The ‘True’ Cost of Packaging for Your Business

If you are a small business owner, you may not have given that much thought to the type of packaging you use other than making sure it protects your product. Whilst this is an important consideration, it is also worth thinking about how your packaging choices complement your business and the products you are selling.

Investing in the right packaging for your business can build brand loyalty and encourage repeat business. In this guide, we show you the different types of packaging on the market and our top tips for choosing the right one for your business.



Selling a premium product? Invest in premium packaging

The type of packaging you use should be a reflection of your brand and the type of products you are selling. Fashion and homeware brands, who are appealing to the social media generation, should strive to create an ‘unboxing experience’ with their packaging. If the parcel feels special then your customers will take to Instagram and Facebook to share videos of the box being opened, which is free marketing for your business.

In order to get your customers sharing their ‘unboxing’ videos on social media, you need to invest in high quality packaging. It’s also important that your brand is clearly displayed on all packaging so their followers can immediately see where the item was purchased from. An effective way of achieving this is by investing in branded packaging. Here’s 3 examples of branded packaging on the market:

Custom printed box

Price: £0.86 - £1.50 per unit

There’s lot of companies out there who can produce custom printed boxes for your business. You can choose a simple logo design or even get an eye-catching pattern printed on the box.

Custom printed mailing bag

Price: £0.40 - £0.70 per unit

If custom printed boxes are too pricey, mailing bags are a great lower cost option. However, they do not offer the same protection as a box so avoid using if you are sending anything fragile.

Branded stickers

Price: £10-12 for roll of 100

Stickers are a low cost way of incorporating your branding in the packaging without forking out lots on branded boxes. You can attach to the outer box or wrap your product in tissue paper and seal with a sticker.


Return-friendly packaging

When offering returns, convenience is key – many big retailers offer a simple returns process and customers expect the same service whenever they make a purchase online. One way you can make your returns service more convenient is through your packaging choices.

We recommend investing in packaging which the customer can easily re-use and re-seal to send the product back. Not only will this save the customer time, it will ensure the product is sent safely back to you.

There’s lots of ingenious boxes and mailing bags on the market which can be easily re-sealed after opening – here’s just a couple of examples:

Re-sealable box

Price: £0.63 - £0.75 per unit

If you are sending anything fragile, we recommend using a box over a mailing bag. This is a slightly more expensive option, but is well-worthwhile to ensure your item is safe in transit.

Re-sealable mailing bag

Price: £0.14 – £0.25 per unit

If you are selling clothes then a re-sealable mailing bag is the perfect packaging solution – clothes don’t require the same amount of protection as other items so a mailing bag works well and the re-sealable seal means it’s easy for customers to return if it’s not right.


Easy-to-open packaging

There’s nothing worse than receiving a package and struggling to get it open. One way your business can set itself apart from the competition is by taking a leaf out of Amazon’s book and switching to easy-to-open packaging.

This is particularly important if your product is geared towards an elderly audience. Thoughtful packaging choices show how you care about your customer, right down to the packaging you select and can reinforce your business ethos.

There’s lots of packaging solutions on the market which are simple for your recipient to open (no scissors required) and will still keep your product safe in transit.

Cardboard book wrap

Price: £0.42 - £0.60

The cardboard wraps around the product (keeping it safe in transit) and can be opened easily by pulling a tab. Despite what the name suggests, this type of packaging can be used for a multitude of products – not just books.


Weight of packaging

When choosing packaging for your products, it’s important to consider the size and weight. Avoid using packaging which is too big for your product – this will increase the cost of sending your parcel and leaves more space for the item to move around in transit. As a rule of thumb, there should be a 6cm gap between your item and the box’s outer walls. Fill this unused space with plenty of internal packaging to stop your item moving. For more advice on how to package your parcel, take a look at our packaging guide.


Buy in bulk

We recommend buying your packaging in bulk as most suppliers will charge less per unit when a large quantity is ordered. Trial different solutions first and once you’ve found one which works well, invest in a larger quantity.

If you would like to use branded packaging, we suggest deciding on your logos and colours upfront (make sure you are confident with your decision – you don’t want to invest in branded packaging only to rebrand 6 months down the line).

The prices given in this article should be used as a guide only. Actual prices will differ depending on the supplier, custom design, packaging size and volume ordered.