Posted on May 26, 2016 by Michael Boik

How to Achieve a Retail Look on Your E-Commerce Packaging for Clothing and Apparel

dark brown over white mailer boxTo expand their market, many brick and mortar clothing companies are now also offering their products via the internet, while others completely bypassed the physical shop approach and are web/e-commerce only. What they both have in common is a need and desire to create that retail experience in a shipping container. Unfortunately most brown boxes are boring and today it is all about reinforcing the brand and enhancing customer experience. Another challenge is overcoming what is often a brutal trip to the customer via USPS, FedEx or UPS. Even when the container looks great as it leaves the shipper’s facility, it often arrives dirty, scuffed, and banged up. Not at all the upscale look or experience that is desired.

What is the Best Packaging Option for My Apparel Line?

I am probably asked that question a half dozen times, every week. My answer is always the same: it depends on your product, the presentation you want to make, the quantity you ship out, and quite frankly, how much you are able to spend.

For example, we have several different types and styles of boxes and even more versions of mailer envelopes. The solution is likely to be different for a twenty dollar tee shirt versus a two hundred dollar dress. Minimums vary greatly, so what is a very affordable solution to someone who ships out hundreds of orders each day is impractical for a new company currently shipping ten to fifteen orders each month.

Basic one color on Kraft designBoxes for Shipping Apparel

There are so many styles and variations available, it is almost impossible to list them all. However, the basic two types of corrugated containers are RSC style shipping boxes that can be made virtually any size needed without tooling or a cutting die.

For a better presentation, a die cut mailer features a lid that is attached at the back and opens creating a great printing and branding surface on the inside of the lid.

Either style (die cut mailer or RSC box) can be branded using a direct, standard flexographic print process in a low 1,000 MOQ.

At the higher end of the scale are boxes with enhanced graphics because they use a litho label rather than direct print process. (see first related post below). Virtually anything is possible including photo quality images, glossy finishes, metalized inks, and even embossed and debossed features. This type of packaging is hard to justify in quantities of less than 3,000 and becomes more affordable in quantities of 5,000 or more. For people who want to create and preserve those good looks during shipping, a box within a box approach might be the best option if the margin can support the multiple layers of packaging.

Branded mailer envelopes for clothingClothing Does NOT Always Have to Ship in a Boxthe Mailer Envelope Option

People are surprised when we suggest something other than a box for shipping clothing but sometimes a mailer envelope can be a great option for low cost or low volume applications or simply for companies who want to ship in attractive packaging that is minimal and eco-friendly.

For those people our paper mailer envelopes or even our rigid mailer envelopes can be the best packaging container. They can be custom printed and branded in relatively low quantities, and are incredibly easy to use and store.

Mailer envelope types include paperboard rigid mailers, bubble lined paper envelopes, bubble lined poly envelopes, and our very popular unpadded paper mailer envelopes. The last related post below lists the minimums for each type.

Apparel Packaging Buyers Guide

This area of packaging is neither as simple nor as complicated as some make it sound. The key points to remember are:

  1. Approach it with an open mind. There are many options available, each has advantages and disadvantages. Allow an experienced MULTI-LINE supplier to help you navigate through your options.
  2. Understand that the vison you have may not be practical for you at this time. Many people begin with a simple or lower cost version and then upgrade later.
  3. Avoid making a huge commitment to anyone or anything until you develop some history and track record.
  4. If you are a start-up, maintain flexibility. Believe it or not, your needs are going to change and as I often say with all due respect, you will be much wiser in six months than you are at this time.

As always, a no cost, no obligation consultation with one of our branded packaging advisors is only a phone call 630-551-1700, or an email away. Please contact us at Salazar Packaging for more information.

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