using recycled materials in your design keeps recyclable packaging elements in use for longer. For example, using recycled paper for your packaging inserts shows customers that you take sustainability seriously and helps to create a more circular economy.
  • Plant-based packaging: The popularity of plant-based packaging has grown massively in recent years. Ecommerce businesses are increasingly looking for packaging alternatives using plant fibres like mushroom filaments, coconut, or corn starch, to name a few.

Protective Ecommerce Packaging from Swiftpak

Reliable protective packaging is vital for any ecommerce packaging business as it can really make or break a product – literally. With over 40 years in the packaging industry, we know we will be able to find the right solution for your business. Contact our packaging experts today to find out more.