Custom packaging, including corrugated, available from Direct Supply in Elgin, IL

As a company, especially startups and eCommerce websites, you have a limited amount of money that can be invested in different areas of your business. Some of these areas – like staff, product development, and sales – are extremely vital.

With seemingly more important areas of your operation to fund, it might be easy to argue that investing in custom corrugated packaging is not worth the cost, which can vary greatly depending on your needs.

However, it makes great sense for some businesses to consider an investment into custom packaging rather than purchasing standard packaging in bulk, even though there is a larger upfront cost.

To help you determine if it’s right for your business, we’ve put together some factors to consider so you can see how custom corrugated packaging can potentially help your business.

Improved Protection

One of the quickest ways to lose customers is by giving them a bad experience. While you might have a generous policy for replacing damaged items, consider that American consumers tell, on average, 16 other people about a bad experience. Additionally, 89% of consumers will choose a competitor for their next transaction after a bad experience, and it will take you 12 positive experiences to make up for one bad one.

Americans tell an average of 9 people about good experiences, and tell 16 (nearly two times more) people about poor experiences.

Image courtesy of HelpScout’s 75 Customer Service Facts, Quotes & Statistics

With those statistics in mind, making sure your products are well-protected when shipping should be a top priority. When you choose standard corrugated packaging, you get a one-size-fits-all solution that might not be the best fit for your products. You may find yourself sending out more replacements than you’d like, which not only affects customer relations, but also eats into your profit.

With custom corrugated packaging, you can choose the exact construction and additional protective packaging materials that meet your needs. Not only can you select a box size that is ideal, but you can also create internal sections and add padding where it is needed to protect the box’s contents.

Sometimes you need more than a box to protect your products. You may choose to go with edge protection for added security. However, if you are using standard corrugated boxes, even with the edge protection, it may not fit snugly enough and still end up breaking or damaged in shipment.

Custom packaging can also improve things like aroma or moisture retention, and prevent the contents of the packaging from exposure to the elements and other damaging factors. Other protective measures include stretch film, strapping, and bubble wrap.

Customized Experience for Consumers

With advancements in technology, it seems as if the entire shopping experience is customized for consumers. From the ads seen online to detailed customer demographics, the instant supply of information allows eCommerce and brick and mortar stores to deliver personalized information and products to their consumers.

The same customized experience can apply to your packaging, as well. With a better understanding of your market and what your customers need, you can customize your packaging to meet those needs. By choosing custom corrugated packaging, you can get the structure and look that you desire. This is especially important if you need to protect delicate products, or if you need to set yourself apart from your competition.

For example, have you ordered anything from Amazon lately? If so, did you notice anything special about the packaging tape they use on all their corrugated boxes? It’s custom-printed with timely marketing messages – from “Black Friday Sales,” to “Amazon Prime Video,” to “Alexa.” Packaging tape is a necessity when you’re shipping anything. Why not use it as a marketing vehicle, as well?

Amazon shipping box featuring customized packaging tape shipping box featuring customized packaging tape

Custom Packaging Reduces Waste

When you use a box size that is not quite right, you end up having to use extra materials to pad the box to help prevent damage. With custom corrugated packaging, you can get a tight-fitting package that matches the product contents, which will help reduce waste and eliminate excess material.

One of the top desires of millennial consumers when they shop for products is choosing something with environmentally friendly packaging. By reducing waste and eliminated excess materials, you can offer a more eco-conscious option than standard boxes allow.

Create a Memorable First Experience With Custom Packaging

Research tells us that people form first impressions almost instantly. Thanks to the rise of eCommerce, the packages your customers receive will often be their first physical impression of your company. Custom corrugated packaging presents a unique chance to create a memorable first experience for your customers, making packaging more important than ever.

People place a lot of value in first impressions, and packaging is the first chance your eCommerce customer has to touch your product. Also, if your custom shipping boxes leave a positive first impression, they can increase expectations of the product itself. If you can deliver both exceptional packaging and product, your customers will enjoy a better overall experience.

To further impress customers, consider upgrading to visually attractive labels, as well.

Additionally, people around the world may be exposed to your packaging thanks to the rise of “unboxing” videos. These videos feature consumers recording themselves opening a product they’ve received, and many of them are viewed millions of times. In 2013, over six years’ worth of unboxing videos were uploaded to YouTube. If your packaging and product were ever featured in one of these videos, it could be excellent for your business if your custom packaging is attractive to viewers.

Save on Shipping Costs

With the introduction of dimensional pricing regulations from both UPS and FedEx, using boxes that are too big for your product can end up costing you quite a bit of money in shipping fees. The volume of packages being delivered is on the rise, so dimensional pricing was introduced to help parcel services be able to deliver more packages. By using boxes that are too big, delivery vehicles were starting to “cube out” before reaching their weight capacity, so this move will help more packages get to more customers.

When you think of custom shipping boxes, it’s not just branding that is custom. Customizing your corrugated packaging to the ideal sizes and levels of protection can help you save money on shipping costs in the long run. Instead of incurring extra fees because of the dimensions of your packaging, you can keep your packaging streamlined for a secure fit.

Enhance Your Brand With Custom Packaging

Apart from the packaging dimensions, you can customize many things about your corrugated packaging including color, style, and wording. Use the customization to help you stand out from the crowd. If you are using standard packaging, there is little to no brand differentiation between you and your competitors, and it makes it harder for customers to see what makes you unique. With custom corrugated packaging, you can achieve innovative results by appealing visually to customers and enhancing your brand.

While this is likely more prominent with eCommerce products, your packaging plays a big part in the perception of your brand for your customer. Since the only physical interaction with your brand is when the package is received, the packaging creates the user experience. A visually appealing design that reflects your brand can leave a much more positive, lasting impression than standard packaging.

When you have a strong brand value, your customers will become more emotionally connected with your business, and they will relate more closely to your brand. This emotional connection is essential to creating long-term success for your business. By investing in custom corrugated packaging, you are helping to facilitate the emotional connection with your customers, which is something you can’t get with standard packaging.


After taking a look at several ways custom corrugated packaging can help your company, it may be easier for you to answer the question of it being worth your investment. If your business is an eCommerce company, investing in custom corrugated packaging can be even more beneficial to you.

From saving money on shipping costs to reducing damaged items, you can see how custom corrugated packaging can affect your bottom line. Less tangible things like creating good experiences and enhancing your brand will show themselves long term in the form of increased sales and loyal customers.

If you are ready to make the investment for your company and move to custom corrugated packaging over standard packaging, the next step would be to call a company offering custom options, like Direct Supply, Inc. They should walk you through the process and talk to you about your shipping, packaging, product, and transit needs.

From there, you will likely receive recommendations and packaging options that work within your budget constraints and help you meet your goals. You will be able to choose from different custom packaging options, vendors, and packaging products – like stretch film and tape – to get the final product that will best work for you. The initial investment may seem daunting, but if your product could be shipped more efficiently, and you could use the brand enhancement, it may be worth your investment.