Posted on October 12, 2017 by Michael Boik

Ecommerce Startup Packaging

We have the great pleasure and privilege of working with many startup subscription and Ecommerce companies as they prepare to launch their product(s). As such, we have the unique position of witnessing first-hand which models thrive from the onset and which decisions in terms of Ecommerce Startup packaging may make or break a particular business. Among these decisions, perhaps none more important than selecting a size or sizes and how many of each to accommodate each product. So much so that we have made these two the focus of the first question we ask each potential customer.

What size box and how many are you looking for?

Frequently we will receive phone calls from potential customers which start out with some version of the following:

“I’m going to need several, different sizes of boxes for my startup subscription service…”

This always sets off a warning alarm in our minds, as we have the experience and expertise to know that the multiple size approach to packaging when starting out is not always the most economical or practical solution.


Subscription and Ecommerce Startup Key: Minimize Initial Cost

Flexographic printing requires print plates. Multiple sizes means needing multiple print plates (each color inside and outside $400-600 investment on average). You may want to rebrand or redesign your logo after a few months or a year after your customer or the market determines a change is needed. It’s much easier/affordable to replace one print plate for one box than several across numerous sizes.

A multiple box approach may also mean needing multiple cutting dies unless you can use one of our stock “semi custom” box sizes. As a startup, can you really afford to spend several thousands of dollars in packaging start up costs alone?

In many cases, startup companies are typically ordering around our minimum (1,000) on a first time order, as they don’t have the budget initially for higher quantities. Our minimum is per size/application and cannot be divided among various or multiple sizes. So at our minimum, 5 different sizes would require a total order minimum of at least 5,000 boxes.

Understand that higher volume opens greater options. Perhaps the multi-size solution starts making sense once you reach the capacity to order tens of thousands of boxes. The longer you are in business, the more you will know. Sales history, trends and your customer’s feedback will all lead to your decisions in packaging and what solutions and tweaks you need to make as you grow.

In the meantime, saving on cost and reducing inventory may be essential to your growth in the first few months.


Branded Packaging Order Quantity Price Discounts

Some startup companies are ready to purchase at higher volumes than our minimums. However, a 5,000 box order split among several sizes does not take advantage of the quantity discounts that would be available if that 5,000 quantity were applied to only one size.  The best way to reduce the per box price is to order more quantity of the SAME SIZE, not by splitting order volume over multiple sizes.


Want to know more about Ecommerce startup packaging? We’d love to review your packaging needs and help you determine which initial options make the most sense for you and your business. One of our branded packaging advisors is standing by. Please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700.