We’ve talked a lot about the importance of being prepared when providing disaster relief, working as a real estate agent, or being part of a moving company, a construction outfit, or a production house. And it’s just as true of an e-commerce business, where you’re constantly keeping track of, and shipping out, customer orders. Making sure shipments are properly packed and on schedule can be a nightmare if you don’t have a plan for your packaging efforts.
This list of tips and packaging supplies for e-commerce businesses will help you create your own packaging solution. Don’t forget to download your FREE printable checklist for e-commerce businesses below.
Supplies for E-Commerce Businesses: Setting Up Shop
Keeping your office areas clean, organized and well-stocked is the first step towards running a successful e-commerce business. You can’t help your co-workers or your customers if you don’t have the tools and supplies everyone needs.
External Hard Drives are a must for backing up important records and files, even with centralized on-site servers. Investing in Cloud Storage is proving to be a smart move as well, as more and more records exist only in digital formats these days.
File Storage Boxes organize offices in a hurry. If you label and sort categorically and alphabetically, you’ll speed up both storing files and finding them later. Don’t forget File Folders to go along with that labeling and sorting.
Copy Paper is a mainstay of all offices, even in the push for businesses to move to paperless systems. You’ll be printing out plenty of records, manifests, invoices and more—so don’t forget whatever Printer Toner your all-in-one machine will need.
Shipping Labels & Packing Slip Envelopes are key to keeping your shipping processes moving. Don’t let their supply run too low, especially when big sales promotions are on the horizon.
Office Supplies like markers, pens, notebooks, calendars and more will constantly be in demand. We’ve all noticed that pens seem to disappear rather quickly, so a central supply cabinet will help keep you well-stocked in case of dreaded pen thieves.
First Aid Kits are a legal requirement for all places of business. Purchase your kit based on the number of employees you have, then keep in a central area and make sure everyone knows where it’s located. When it comes time to change the clocks every Spring and Fall, check your kit’s supplies and order a refill kit if needed.
Hand Trucks aren’t a necessity, but they’re helpful to have when you’re taking filled-up file storage boxes into your warehouse (or moving a big table for the office party).
A Coffee Maker is a welcome addition to your offices. When you’re struggling to get through a full-day of sales and marketing plans, your brain will welcome the caffeine boost.
Supplies for E-Commerce Businesses: Standard Packaging
Choose the right packaging materials for your shipping needs. You’ll save time while packing orders, reduce your shipping costs and ultimately make your customers happy with the condition of their purchases.
Corrugated Boxes are the most common shipping container, and for good reason. Put ample void fill around a customer’s order, use quality packing tape to seal up the box, and you’ve got a package ready for delivery.
Multi-Depth Boxes are a cost-effective way to accommodate products of different sizes with one box. While the box footprint remains the same, adjusting the box height will reduce the amount of void fill needed, and lower dim weight shipping charges.
Mailer Envelopes are great for shipping smaller items that don’t need the space found inside a box. Though there are several types, the most common version is the bubble mailer—a shipping container lined with bubble cushion. In the world of e-commerce, mailers are being used more and more often.
Packing Tape seals up your shipments and helps prevent tampering and product damage, so choose a quality tape and don’t skimp on it. Don’t forget to pick up Tape Dispensers to speed up your packing times.
Void Fill will help keep your products safe during transit. It comes in multiple options, including bubble cushion, packing paper, peanuts, foam and more—each offering protection of varying types and uses.
Supplies for E-Commerce Businesses: Custom Packaging
If your business has proven itself popular and successful, it might be time to consider upgrading your shipping packaging. Taking a quick look on social media shows just how much people love getting colorful, branded packaging in the mail.
E-Commerce Boxes are a great place to start, as they’re both a shipping container and a display box. Instead of having to cut through a potentially over-taped box, a customer simply undoes the locking tabs and finds their order waiting inside.
Custom Boxes are a step up from e-commerce boxes when it comes to branding. Like the name implies, you can customize plenty of its aspects, like box type (RSC? FLM? COW?), its size, use of colors (not just outside but inside too!), and sometimes even graphical printing.
Printed Mailers let you take advantage of branding smaller shipments, with your logo or other graphical elements printed right on the material itself.
Branded Packing Tape can be printed with your logo, brand colors or design elements of your choosing. If you’re looking for cost-effective ways to brand your shipments, custom packing tape stands out so well that you can get away with not using other custom packaging options at all.
Custom Tissue Paper adds class and excitement to the unboxing experience. The feel of soft tissue emblazoned with your logo, and the crinkling sound during unwrapping, are sensations a customer will never forget.
Custom Branding Options like stickers printed with your logo, ribbon in your brand’s colors, or wrapping paper covered in graphical motifs are the perfect finisher for your custom packaging.
Shaped Bubble Cushion is one of the rarer options out there—but that just makes it all the more impactful. Bubble Wrap® IB Expressions Dispenser Boxes provide multiple options for matching colors and shapes to your business and its brand.
Thank You Gifts are a nice surprise for your customer. A simple thank you note (extra points for handwritten!) works great, but you can also include small samples, gifts like candy, or promo materials like coupons for discounts and free shipping.
There’s a lot to organize and consider when it comes to supplies for e-commerce businesses. With our assortment of standard and custom packaging supplies, The Packaging Company is here to help you create the packaging solutions that works for you.