In the business of eCommerce, packaging plays an enormous role. For starters, it helps you make a favorable impression in front of your customers. It significantly reduces the cost of returns by ensuring the product reaches safely to the customers.
Without a doubt, the concept of packaging is so much more than just delivering goods in a cardboard box. In some way or another, we all have come in contact with eCommerce packaging — whether through Amazon or some independent online shop.
The US is the largest eCommerce market in the world, where almost 230 million people prefer online shopping. If you count the numbers right now, you will find 8 out of 10 people who have shopped online in the past 30 days.
India-based meat and seafood company Licious have caricatures of their customers on the packaged boxes. On the other hand, Amazon launched StoryBoxes, wherein each box tells the story of the platform’s sellers.
It is not a surprise to see other retailers and distribution companies also adopting this model. As consumers generally form an impression of a brand within seven seconds, this sort of packaging can help companies eCommerce stand out.
So, what is eCommerce packaging?
Ecommerce packaging includes the use of boxes in which the products are stacked and shipped to the customers. Studies show that the majority of customers find product packaging as crucial as the brand itself. Ninety percent of the products in the US are sent in cardboard boxes with some description.
The eCommerce model has gotten a boost ever since the pandemic began, as many people switched to online shopping instead of going to retail stores. That is why packaged boxes have become an essential part of the shopping experience.
This has also given many eCommerce companies the chance to showcase their brand identity by personalizing the shipping boxes. Looking back at Licious and Amazon, we know many things businesses can do to set themselves apart from their competitors.
How to Launch a print packaging eCommerce business in 2021
As a printer looking to offer printed packaging services to budding eCommerce stores, you show them creative ways to design their packaging that goes well with their products and brand identity as well as is also well-liked by their customers. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can kick-start your print packaging eCommerce business:
1. Determine how will you provide your printing services
First things first, ask yourself the following questions:
What is the goal you want to achieve through selling personalized, print-ready packaging boxes?
Who is your target audience? How are “their” competitors packaging their products?
What value can your printed packaging services bring to your customers?
What types of packaged boxes do you want to sell on your platform?
Do you plan to deploy a packaging design software for your business?
All these questions will help you identify the core of your print packaging eCommerce business and how much investment you would have to make on your part.
For instance, web2print will allow your end-users (i.e., eCommerce store owners) to design the boxes that better fit their product offerings in no time.
2. Choose the best packaging style for your business
Once you are through with step one, choose the ideal packaging styles that your end-users will like. These styles will vary on fragility and the weight of the products sold by the eCommerce store owners.
Therefore, you can look to sell the following on your web-to-print storefront:
A. Roll end tab lock corrugated boxes
These are one of the popular eCommerce packaging boxes that are easy to handle, sturdy, and well sealed.
B. Regular slotted corrugated box:
These are standard shipping boxes that are perfect for large and heavy items that need extra care while shipping.
C. Roll end top corrugated boxes:
These boxes are ideal for securing clothes, electronic items, health and beauty items, and hardware.
D. Shipping poly mailers:
Made from paper or polyethylene LDPE, they are flexible, light, durable, and waterproof. Amazon bags or any padded envelope can be considered as a poly mailer. They are ideal for small-to-medium-sized items but not so great for heavy products.
In a nutshell, you can enable end-users to design the boxes that better fit their product line and even create corner pieces that safeguard fragile items.
Digital printing does not cost much and is inexpensive as compared to other printing methods. It is best for low quantity orders. If you know your end-users are not going in bulk, digital printing is what you should go for. However, it is not ideal where print orders are highly detailed and often leads to long print runs.
Offset printing is used for large quantities, such as printing newspapers and magazines. Here, the ink is transferred from a plate to a rubber roller and then to a paper material. The costs are high, but it offers superb quality. Therefore, choose wisely.
4. Install the best packaging design software
Depending on the web-to-print solution you deploy, you can include several packaging templates that will incorporate with your end-users brands.
Besides, if they want to include personalized messaging, they should be able to connect with their target audience on an emotional level. If they have something specifically designed, they can easily upload it on the platform.
If they want to add mask and layering effect or simply include shapes and vector imagery in the template, the package design software will allow them to do so.
A web2print design studio can also enable your end-users to use their brand colors in the artwork and establish a unique brand identity for themselves. They can make their logo stand out across all printed boxes.
5. Give them a 3D preview of their packaging artwork
Prototyping is done to make sure that the structure and printing of the final product are okay. Using any 3D packaging software, your end-users can check their packaged boxes’ color as well as printing accuracy.
This will help them get the closest experience on how their actual packaging will look once they receive their orders. 3D print views, in fact, can help immensely in reducing the errors in printing. This is a win-win for both you and your customers.
6. Deploy systems to track shipping and delivery
This step will require minimal involvement. In this step, you will mass-produce the packaged boxes based on your end-users’ final packaging specifications. A web-to-print platform will give you access to the order and delivery statuses.
You can ship your products through:
Sea freight (The most inexpensive option for international shipping that comes from overseas)
Airfreight (Overseas or local, quickest and most costly)
Shipment and delivery management can happen directly from the admin panel. Plus, you can encourage your end-users to stay up-to-date about their orders through the designed user accounts on the platform.
Go on, create magic with web-to-print
With proper planning and preparation, you would be able to start your print packaging eCommerce business. Understanding your target market and their needs will allow you to come with ideas that will attract new customers and sell your products.
Plus, with web-to-print technology, you can give your end-users an optimal shopping experience. They can browse through different packaging boxes of different shapes and sizes and personalize them as per their brand.
Nidhi, a visionary with 10+ year of experience, is profound business acumen and a management capability backed by strong technological background. She plays a strategic role in the company defining the road map for all innovations & her comprehensive problem solving skills have led to many successful online print businesses. Known for her hands-on approach, Nidhi’s leadership style and her journey so far has been commended at many renowned platforms.
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