If you’re an online retailer, one of the most important aspects of your business is making sure your products get to your customers without damage. Getting shipping boxes to customers safe and sound helps reduce returns which ultimately affects your profitability, as does choosing the right type and size of shipping boxes and mailing envelopes.

With the increase in online shopping, it’s not unusual for consumers to get several packages a day. Shipping boxes from Zappos and Amazon are familiar to most so does it matter if yours stands out? And if so, why?

The short answer is that branding your custom boxes with logo can also have a positive impact on your bottom line, and is something I’ll discuss in greater detail later in this post.

Retail Shipping Boxes Options

As I mentioned, getting your order to your customers without damage is a top priority. To do that, you’ll need to determine the best type of shipping container for your products. Unless you’re creating a custom shape and size, you have two options for your shipping container: Using mailing envelopes or shipping boxes. Read on to see which option works best for your product line.

Advantages of Mailing Envelopes

The most important advantage is that mailing envelopes are less expensive than corrugated shipping containers. In addition, they occupy less space on a truck or in your warehouse so the inbound shipping and storage costs are minimized. They also reduce packing labor because they do not have to be set up or taped. Most mailing envelopes have a peel and seal strip that eliminates the need for additional tape to secure the contents.

However, the greatest advantage is their flexibility in sizing. There is no oversized penalty being paid because whether you are shipping one or three t-shirts, for example, the mailing envelope is always the perfect size.

Shipping Boxes

With shipping boxes, size does matter. As an online consumer, chances are that at some point you have received your order in a shipping box that was either too big or too small. You may have had the following thoughts:

What a waste!

My items are damaged!

Who needs all this filling?

These folks are so cheap they can’t send my items in the right size package!

If they can’t get the box size right, what else are they doing wrong?

Any or all of these reactions can negatively impact your brand.

As an online retailer, you obviously don’t want your customers to have these concerns. Using the right size shipping boxes also has financial benefits for you, according to the Green Packaging Group:

A smaller shipping container is a less expensive option because it’s easier to store and ship from your home or fulfillment center to the customer.

Choosing the right sized shipping boxes for your products can reduce the amount of void fill and cushioning you need.

Keep your shipping boxes more secure and protected for shipment by minimizing unnecessary space. This will also reduce product damage.

It can become overwhelming trying to pick between the sizes and shapes of the shipping boxes you can pack your products in. The common way to select a shipping box is to place your product into a package with minimal extra space. This allows room for protective cushioning.

The most commonly used shipping boxes are the corrugated box, also referred to as an ordinary cardboard box. But there are many benefits to this box which make it the most recommended. They are durable, lightweight, and made in various shapes and sizes. If you sell products of different sizes, it’s most convenient to use multi-depth boxes because they can be cut down into the size you need.

Multi-depth boxes are scored at intervals along the sides of the box so you cut it down to the size you need. While this will save you money on boxes, you won’t be able to brand your boxes.

Corrugated boxes

Corrugated boxes are made of corrugated paper, which is paper that contains rows of air columns. The paper is much stronger due to the air columns which make them different from typical stiff cardboard. The ridges that are in the corrugated boxes vary based on the strength and flexibility required for the intended use of the box.

Also known as “brown boxes,” these boxes are eco-friendly because they’re made of recycled cardboard boxes. They’re strong and can be stacked up for easy and economic transporting. In addition, they are safe and easy to use since they do not have sharp edges!