The Ultimate Guide to Product Packaging

No single business cannot afford to operate successfully without paying attention to the packaging of its products. Packaging decisions are part and parcel of everything that any company does, whether you on retail or e-commerce.

When you get it right on the packaging, you stand a high chance of increasing business sales. A study by Paperwork reveals that 52% of online buyers are more likely to keep the product when it is delivered in high-quality packaging. The research further reveals that 74% of consumers stand a chance to share the product pictures with their social media friends.

From the research, you can see the essence of paying attention to your product’s packaging.

As much as you may appreciate the need for awesome packaging, achieving this may prove more challenging than you can imagine. If this is something that has been giving you sleepless nights, this comprehensive guide to product packaging will help you get started. Keep reading to the end to learn more.

Assessing your packaging needs

As you plan on sorting your packaging, it is important that you first know the needs you are dealing with. Please keep in mind the following four factors which would help to give you a clear picture of your packaging needs.

  1. The type of product in question

Evaluate your product by looking at its size, shape, and weight. Also, consider how fragile it is and whether or not you will need cushioning.

  1. Total number of units to package

The units required matter because they have a direct impact on the cost of packaging.

  1. Your current budget

Evaluate your budget by factoring in both shipping and the cost of packaging. Do not leave out packaging fillers from the budget calculations.

  1. Marketing and business timeline

Things that you need to pay attention to here include your current inventory levels and the launch dates.

The box dimensions

The size of the box used has a direct impact on the materials needed and generally the cost of shipping and production.

The question to ask yourself in this regard is – “What will be the length, width, and height of the box?” please remember that these dimensions are measured from inside the box instead of outside.

Many people often think that measuring the box is an easy thing to do. The reality is that the process is more complicated than that. You have to accurately determine the measurements from the word go.

Product packaging types to consider

  • Folding carton

Folding cartons are the most popular in the world of product packaging for a good reason. They are easy to assemble and affordable, in addition to making products look much better. More importantly, they are versatile and can fit almost any industry.

There are different types of styles that fall within the folding carton category, namely:

  • Straight tuck boxes

These are the most common types of boxes that most industries use. The top and bottom closure panels share a common main panel.

  • Reverse tuck box

They resemble the tuck box, differing mainly on the closing panels. In this case, one closing panel is attached to the back of the box while the other on the front. These fold in the opposite direction.

  • Lock bottom box

These box styles are often called 1-2-3 bottom boxes and mainly help when you want to package heavier items. The bottom flaps push into each other, and the top closure tucks a top panel with slit locks.

  • Corrugated

This packaging type often works in heavy-duty products and shipping. The boxes come in different types, including single-faced, twin wall, double-faced, and triple wall.

There are various reasons that may motivate you to use a corrugated box and not any type of box. The lightweight box provides sufficient protection against packed goods. It is much stronger, and you can recycle or reuse the boxes.

As far as branding is concerned, you have various options on how to go about this and can even customize it to suit your specific needs. Additionally, corrugated boxes are the best option when you want to protect your product from bacteria and moisture.

  • Rigid

Rigid boxes are your best choice for high-end, premium product packaging that delivers a luxurious feel. They use thicker materials than the folding carton, while the artwork is printed directly on the greyboard material.

Just as the name suggests, rigid boxes are sturdier and do not collapse or fold, as witnessed with the folding cartons. Due to their high-value rating, these boxes are typically used with products of high significance like jewelry.

The rigid boxes are normally used when the product being packaged is heavy and requires extra support. A good example is the iPhone box and the packaging associated with most high-end smartphones.

Additional protection to packaged products

Sometimes packaging alone may not be enough to offer the desired protection to your products. In such a case, you may consider adding protective inserts.

The various protective inserts options available to businesses include:

  • Cardboard inserts – It is typically to find cardboards used as protective inserts in that they function as partitions or dividers. This is one of the most cost-effective approaches for protective inserts.
  • Foam inserts – Foam inserts add a luxurious touch even as they offer protection to fragile items during the shipping process. They are also great for delivering a memorable unboxing experience.
  • Molded pulp inserts – These are the most sustainable options as far as protective inserts are concerned. Typically, they are biodegradable, and you may treat or bleach them.
  • Plastic tray inserts – Also called blister inserts, plastic tray inserts are a lightweight approach to protecting products during the shipping process.

Different types of printing for your packaging

As you decide on the type of packaging to use, there is also the need to stipulate the preferred printing approach.

The various printing options to go for are:

  • Offset printing – Entails using ink to create a richer and clearer image quality. This option offers the best quality printing and works best in the case of mass production.
  • Digital printing – Works just as a laser or inkjet printer does and provides a quicker turnaround when dealing with low-volume jobs.
  • Flexography printing – Regarded as the modern-day printing option and can handle large packaging quantities.

Paper coating

Whereas packaging helps protect your products, the paper coating can go a long way in improving the print quality.

The paper coating options include:

  • Lamination – This is the most effective option when you want a matte and glossy finish.
  • UV coating – The option produces the same effect as lamination, except that UV is applied directly to the material instead of adding film such as lamination.
  • Aqueous coating – This is a clear, water-based coating that dries fast. The option best works for packaging solutions associated with the household, food, and fast-consuming products.
  • Varnish – The option is cost-effective but has low durability. That makes it less popular than the other options despite producing a matte and gloss effect.

Packaging design attracts attention

As you focus on protecting your products through packaging, it is vital that you incorporate brilliant designs that attract attention.

If you do not have an in-house designer, you may look into outsourcing your graphic design work.

Product prototyping and final production

Sometimes you may express worry about the performance of your packaging. In such situations, the best thing to do is first run a prototype with your team before going into full production.

You may request for 3D mock-up or custom sample box. In any case, whether or not you are confident, most businesses find it viable to first work with a prototype before accepting the final production.

Once you agree with the prototype, you can give the go-ahead for full production. Since you are dealing with a reliable packaging company, you have nothing to worry about. You will receive your shipment as per the given timeline, delivery method, and package size.

Wrap up

This guide has taken you through all the vital details that you need to know about the product packaging. As explained, make sure that you understand your packaging needs as you start looking for solutions. Anything that you perform as far as packaging is concerned solely depends on your needs.

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