Ecommerce Packaging

How to make your ecommerce packaging both secure & sustainable

By now, everyone has heard of ecommerce. It’s been a hot topic for many years now, and we don’t have to explain why. In fact, ecommerce is more than just a hot topic in 2021. For the majority, it’s now seen as the ‘norm’ for shopping.

As it stands, the number of digital buyers is at 2.14 billion. Yes, you read that right, over 2 billion online shoppers. This makes 27.6 percent of the world’s population, which makes every one in four people you see.

However, the online aspect of shopping can only go so far for businesses. You still need that personal touch, that human interaction, and thoughtfulness that puts your brand ahead of the competition.

What do we mean by that? Well, for ecommerce businesses, the shopper’s experience doesn’t hit a dead end once the purchase has been made online. It’s also about how the product is received.

That’s why packaging plays such an important role in today’s business.

But not just any old packaging. Your customers will expect (and appreciate) a well packaged item without any damage – you need a secure solution. And secondly, with the challenges we face as a planet, more and more consumers are looking to reduce their environmental impact, so sustainable packaging is needed too.

With that said, is your current ecommerce packaging both secure and sustainable? If the answer’s no, not to worry, we’re here to help. Read on and discover our list of ecommerce packaging tips that focus on secure and sustainable solutions.

Sustainable ecommerce packaging tips

When it comes to improving the sustainability of your ecommerce packaging solution, there are several ways to do so. It goes beyond the use of recyclable products.

Reduce material usage where possible

When shipping products in oversized boxes, not only will you be throwing money down the drain by shipping air. You’ll be creating unnecessary packaging waste that could otherwise be avoided. So, even if it’s recyclable, you’ll want to reduce material usage where possible.

And ‘where possible’ is key here. If you focus too much on cutting back materials, you may find the protection of your package takes a hit, and this could lead to damages. Therefore, while it’s important to cut back on waste, the protective aspect of your packaging must stay at the top of your list.

Reducing material is responsible for more than just a reduction in waste though, it also helps on the transport side of things. By decreasing the size of your packages, more will fit in the delivery vehicle. But how does this help with sustainability? Well, for one, more products per delivery equals less deliveries needed, helping cut down on CO2 emissions. Also, with less materials comes a reduction in weight. The lighter the vehicle, the less emissions it’ll produce.

In short, reducing materials will make your packaging more sustainable. But don’t get too caught up – always make sure there’s adequate protection.

Use packaging designed for reuse

A way to reduce packaging that ends up in landfill is to have it designed for multiple functions. This way it can be repurposed, and used for many years longer before entering the waste system.

Many brands are becoming innovative with their packaging and thinking of new ways to get creative with designs that prolong their packaging’s lifetime. For example, this concept from H&M shows packaging that can be transformed into a clothes hanger after use. Who said sustainability wasn’t fun?

Utilise sustainable packaging materials

For ecommerce packaging, cardboard and paper are usually the go-to for most companies. They provide the benefit of easy recyclability, as well as having printable and customisable properties. Cardboard and paper are also available in a range of packaging options, such as carboard boxes, paper bags, envelopes, tissue paper, paper void fill, and more.

An important thing to keep in mind when choosing your sustainable packaging is avoiding mixed materials. Why? When paper and plastic, or two types of plastic are fused together they are no longer recyclable. This is because their layers cannot be separated.

ecommerce packaging

Secure ecommerce packaging tips

Like sustainability, the importance of a secure package cannot be overlooked. It’s what keeps your product intact and safe from any damage as well as unauthorised access.

Use appropriate packing tape
The right packing tape prevents your ecommerce package from falling open or being tampered with during the delivery process. We’d recommend the following two tapes for a secure ecommerce package:

Avoid branding on the outside of your package

Branded boxes are incredibly attractive to porch pirates, and can even increase the chance of tampering during shipment. While branding for ecommerce businesses is extremely important, it’s just not worth the loss in security. Besides, you can brand the inside of the box as much as you like.

Don’t over or under-fill your package

Both over filling and under-filling packages are dangerous practices for shipping ecommerce orders.

Due to the contents being too heavy for the box or bag, overfilled packages can cause damage to the package. This causes it to break, exposing the contents to damage through moisture, dirt, and impacts. Overfilled packages also leave no room for voidfill, meaning the protective aspect of your package could suffer.

Similarly, under-filled packages can cause internal damage due to the movement inside. This should be prevented with a smaller carton for a more appropriate fit.

Ecommerce packaging from Swiftpak

Are you looking to take your ecommerce packaging to the next level? Do you need expert advice on what packaging solution is best for you? Are you looking for a secure and sustainable ecommerce packaging solution? Then contact our team at Swiftpak today. With over 40 years’ experience designing, supplying, and supporting our clients’ packaging neds, we have the knowledge and experience needed to support your business too.