Packaging, it’s the brown cardboard stuff around precious online goods, right?


Packaging encompasses more than the outer cardboard covering of products. There are internal components that are just as essential to protect a package during the course of shipment and delivery. Most sellers never really give product packaging a second thought. Why? It’s because consumers don’t care about the external wrapping. What really matters to them are the internal contents. However, the importance of packaging skyrockets the moment your consumers receive broken and damaged goods.

What online sellers don’t realize is, proper packaging could cut return rates in half. Package appearance is one thing, but you cannot solely rely on a crisp paper box to get your product safely intact to your consumers. The outer casing is just one component of packaging products. It will protect what’s inside from dust, heat and direct sunlight. That’s it!

Today, good packaging material is an essential part of successful online retail. The packaging you use must prevent your products from bouncing in transit. Also it should be able to absorb intense impacts. Making an effort with effective packaging will motivate consumers to buy from you again and inform others about you as well.

Product Packaging Options

  1. Packaging Peanuts

Packaging peanuts are also known as Styrofoam/ Thermocol balls, beads or peanuts. These pellets are light, durable and effective in cushioning fragile products. They also happen to be reusable and recyclable. These feather light beads can be used for goods of all shapes and sizes. Styrofoam peanuts are non-degradable and can be a nuisance to consumers. However, starch peanuts are a more environment friendly alternative. These too have a downside. Starch dissolves in water so wet and humid climate will cause problems. In addition to this, they cost more than their non-degradable counterpart. 

  1. Air Cushions

These are plastic bags filled with air and sealed permanently. They are perfect for occupying large empty spaces and easily wrap around products. They are much lighter than packaging peanuts and you require less of them in comparison. Air pillows are tough enough to resist punctures from major impact during shipment. Since very little goes into making this packaging it is easy to dispose. The plastic is recyclable and an economical alternative for the packaging of fragile goods.

  1. Foam Sheets


Polyurethane sheets are another packaging option that works well. These are thick and tough sheets that are wrapped around breakable or delicate products. They are soft and malleable to cover a variety of products. A foam sheet can be cut to fit your products exact size. It’s great packaging material, but for some the price is a deal breaker. Also the fact that this stuff doesn’t degrade can be a problem for consumers concerned about waste disposal.

  1. Corrugated Paper

This solves the issues with non-environment friendly material. Corrugated paper is light, biodegradable and recyclable. The amount of this kind of packaging will depend on the type of products you sell. Corrugated packaging protects against scratches and can sufficiently absorb shocks upon impact. The more fragile a product is the more corrugated paper it will need. However, with products that need intense care you may need to add another kind to packaging material, just to be sure.

  1. Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is the preferred choice for most online sellers. It is an effective little invention and highly entertaining pass time! It is an affordable packaging material and effective as well. It easily fits around all kinds of products, prevents scratches and absorbs shocks. Again the degree of product protection during transit will depend on the type of products you sell. According to the delicate state of you product you need to use a sufficient amount of bubble wrap.

  1. Shrink Wrap

Shrink wrap is the plastic cover used to seal a package completely. Apart from holding the packaging together shrink wrap also protects the cardboard packaging and the product inside from dampness, dust and vermin. In addition to all of this, it also adds to the appeal of the package.

Factors that Affect Packaging Selection

Your packaging requirements will depend on what you sell. Glass and ceramic products will need multiple layers of high quality packaging.

There are different degrees of protection a product needs. Sometimes all a product requires is packaging to protect it from direct sunlight or dust. In such a situation you do not need multiple layers of packaging.

Your budget will also affect the type of packaging material you use. Small retailers will find air cushions and bubble wrap a more feasible options compared to foam sheets and foam peanuts.

Some marketplaces have packaging regulations that require sellers to follow special packaging guidelines. This may vary from marketplace to marketplace and product to product.

If you’d like to know more amazing things about ecommerce like how you can get started as an online seller or how to sell more, get in touch with us at Browntape! We are India’s leading ecommerce solutions experts and we are always happy to help online sellers.

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