- Deliverability: If goods don’t arrive intact in the hands of your customers, you risk your reputation with them.
- Customer Impressions: Customized boxes with your branding can create a favorable impression with your customers over time.
- Efficiency: If you have a system for what products need to be packed in what materials before they are even sent out, you can more efficiently get orders out the door.
- Cost: Matching the right packing materials to the right products means saving on unnecessary expenses. Conversely, you can end up paying more at different stages of shipping if the goods aren’t appropriately packed.
But with technology and innovation moving at unprecedented rates, there are more ways to ensure the smooth delivery of your e-commerce products than ever before.
Let’s take a look at internal packaging alternatives that can help you better protect your products.
Why Use Packing Alternatives?
There are several reasons to consider packing alternatives.
Consider the following:
- Better Protection: Many alternatives to corrugated boxes provide you with superior product protection, leading to more happy customers.
- Low Cost: In some cases, alternative packing materials are cheaper than traditional materials.
- Lightweight: Alternative packing supplies are relatively lightweight.
- Stackable: One of the benefits of corrugated cardboard boxes is that they are stackable, making them easy to store. Fortunately, many alternative materials are also easy to store.
In essence, the same qualities that make corrugated boxes attractive also make alternative supplies attractive. The only difference is that you can customize better. You can take advantage of more options based on product size, shape, or fragility.
Alternatives To Corrugated Boxes
These are but a few examples of alternative packaging materials:
- Self-sealing Boxes: Boxes that do not require the use of tape or glue to be sealed. Most use adhesive strips at the opening. All you need to do is removed the cover strips when you are ready to seal the box. This can make your packing process considerably more efficient, and can also help you save on material costs.
- Corrugated Mailers: Lightweight boxes that are designed to help you ship out smaller products at the lowest cost possible.
- Suspended Packaging: Can be used to “suspend” the product in the airspace between two layers of a resilient low-slip film, protecting the product in transport.
- Retention Packaging: For holding products in place as they are being shipped. A retention frame and a film membrane are used to keep the product in place while allowing for product visibility.
Other types of alternative materials include corrugated fiberboard, chipboard, singlewall corrugated, doublewall corrugated, and so on.
In some cases, alternative materials can also be more friendly to the environment:
Some companies are beginning to create packaging out of agricultural waste to fit their packaging to a variety of different sizes and shapes. Some are also compostable. Still others are using recycled materials to create their packaging.
This means that there are alternative packing methods for environmentally conscious business owners too. This can help you create an appeal with the growing consumers that shop with earth conscious.
One more reason to think not only of the environmental impact your shipping containers and wrapping can have on the environment and your brand positioning is the phenomena of unboxing. With carefully thought out packaging your brand can gain traction online in the meme-i-verse when executed, either by design or naturally.
Take, for example, the unboxing of the iPhone 6 (video below) that uses the Blue Man Group to showcase an extravagant unboxing…
When you use the right packing supplies, you can make a better impression on your customers, save on shipping costs, and reduce the risk of damaged or broken products.
- Can your warehouse processes be improved by using alternative materials?
- Could more of your orders arrive in the hands of your customers safe, sound, and on time?
It is worth doing a thorough audit of your inventory to determine whether or not the use of custom packaging can help you save on overhead and improve your business processes.