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How To Create E-Commerce Packaging That Sells

Are you putting enough effort into the packaging of your e-commerce business? If not, you may be missing out.

In an article for The Atlantic, Amanda Mull points out the fact that now more than ever, good packaging is crucial for any consumer product. The phenomenon of “unboxing” videos, for instance, is what Mull calls a “carefully orchestrated emotional crescendo of the consumer experience.”

What does this mean for e-commerce businesses? In the days of shopping malls and grocery stores, product packaging was designed for the store shelf. While in-store shopping can leverage interior designs and shelf displays, e-commerce businesses have to ship out their products in protective packaging. More often than not, these mailers are ill-designed, if designed at all. 

With the rise of online shopping, smart e-commerce businesses are rethinking their approach to how they mail out their products by redesigning their shipping packaging especially for the mailbox, creating a worthy “unboxing moment” for the at-home shopper.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about this e-commerce packaging trend, and find out the secrets to Conformer’s Best Mailer—the “expensive-looking” packaging made just for the e-commerce experience.

Packaging Trends for E-Commerce Businesses

When promoting a new product, it’s no longer the “inside that counts.” As Mull points out, today’s online product reviews include critiques of how the packaging looks and feels in the customer’s hands. “There’s no better compliment than when someone says a package feels expensive,” she writes.

For e-commerce stores, however, it’s more complicated. Whereas in-person shoppers get a first impression of a product by their shelf packaging, online shoppers begin judging from the moment their purchase arrives at their door, including the shipping parcel in which the product is packed.

Dollar Shave Club: A Billion-Dollar Success Story

In 2016, the Dollar Shave Club was reportedly bought by Unilever for $1 billion. As a Conformer Best Mailer customer, the e-commerce success of the Dollar Shave Club teaches us the real-world value of good packaging.

What the Dollar Shave Club’s story proves is, for a new online company to distinguish themselves, it’s no longer enough to have a product that’s different. In fact, the product may not matter at all.

“The direct-to-consumer start-up,” Mull writes, “didn’t make or even design its own razors. Instead, it bought inexpensive ones from the Korean brand Dorco, wrapped them in slick, Millennial-bait branding, and found a sector of the market that hadn’t yet been spoken to by the old guard of Schick and Gillette.”

Emmy Corman, the Package Design Engineer at Dollar Shave Club that made it all happen, shared the challenges that today’s e-commerce packaging need to address:

  1. To be less wasteful by using less materials or reusable packaging.
  2. To offer a new type of “shelf presence” with better graphics or branding; or to elevate the unboxing experience.
  3. To optimize returns via the small parcel shipping environment, which is a concern brick-and-mortar retailers don’t face.

The Best Mailer’s fully customizable, 100% recycled, recyclable and compostable mailers use only high-quality materials to help you create packaging worthy of an “unboxing experience.” What’s more, the design of the packaging has been specially optimized to help e-commerce businesses take advantage of USPS Flat or Parcel Select Lightweight rate categories, the most ideal option for low-cost delivery.

Get In On The “Unboxing” Trend

In another blog post, we shared three tips on creating “unboxing-worthy” shipping packaging.

Mull’s article also touches on the phenomenon of unboxing videos: “YouTubers and Instagram influencers don’t just show followers their shiny new toys; they ‘unbox’ them, taking viewers through the layers of packaging so they get to vicariously live the full emotional experience of having just bought something new.”

Even if your product is already new to customers, it’s really the packaging that can give them the “full emotional experience” of newness.

For e-commerce businesses to take advantage of the unboxing trend, they have to begin with that picture-perfect shipping package, because that’s the first thing their customers see.

Rather than taking the easy way with plastic poly mailers or run-of-the-mill cardboard boxes, e-commerce businesses can make a bolder impression with sleeker, custom-made mailers that can protect what’s inside while contributing to the overall “newness” of the unboxing experience.

As Conformer cofounder Bob Makofsky notes: “When customers receive your product in the mail, how do you want them to feel? Your packaging needs to leverage the emotions that come with newness and create the impactful unboxing experience that will lead them to make a second, third, fourth—and so on—purchase.”

Deliver the Perfect Unboxing

No matter where your products are sold, good packaging can make all the difference in the customer’s mind. When it comes to e-commerce businesses who can’t make their first impressions with fancy storefronts or shelf displays, the shipping packaging is what ultimately counts.

A leading company in professional mailers for e-commerce businesses, Conformer’s Best Mailers are specially designed to enhance those unboxing experiences for customers who aren’t shopping from store shelves.

Working closely with their customers, Conformer helps premier e-commerce brands craft intricate packaging made just for those flawless direct-to-consumer shipping journeys.

Plus, with high-quality material, expertise design, and a range of customization options, the Best Mailer ensures your every customer will get that feeling of “newness” with every unboxing.

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