In today’s world, a book is judged by its cover. Therefore, product packaging is bound to be a fundamental concern of online and offline retailers. Apart from being functional, packaging must be attractive, durable, and protect the product until it reaches the customer.
This is what every retailer should aim for. The word packaging enfolds various meanings. It is the way you cover or enclose your product to store, distribute, and sell. Packaging also refers to the logistics involved in transporting products from the manufacturing unit to the retail store. Packaging protects the products, advertises them, and informs the customers about the product.
Therefore, it makes all the sense to have basic knowledge about product packaging and its types. In this blog, we shall discuss the different types of packaging for eCommerce businesses.
There are two types of packaging – shipping packaging and consumer packaging. While shipping packaging is used to ship products from the manufacturing unit to the retail shops, consumer packaging is used to ship products from the retail set-up to the consumers. Both these types of packaging further have different types of packaging under their subhead.Shipping Packaging
A shipping packaging is the one used to ship products from one place to another. There are many types of packaging used to ship products, and these can be customized as per the needs of the brand and its products. The following are some types of shipping packages:
Crates and Pallets
While crates are large shipping containers used to ship products in bulk, pallets are flat transport structures used to support products in a stable manner. They are used to store and transport products conveniently. Crates and pallets can be customized to fulfill the specialized needs of your product. They can be made from plastics, metals, wood, or even paper. They are very sturdy and can hold heavy products in bulk quantities for a longer period. They are reusable as well.
Products are strapped in a pallet, often using shrink or stretch wraps, to keep them safe and in position. The products that generally use crates and pallets include soft drinks, milk, food, cosmetics, and medicines to store and transport heavy items.
A versatile packaging option, shrink wrap is a plastic film wrapped around the product or even the entire crate or pallet of products. Then heat is applied to the surface, causing the plastic to shrink. Shrink wrap holds the products together and aids in moving them conveniently. It also protects the products from abrasion, impact, and punctures.
Shrink wrapping offers a wide range of benefits, such as durability, protection, affordability, branding, preservative, and convenience. It also gives a unique appearance to the packaging and keeps dust and dirt away from the products. Shrink wrapping is cost-efficient, and thus, it also reduces the shipping costs.
Vacuum packaging removes air from the package before sealing it. It involves placing items in a plastic package, removing air from the inside, and sealing it. Basically, oxygen is removed from the product to extend the products’ shelf life, especially food. Vacuum packaging helps eliminate yeast and bacteria and keeps the food fresh for a longer time.
Shock Mount Packaging
Shock mount packaging is the best option for transporting sensitive and fragile products. This packaging uses dedicated mounts for shock isolation. They keep the products safe, control vibration, and reduce noise. It is the safest packaging, and it is preferred for fragile and delicate products, such as glassware, electronics, and chemical compounds.
It offers a wide range of packaging applications, such as protecting the products from shock, vibration, noise, humidity, dust, and moisture.Consumer Packaging
Once the products are shipped from the manufacturing unit to their desired destination, the next step is to package them to store and safely send them to the buyers. The following are the different types of consumer packaging used to sell/ship products to consumers.
Corrugated boxes are used to carry and pack heavy items, such as electronics, beverages, fruits, and vegetables conveniently. These are also used for packaging bulk products. Corrugated boxes are strong and durable as they are layered packaging material. They have different layers, which is their main strength.
Significantly, corrugated boxes are environment friendly, and they can be reused and recycled. Thus, they are a good option for retailers looking for sustainable packaging. Corrugated boxes are sturdy and more durable than cardboard boxes; they make for a good option for heavier items.
Paperboard boxes are generally used to pack single items, such as breakfast cereals or shoes. They are not as strong as corrugated boxes and are lightweight. As they are light in weight, they are an ideal option for products kept on the shelf. Printing and graphic designing is easy on these boxes.
Thus, paperboard cartons sport eye-catching designs of the product along with product information and details. Most importantly, these boxes can also be recycled and reused.
Polyethene bags are the cheapest packaging material. They are generally used for plants, flowers, food, and other such products. Retail shopkeepers and small-scale business owners mostly use polythene bags to meet their basic packaging needs.
Paper bags are one of the most common packaging solutions. They are mostly used at the local supermarkets to quickly take away products such as food items, apparel, etc. These paper bags are versatile and cost-efficient.
You can also choose to get these paper bags printed. Most retailers print their brand names, logo, product list, address, and contact number. Some even choose to print a graphic of their product. They don’t contribute to pollution as they are easily renewable, decomposable, and recyclable. Paper bags indeed make for a good choice for consumer packaging.
Plastic bottles are also widely used as a packaging solution. These are mostly used for cosmetics, medicines, and liquid products. Plastic bottles are functional, as well as affordable. Additionally, they are space-efficient as well. They can be reused during their entire life. Even the customers reuse them for different purposes, prolonging their utility.
Besides, they can be easily printed on. You can print product-related information on them as well as advertisements. Plastic bottles are unbreakable and make for the best option for liquids.
Plastic boxes protect and cover products. They also help in showcasing the product effectively without even opening the package. Therefore, they help in advertisement as well. They can be best used for candles, toys, and other such products.
Plastic boxes are lightweight, sturdy, and durable. They are a better option than their counterpart cardboard boxes. Plastic boxes also provide better protection. In addition, they are cost-effective, as well. However, they are not an environment-friendly option. But they can be reused and recycled.
The above said packaging materials are not the full representation. They only represent some options. When it comes to choosing the right option, do some research on the types available before zeroing in on the final and the best option.