Unique Packaging Ideas for Shipping Items

February 18 2020

Whether you’re selling items on the side to generate some extra money or running a fully-fledged ecommerce store, your choice of packaging can have a huge impact on how the items that you send are perceived.

The packaging of products has been shown to influence the future purchase intentions of customers – consumer behaviour academics have been researching these effects for decades. With this in mind, we’ll cover a range of unique packaging ideas for shipping items in this guide. Starting off with a look at how you can decorate your delivery packages, this guide will then discuss the process of creating custom printed boxes. Finally, we’ll explore how to wrap the items inside them and ways in which you can personalise your packages by including notes.

Decorate Your Packages

The outer decoration of your packages is one of the first things your customers will notice when unboxing them. If you’re running an ecommerce site, it might be beneficial to begin by finding packaging that matches the colour(s) of your brand to begin with.


Colourful product packaging from Hubble

Of course, costs can be kept down here by customising plain brown packaging. Try printing branded labels and sticking them on your packages to make them more colourful. People who sell items on eBay could also personalise their packaging by using stickers that feature the name of their store or account. Once you’ve established the basic colour scheme of your packages, consider accessorising them. This could be as simple as wrapping up your boxes with some neutral twine. For a more sophisticated look, try tying a ribbon that around your packages to complement your choice of colour scheme.


A package wrapped in twine

Use Custom Printed Boxes for Truly Unique Packaging

One way to achieve a unique yet professional look with your packaging is to have some custom boxes printed. Boxtopia allows you to customise your boxes fully, selecting the base colour and adding any text, logos, and images that you’d like.

Brand Logo or Slogan

A popular choice for custom boxes is to print your brand logo or slogan on the package. This could be as straightforward as a generic brown cardboard box with a logo on the top. Alternatively, you could choose a base colour that aligns with your brand and print your company slogan on multiple sides of the package.


A simple custom printed cardboard box from Boxtopia

Boxtopia’s approach to custom printing boxes is particularly flexible. We are one of the only companies in the UK that will allow you to have small lines of simple custom designs printed.

Branded “Handle with Care” Warnings

Rather than opting for a generic “handle with care” imprint or label when packing up breakable items, a more unique packaging idea for shipping is to have a customised warning message printed onto your packaging. Incorporate your brand logo, use your company’s font, and choose a distinctive message to let delivery drivers and customers know that the item inside is delicate.

Wrap Your Items Luxuriously

The wrapping of the items inside the packaging is also an important element of the unboxing experience. The most important elements in this department are which wrapping material to use and how to wrap the items in an attractive way.

Choosing Your Wrapping Material

It’s possible that the material you use will be influenced by the need to protect your products from damage during transit. Some more delicate items, for example, may require an added layer of protection in the form of stretch wrap. This doesn’t have to be an ugly feature – Boxtopia sells a range of wraps in different colours. For products that are suitably protected without wrapping, you could opt for a more luxurious wrapping material such as some delicate, coloured paper to really impress your customers. Again, there’s an opportunity to complement the branded colour scheme of your packages with your choice of material.

How to Wrap Products Artfully

Having selected a material, you need to decide how you’re going to wrap up your items. Whilst the style you choose might depend on the shape and size of your products, there are plenty of different wrapping techniques you can use to improve the appearance of your packages. The obvious option is to use the traditional gift wrapping technique, folding the edges of your material around the item and closing the sides. More expensive, high-end products may warrant a more artful wrapping technique. Although tricky to master, Japanese pleated wrapping can really give your items the edge during unboxing. Follow these instructions to achieve a pleated wrapping effect:

  1. Cut your paper so that it extends a little beyond the edges of your item, leaving enough length to allow for pleating on the other two sides.
  2. Make a 1cm fold on one edge of the paper, folding in the external-facing side.
  3. Fold the paper over and over in the same direction, creating 2cm pleats.
  4. Allow the folds to unravel and turn the paper so the external side is facing upwards.
  5. Pinch the first fold and position its edge halfway towards the next fold.
  6. Repeat step five until all of the folds have been pleated, then use sticky tape on the underside of the paper to secure the pleats in place.
  7. Wrap up your item using a traditional gift wrapping technique, leaving the pleated section exposed on the top.

Include a Note

Thinking further into the contents of your packages, including a note along with your item(s) can add a personal touch. Most product packages will just contain an invoice and returns information – branded messages can help you to stand out from competitors in your niche. If you can get the sentiment of your message right, you can improve the post-purchase experience and promote repeat purchases.

Thank You Notes

Thank you notes are probably the most common type of message that ecommerce companies include in their packages. They help to remind your customers that you value their business and can improve peoples’ perceptions of your brand. A simple thank you can go a long way! Branded thank you notes often get left out on the side at home once a package has been opened. As such, including a thank you message with your product deliveries can be a cunning business tactic: a customer might notice the note a few weeks after a package has arrived, reminding them to return to you and buy more.


An example of a branded thank you note from Unsplash

Brand Story Notes

Some companies also like to communicate their brand stories and values through the medium of notes inside packaging. Briefly letting your customers know about how your business started, what it stands for, and what makes it unique can help to encourage them to buy into your brand – if the message particularly resonates with them, you may even be able to turn them into brand ambassadors who will spread awareness.

Key Takeaways

Over the course of this blog, we’ve covered a lot of unique packaging ideas for shipping items. Below is a summary of the suggestions that we’ve explored for customising the insides and outsides of your packages:

  • When designing the outer appearance of your package, convey your brand’s identity through the base colour of the box, branded stickers, and accessories such as ribbon ties.
  • Have a brand logo, slogan, or “handle with care” message printed on the packaging to make it truly unique.
  • Pay attention to the wrapping of the items inside the package as well as the outside.
  • Consider including some form of message in your delivery packages, perhaps thanking your customers or communicating your brand story.

If you need help with crafting unique packages for your products, contact us to discuss custom printed boxes or packaging extras.

Everything You Need to Know About Custom Printed Boxes


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