Packaging For E-Commerce: What’s Actually Important?

by Megan Arnold August 24, 2020

We already know that buying online is a popular way to shop. But now, in the wake of COVID-19, even more shoppers are turning to e-commerce to avoid retail stores entirely. In fact, according to an article published on, e-commerce shopping raked in a whopping $82.5 billion1 just in the month of May alone, which is a 77% year over year increase.

This puts brands, especially those who have never had a strong e-commerce presence, in a rather unique position. How do you create packaging for a product that isn’t going to sit on a retail shelf?

You might be tempted to just stick that retail item in a cardboard box and send it out the door, but e-commerce packaging requires some careful thought, and there’s a lot more that you can do to create a memorable, branded experience for your consumers.

  • Make Sure It Fits – We’ve all gotten that package before. The box is three sizes too big and filled with bubble wrap to help keep everything from rolling around. Instead, make sure you’re focusing on boxes that actually fit2 the product. This includes both your product packaging and your shipping cartons. Not only does this create a better experience for customers, but it’ll reduce your material and shipping costs.
Shipper box with graphics and other branding on the outside of the box
  • A Shipper To Remember – When it comes to online shopping, the first impression customers have of your product is the shipper it comes in. Whether it’s a polybag mailer or a cardboard box, you don’t have to limit yourself!2 Add some color, imprint the box with your company’s name, or even personalize the inside of the box for that wow factor. Give your customers something to remember from the moment they get that box in their hands.
An upclose of Amazon tape on the outside of a box
  • Upgrade Your Tape – Maybe you’re a small business who’s just starting out or you don’t have the resources to create a custom shipper. Instead of focusing on the box, focus on the tape!2 That tape used to seal a box takes up valuable real estate, so put it to good use. Use tape with your company’s colors and logo to not only seal your box for shipping but promote your business at the same time!
  • It’s All About The Unboxing – Opening a package is like opening a present2 on Christmas morning! You don’t want to just shove your product in with some bubble wrap. Create an unboxing experience worthy of an Instagram post by focusing on those inside elements. Neatly wrap products in colorful tissue paper, use branded stickers to hold the tissue paper together, and added branded promotional material3 with coupon codes or helpful information. You could even toss in a freebie just to make the experience extra special.
close up of the words thank you with a heart underneath on a yellow piece of paper
  • Make It Personal – It can be hard to make a lasting impression with customers when they do all their buying online, so you need to create ways to really make the experience feel personal. One great way is by adding a note to every order3. This can be hard depending on the size of your business, but a genuine handwritten note not only shows the customer that you care but helps them connect with the real people behind your business.




Megan Arnold
Megan Arnold