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eCommerce Packaging or: How People Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Box


Custom Packaging

At Sunship we understand one of the key pieces to making an attractive eCommerce brand is custom packaging. That’s why we list it as one of our services. However, the attractiveness of custom packaging is lost on many people. “What’s the big deal about a weird looking box?” Well, it’s not just about how the box looks. Custom packaging also brings an added element of functionality. For example, Tide’s new “Eco Box” not only has a wine box type form but it also includes foldable pieces to create an elevated stand for the product. But, to the naysayers of custom packaging, regular packaging faces three challenges all solved by custom packaging.

Problem 1: How to be Less Wasteful

At the moment, the most popular waste disposal method of eCommerce packaging is take-and-dispose. Essentially, it means that the customers that receive the product, take it and dispose of it. However, that’s becoming more unattractive to customers as time goes on. The way custom packaging solves this problem, of disposing and recycling old products, would be a switch system. It would work the same as water gallon jugs at places such as Sam’s Club.



The person that receives the product can then return it for a newly “refilled” version. For example, a person buys a box that has a supply of razor blades. After using the razor blades the person will use the provided return shipping label and, for a fee, be given a new package of razor blades. This is, however, just an educated guess.

Problem 2: How to Have More “Shelf Presence”

What does “shelf presence” mean? For example, let’s say that you have two identical wrist watches you are looking at. One is in a bland box and the other has more “eye-catching” features on its packaging. More often than not, the watch with more aesthetically pleasing features will be taken over the bland one. There are ways to enhance this. The first way is box functionality. The previously given example of the Tide “Eco Box” is a great way to improve packaging functionality.




The next way is to improve the “unboxing experience.” What’s more fun: an average cardboard box or Christmas presents. Obviously, one of these has a greater unboxing experience. Improving this calls upon the ability to attempt to emulate the feeling of opening Christmas presents, so to say. Products whose packaging can use these methods will most likely perform better.


Problem 3: How to Optimize Returns

“Optimizing returns” really mean “minimizing returns.” This problem is best tackled, not by the packaging, but by the team behind the packaging. The customer service team of a product needs to be as much of a well-oiled machine as possible. They can determine whether or not a product will be returned or see continued use. Another way to minimize returns is to have honest advertising, customer reviews, and a good Q&A system. Honest advertising about what’s included inside the packaging will allow people, that will find a use for the product, to make a purchase decision more quickly. Customer reviews are easily the fastest determinant on how much use a product is going to serve. Lastly, a good Q&A system can calm any doubts and answer any concerns among the target about the packaging.


For updates on this and more follow our blog or contact Sunship for more detailed e-commerce information.

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