5 Steps to Improve E-commerce Packaging
As we start a new financial year, we want to sow the seeds for updating and improving your e-commerce postal boxes. How can packaging design benefit your business, customers and the environment?
Here are 5 essential steps to consider:
1. Reduce or remove single-use plastic from e-commerce packaging
The best way to avoid plastic tax and win favour with conscious buyers is by reducing or removing plastic from your packaging. There are alternative packaging materials on the market and in some cases, no packaging is an option.
Remember that plastic packaging includes void fill materials. Ordering made to fit bespoke boxes or packaging with integrated cardboard sections can negate the need for any fill materials.
If plastic packaging is the only viable option for your product, consider refill options to reduce the volume of discarded plastic waste. It may also be possible to partner with a plastic recycling company to provide collection schemes. The aim is to reuse resources and cut plastic waste.
2. Minimise the materials and energy used in packaging manufacture & packing processes
Packaging plays an important role in protecting goods from damage, contamination and tampering, however, many items are packaged in more layers of packaging than is necessary. The challenge is to optimise packaging – providing exactly what is needed, but nothing more.
The opportunity to recycle is also increased if packaging materials are limited. Ideally, manufacture the entire packaging from a single material. Your products and packaging may need to conform with regulatory controls, which mean multiple materials are needed. If so, make it easy to separate them for recycling.
Bespoke boxes are designed to fit and protect the product. They are typically made from corrugated cardboard and without fillers, the packing process is efficient. Optimised packaging and efficient packing will lower energy use.
3. Cut the cost of shipping parcels
Are you paying over the odds for shipping because of the size, shape of your postal boxes? A packaging redesign could bring your parcels into a lower price bracket, leading to substantial cost savings.
Coming back to void fillers – would it be preferable to order smaller boxes so you are not paying to send empty space? Made to fit boxes are smaller, taking up less space in delivery vans and reducing the number of vehicles on the road. This reduces the environmental costs of delivery too.
4. Promote packaging reuse and recycling
When customers receive a strong or beautiful item of packaging, they are more likely to reuse it. This could be to send their deliveries, for storage or a creative upcycling project. You might include inspiration or templates as part of the print design.
To promote recycling, provide customers with information on what can and can’t be put into household or business waste bins. If items need to be separate first, make this clear.
5. Add the personal touch to e-commerce packaging
Personalisation is a priority in retail, especially in the world of e-commerce. Make use of the space on your packaging to connect with consumers. Use print design, messages, hashtags, voucher codes and branding to elevate the appearance of your postal boxes and make unboxing a joyous experience. Creating a positive association with your brand will increase the chance of gaining loyal customers.
Sustainable E-commerce Packaging
These 5 steps to improve e-commerce packaging are underpinned by the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. With the shift towards sustainability, it is good practice to consider these at the concept stage of packaging design. The good news is that these measures can have a positive impact on cutting environmental and financial costs.
As a specialist cardboard packaging manufacturer, Aylesbury Box Company are happy to advise on sustainable solutions and print options. We supply many e-commerce businesses with affordable, optimised, printed packaging, can we help you? Get in touch on 01296 436888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.