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Packaging Mistakes that Online Businesses Must Avoid


Packaging Mistakes that Online Businesses Must Avoid


Choosing the right packaging and using it correctly are important aspects of running an online business. Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, your packaging is where customers base their first impression since they see the first thing upon receipt of your product. And when you don’t package your items correctly, you’re already off to a bad start in the eyes of your customer.

More than that, there are many other negative implications of misusing packaging or using the wrong kind, such as high costs, shipping overcharges, and a surplus of waste. To avoid these detrimental effects on your business, here are the standard packaging and shipping mistakes you must avoid:



1. Using an unnecessary amount of packaging

It is essential to secure your product, yes, but should you use an excessive amount of packaging around it? Definitely not. Apart from being impractical on your part, using excessive packaging on your products is incredibly wasteful. And with today’s consumers being more loyal to environmentally-conscious companies, being wasteful with your packaging can be a turn-off.

Avoiding this mistake is easy. Select the correctly sized packaging and, whenever possible, find sustainable options, such as packaging made from recycled materials. Not only will this help you save money, but it will also make your customers feel happy about supporting an environmentally responsible company.

2. Taking the focus from the product

Using flashy materials such as gold foil paper or bronze leaves is a great way to make your product more unique, but overdoing it can take the focus away from the product and divert it to your packaging. And of course, that’s not something you want to happen because as much as the packaging is essential, your product should be the center of attention here.

When choosing packaging materials for your online business, ensure that you do not overshadow the product itself. The colors and textures should complement each other, but the focus should still be on the product. If you’re not sure if you’re making this mistake, have a third party take a look and give you their honest opinion.

3. Not using the right amount of void fill

Void fill keeps your products from jostling around inside the box and potentially getting damaged. Examples of void fill materials are shredded paper, packing peanuts, Styrofoam balls, and packing paper. If you don’t use enough void fill, you aren’t giving your products enough protection for the shipping process, and you risk having your customers receive a damaged product that can result in negative reviews and returns.

Using too much void fill is not good either. Apart from increasing the package’s weight (which leads to increased shipping costs), it can put unnecessary pressure on your products, increasing the risk of being deformed during shipping. Moreover, it’s also a clear waste of materials and money.

4. Making your package too tricky to open

Most packages are a little challenging to open because they are adequately secured, and that’s good. When your containers are a bit hard to open, customers will perceive that you’ve gone the extra mile to protect their order. However, when your packages are impossibly hard to open (like not-being-able-to-open-the-box-with-scissors kind of hard), customers will naturally get angry with your product and you. As a result, they might not do business with you again since they know they will have to fight with the packaging to access their product.

To avoid this mistake, test out your packaging for yourself. Come up with a standardized packaging method and then try to open the package with regular tools that your customers will likely have in the house, like a box cutter or a pair of scissors. If you have a hard time opening your product, then you might want to rethink your packaging style altogether.

5. Failure to brand your packaging

There are too many competitors out there (both online and offline), and you need to find a way to differentiate yourself from everybody else. A great way to do this is to brand your packaging, which can be done by having custom boxes made or making branded stickers to seal your package, for example. Although this can incur additional costs, the resulting brand association and customer appreciation will be worth it in the end.

Your packaging speaks volumes to your customers, especially when it comes to online businesses. Think of your packaging as the face of your product, as a signboard is to a brick-and-mortar store. If it’s not that great, it can make a bad first impression on your customers, which can make your product look bad, too. But if it’s good, best believe that your customers will have a blast opening their package, which, of course, will result in great reviews.

Samuel J. Morales

Beer geek. Tv trailblazer. Passionate internet practitioner. Gamer. Lifelong introvert. At the moment I'm working with tar in Africa. Spent 2001-2005 getting to know junk bonds in Minneapolis, MN. In 2008 I was marketing squirt guns in Naples, FL. Earned praised for my work selling pond scum in Minneapolis, MN. Set new standards for merchandising action figures in Miami, FL. Earned praised for my work implementing sock monkeys in Prescott, AZ.