Skip to main content

Guide for Ship-Shape Parcel Packaging

Guide for Ship-Shape Parcel Packaging

Smarter packaging leads to safer small package shipping and lower costs. Use our e-guide to become a parcel pro.

Learn More

Create an unboxing experience with shipping boxes!

Imagine standing in a field of a thousand shipping boxes of the same shape, size and color — except one box which is purple. If you could pick just one, which would you pick? The purple one, right? After all, it's different than the rest and something about that makes it special.

It's a far-fetched, but relevant, scenario. In a time when customer demand is at an all-time high, and packages are dropped on doorsteps at a rapid pace, it's hard to stand out from the crowd — especially for e-commerce shipping businesses who have countless competitors.

However, what if you were able to create an unboxing experience for consumers with the packaging that the shipment was delivered in? Maybe that would help your product stand out from the others in the field.

Brown shipping boxes present an opportunity

Do a quick Google search for "why are boxes brown?" and you will get a mixed bag (or box if you like) of answers. Some say it's because it hides dirt easier, while others claim it's because of the wood materials that boxes are made from. Let's just say that as part of the largest non-retail authorized reseller of UPS® in the nation, there are other reasons why Worldwide Express has taken quite a shine to the color brown!

Regardless, brown packaging boxes are the standard. And that works for most shippers. The real question to ask is "do I need to stand out from the competition?" If the answer is yes, then consider using your packaging as another touchpoint to tell customers about you.

Customize your shipping boxes with brand colors

Are your brand colors part of your business identity? Think of some businesses that use the colors red or green, and a couple of big ones probably come to mind. Using brand colors on your shipping boxes and packaging accomplishes three important business objectives:

  • Your packages will stand out in a crowd among other packages.
  • It will reinforce your brand identity and make people think of you when they see the boxes.
  • The quality, care and aesthetics of your box creates a positive perception about your company.

This doesn't necessarily mean the entire box has to be a different color. Adding your brand name in accent colors or using a decorative stamp to place your logo on the box often will do the job. And think outside the box (pun intended)! Add an inspiring quote on the box to further set yourself apart. This tells customers that you care about their experience — from the placement of the order to delivery of the product.

Add accessories to your boxes!

What's that old saying, "it's not what's on the outside, but rather what's on the inside that counts"? Well, in the shipping world, it's both. So, to make your packages extra special, pay close attention to the box's "accessories" to help truly create an unboxing experience. Here are three examples:

  • Use shipping tape in different colors and designs that represent your brand or fit an aesthetic you are looking for.
  • Select different styles of protection materials like bubble wrap or eco-friendly packaging that are available and easily found online. You can go for bold or subtle colors and even customize and incorporate your logo for an additional brand plug.
  • Use custom paper to wrap your product. You can go for holiday themes or seasonal variations. You can take it a step further and include your company logo and the words "Holiday Wrapping Paper 2022" and suggest they keep it as an eco-friendly way to re-use the paper during the gift-giving season.

Include a surprise item inside your shipping boxes

By our nature, humans like connections. That's why we congregate and choose social circles. That begs the question, why should packaging be so impersonal? It shouldn't. Here are some ideas of items you can include inside to personalize your packaging boxes.

  • A handwritten note tucked inside that speaks about how the product was made, any charity work you are involved in or just how much you appreciate the customer's business is a great way to add a personal touch.
  • And people love samples. If you sell soap, include a small sample of a new product line you are selling and ask them to take a photo of it and share it on social media.
  • You can't go wrong with swag. Regardless of the product, shippers can get creative and include bumper stickers, keychains, removable tattoos, stress balls and other free items that include your company logo. This makes the unboxing experience even sweeter.

Ensure your boxes can make the journey

Now, it must be said that your shipping boxes and materials can't exist for vanity alone. They still serve a functional purpose, too. The packaging must be sturdy, durable and perform the task that it is meant to do — help get your shipment from point A to B. There are many tips for effective parcel shipping. Here are a few:

  • Don't skimp on packaging materials — Shipping costs do add up and taking a DIY approach can sometimes seem economical. However, we advise that you buy new packaging materials. Products will be less susceptible to damage if you use new, heavy duty or corrugated cardboard boxes.
  • Use carrier-specific packaging — Whether you ship through USPS, FedEx or UPS parcel shipping, the carrier has packaging made specifically for each service type. Although this limits the amount of customization you can do, you can still include custom tape, samples and brand-centric packaging materials inside the box.
  • Avoid string and paper overwrap — Strings and paper wrapping outside of the box make opening packages just like your birthday. However, those same items can get stuck in the carrier's sorting machines or conveyer belts. Not only could this damage your package, but you could also be charged an additional fee.
  • Skip the Scotch, duct and masking tapes. You need 2-inch pressure-sealed tape designed for shipping. Tape edges, as well as the center, where the flaps meet to form an "H-shape" with the adhesive. This goes for the top and bottom of the box. And don't skimp on layering tape — UPS recommends at least three strips per edge.

Here's another thing to note: unboxing experiences can sometimes be taken a little too far, and the pursuit of aesthetics ends up adding dimensional weight (known as DIM) to shipments. This will increase costs. Learn how to manage DIM weight through shipping best practices.

Need a shipping strategy for your unforgettable boxes?

Shippers face many challenges today. Standing out in a crowd of competitors is a major one. However, making the extra effort to create an unboxing experience for your customers can make a difference in how they perceive your business and products.

At Worldwide Express, we use our expertise as a leading third-party logistics (3PL) provider and decades of experience to bring a consultative approach when working with customers. Talk to us to learn more about how we can help your business with its small package shipping needs. Request a consultation today!