Overall, packaging and packaging materials are used to ensure that a product is safe in transit. A standard packaging option would be simply a bland corrugated box or carton, or envelopes. Some brands would add a sticker or custom tape to show a box is from them.
Custom packaging takes the process up a notch, where brands design packaging that is tailored to fit their product specifications and help their brand. Custom packaging is more than ensuring safe arrival to destination but about improving brand recognition, customer retention, satisfaction, and sales.
On the same token, an overly flashy packaging design in the eCommerce era can be a temptation for those taking packages from people’s doors, or it could simply interfere with your customer’s privacy as not everyone wants their delivery person and/or neighbors to know what she/he is shopping.
Now, if you go for custom packaging design, there are numerous practical benefits.
Firstly, if you use custom-sized boxes that are tailored to specific products then it will also reduce your overall shipping costs. This is due to not paying (through dimensional weight) to ship fresh air or void fill when sending an oversized box.
This in turn also minimizes your environmental impact, as custom-sized e-commerce packaging will use less material and will minimize void fill (usually foam or pellets that are difficult to recycle).
This in fact is an added benefit for the end-user, who will have to dispose of any excess packaging.
Tailored sizes will usually offer improved transit protection as well, by eliminating movement within the parcel which can cause items to become damaged. This in turn reduces returns, improves your brand perception, and can ultimately lead to improved customer loyalty and repeat sales.
Finally, and if this is a particular issue for your specific fulfillment setup, custom packaging can be engineered to help reduce your packing times. The resultant saving in labor costs can be redeployed elsewhere in your business.
All of this can, when used strategically, make a huge difference to the success of your business.