Running an online business has many benefits, like low operating costs and the facility to work from anywhere. However, online businesses must choose the correct packaging technique to ensure their products are shipped in perfect shape. Otherwise, they will lose customers and profits. Here is a guide detailing other packaging benefits and techniques applicable to different product types.
The Importance of Packaging
Here are a few reasons why companies invest so much in creating the perfect packaging for each product.
1. Protection and Safety
Packaging’s primary purpose is to protect its contents and ensure they are safe for consumption. It provides the product with a thick cover, ensuring it’s not harmed in transportation, and the seal ensures the contents do not interact with external elements and extend their shelf life. For food items, a longer shelf life also means more time for consumption and less food to be thrown out.
Packaging is a crucial way for brands to attract customers. They use their logos and brand colors to stand apart from competitors on shelves and online. The packaging also contains marketing material that draws customers in, such as the games on cereal boxes or the product’s social and environmental impact.
Packing material makes up to 82.2 million tons of solid waste; consumers want sustainable packing material to reduce this impact. Environmentally friendly packaging should be reusable, such as jars and cotton bags, or recyclable such as bio-plastics. Using sustainable packaging helps decrease waste and attracts customers and companies conscious of their carbon footprint.
Not all packaging techniques will work on every product. Business owners must understand which method and materials will keep their products safe. Here are some packaging techniques you can consider:
1. Flow Packing
In flow packaging, items are packed in an organized order, sometimes on a tray. This packaging style is used for packing items such as biscuits, chocolates, and blocks of cheese. Flow packing is cheap, and producers can choose from a reclosable or sealable film according to the item packed. It also dehydrates the products and increases shelf life. Flow-packed items are then stocked into a box and shipped to their destinations. Flow packaging is customizable, allowing brands to publish their logos on their products. The packing is also used to pack single items, often used as freebies.
Transwrap refers to plastic being wrapped around products. It is a cheap and versatile packing style often used for irregularly shaped products, such as powdered or granulated items. Standard transwrap packaging includes stand-up, horizontal flat bags, and block bottoms. Transrap is one of the cheapest packaging options. However, customizing the plastic is costly; brands generally add packaging stickers instead. Transwrap is also ineffective in increasing shelf life and cannot be used to package fresh foods.
3. Jar Filling
Jar filling is a traditional packaging method. It stores liquids like honey, confectioneries such as jam, and supplements. The jars can be made of glass, plastic, and synthetics, but they all have an air-tight seal, ensuring the product is preserved. Jar filling can be expensive, depending on the jar and lid’s material. If you use glass, take extra caution when shipping your products, and tightly pack them into boxes. Otherwise, the glass will break, costing you effort, time, and profits.
4. Vacuum Packing
In vacuum packing, oxygen is sucked out of a container, sealing the product from outside elements. This change in the atmosphere stops bacteria and fungi from growing over time, increasing the product’s lifespan. Vacuum packing does not use chemicals to preserve products and is preferred by consumers as a healthier option. It is also cost-effective, as vacuum packing makes the product utilize less space, making for cheaper transportation. However, vacuum packaging is expensive since the gasses it uses, like nitrogen and oxygen, are costly. The process is also complicated, and if not done right, it can cause the food to rot.
5. Anti-Corrosive Packaging
Anti-corrosive packaging protects metals for an extended period, and it’s usually in storage or transportation through the sea. Corrosion occurs when the metal is in contact with oxygen and in high humidity. It is wrapped in reflective polythene to prevent the metal’s interaction with the air. A thermal insulator is used to restrict external humidity, while silica desiccants are added to control internal humidity levels.
The material that protects metals from corrosion is called Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI). It comes in vacuum bags, steel wraps, films, and wires to protect metals of different shapes and sizes. VCI is also commonly used in advanced military packaging.
Packaging is essential for selling products. Not only does it protect products, but it also ensures they are safe. Unique packaging allows products to stand apart and attract customers, potentially increasing sales. However, all these benefits will only be possible if you use the correct packaging technique for your product. If you use incorrect packaging, your products will likely be damaged, costing you time and money. The above mentioned techniques will help you decide which method is most efficient and cheap for packing your product.