Custom Packaging 101: Best practices for eCommerce businesses

September 14, 2020
By Alloy Automation
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Custom Packaging 101: Best practices for eCommerce businesses

Custom Packaging is one of the best ways to boost brand loyalty. It helps create a befitting unboxing experience which, in turn, increases customer satisfaction.

That way, your customers get to trust you enough to keep patronizing you and even refer their friends. Ecommerce business is different from physical shops.

As such, the customer's first tangible contact with your eCommerce business is through the packaging.

The impression they also get about your brand determines whether they will return or not.

For maximum results, you need to get it right from the start. I guess you would want to leave your customers with the right impression. So, let us consider some of the practices you need to follow for effective custom packaging.


Why do you need Custom Packaging?

Most customers tend to purchase from stores with trusted identity and reputation. People want to feel secure about their transactions, especially online.

Customizing your packaging helps to give your business the unique identity it needs to stand out from the crowd. It adds a touch of uniqueness to your brand.

Also, it has a great way of creating a sense of originality and authenticity about your business. It is one of your best opportunities to communicate your values in very simple ways.

Best Practices for Custom Packaging

There is no hard and fast rule for custom packaging. However, f you want to score an ace, you need to consider these tips:

1. Product-fitted packaging

Using a generic packaging box for every product is not very ideal. You will most likely have either extra spaces for smaller products or not enough space for the larger products.

Extra spaces can make the package incur unnecessary extra cost for shipping and delivery due to more weight.

To guarantee product safety, it is necessary to ensure that the packaging is neither too tight nor too loose. A well-fitted packaging for each product makes them much more portable and even helps to minimize waste of packaging materials.

2. Dynamic packaging materials

There is not really a 'one-type-fits-all' material for custom boxes. Different products have different nature and demand different kinds of treatment for maximum protection and safety.

So your choice of material for packaging should be determined by the nature of that particular product in view.

For instance, you do not necessarily have to package a cloth material and a glass product with the same kind of box. Of course, the glass product demands more carefulness because of its breakable nature.

For the glass, you might have to pad the inside of the box with some soft materials to help protect it. As for a piece of fabric, you can just wrap it in a sheet inside a box because it's more flexible.

3. Reusable and recyclable packaging

Everyone wants to make the most out of anything they spend their money on. You should be creative enough to use packaging that will be useful to the buyer even after using the product.

Go for boxes that can be turned into a household container or used to package another item. Also, your customers should not experience difficulty in disposing of the packaging for what they purchased.

As much as possible, use environmentally friendly materials that can easily be trashed or better still, be converted to a utility. You can avoid plastics and other materials that cannot easily be gotten rid of.

4. Return-friendly packaging

A good product return policy is a strong statement that you have enough confidence in what you deliver. It usually gives the buyer a massive level of trust when he knows he can return a product without any hassles if he is not satisfied.

Your packaging should also give volume to your return policy by including easy return features. You can employ user-friendly unpacking and repacking methods.

An extra adhesive seal and a return note in your packaging can be enough to convince the buyer that the purchase is secure.


5. Good unboxing experience

Just like someone who is unwrapping a pleasant surprise gift, your customers should unbox your products with a high level of excitement. A fine blend of design and quality makes the receiver more expectant as he unravels his package.

When the package content is then just as he expects or even better, the satisfaction is complete. Such perfect post-purchase experience is one of the best ways to establish a customer as a regular buyer.

He will most likely love to return to your shop for more purchase and will happily leave good testimonials about your business. More often than not, a satisfied buyer goes ahead to tell people how good your services are and recommends your shop anytime.

This is one of the greatest ways to grow your customer base: user-initiated advertisement. Remember, it all starts with a good product complemented with a simple and classic customized packaging.

6. Brand promotion

Custom packaging presents you with a fine opportunity to convince your customers about your business. An attractively designed short note about your core values or a short appreciation card can go a long way.

You can also include vital information about your business such as an address, contact, social media handles, customer support lines etc. Little surprise gifts, promo codes or coupons, raffle draws etc. can keep your buyers more excited and interested.

7. Customer feedback for improvement

The goal of every business is to satisfy their clients and keep them coming back for more purchase and with more people. As such, it is necessary that you establish a good customer relationship with your buyers so you can get appropriate feedback from them.

Make deliberate efforts to find out what they think about your services. Also find out the areas they suggest you improve on. Not just about the products, but also ask about the delivery experience.

It will give you proper clues on what exactly appeals to them. More so, it also gives the impression that you care about them too.

8. Discover the latest packaging trends

The world is changing fast. Many business tech innovations are springing up.

As such, customer tastes and demands are changing too. It is your duty to stay updated with the current waves in the eCommerce market at any moment.

Lagging behind in any way, puts you on a high risk of losing relevance. And as a soft reminder, people's attention span reduces every day, so no one has time for anything with less or outdated value.

To stay at the top, you have to be flexible enough to learn new strategies and adjust where necessary.


Whether or not your customers translate from just visiting your store to purchasing from you depends on their perception about your business. With good and strategic custom packaging, you can improve your brand's reputation and give your buyers the best customer experience. With that, you can be sure that your eCommerce is on the right track.

About the Author


Phillip Akhzar is the Founder and CEO of Arka with over a decade’s experience in packaging. Phil is a San Francisco native and attended Cal Poly SLO as an Industrial Engineer before graduating from both Y Combinator and 500 Startups.