Thanks to the growing popularity of online marketplaces, many small business owners are turning towards international customer possibilities to bolster their sales.
The advent of popular online retail spaces such as eBay and Amazon, and the growing ease of creating functional e-commerce business websites, growing an international customer base is no longer exclusive to large-scale businesses. With dedication and ingenuity, small businesses can tap into the online business space, and access sales opportunities previously unavailable.
The cost of developing a basic online marketplace presence is astoundingly low, but there are still several logistical factors which must be carefully managed in order to be successful in an online marketplace. Chief among these concerns are product shipping solutions. Depending on the volume and type of products a business is moving, seemingly simple decisions such as choosing the right packaging become more complex.
Choosing the right packaging for international shipping is essential, as not only are you reliant on the packaging to protect the product contained within, but different types of packaging can vary vastly in price. Below, we’ll examine 4 different types of common shipping packaging options, and how each performs a specific function while carefully balancing cost and effectiveness.
1. Padded Mailers
Anybody who has ordered one or several small products from an online retail space such as Amazon or eBay has certainly encountered the simple padded mailer. Padded Mailers are typically long and wide envelopes lined with a variety of padding materials inside, most often bubble wrap.
Although they’re simple, they provide ample protection for small devices which aren’t known to be incredibly fragile. Mailers are well suited to absorbing reasonable shock and are surprisingly water resistant. Padded mailers are the go-to solution for shipping any small items internationally, and they’re certainly an affordable option in addition to providing adequate protection.
2. Corrugated Boxes
Another packaging solution which most are certainly familiar with is the basic corrugated box. For large items or large volume orders, corrugated boxes are often the go-to solution. Corrugated boxes come in a wide range of sizes, and can be lined with various protective materials to protect the contents of the box as needed.
When a box solution is necessary, it’s important to remember that choosing the right size is essential in order to provide a secure fit with ample padding materials.
3. Corrugated Mailer
Falling somewhere between the more well-known corrugated box and padded mailer is the corrugated mailer. Corrugated Mailers are typically small to medium sized boxes, designed to unfold from the front and pull back, similar to a pizza box in that respect. Although simple at first glance, corrugated mailers provide an elegant solution to shipping as well as exceptional protection and structural integrity.
High-quality corrugated mailers are often incredibly durable, and their appealing design is perfect for branding and customization. As a result, corrugated mailers aren’t just effective shipping containers, but more and more frequently they’re finding use as product packaging as well.
4. Thermally Insulated Boxes and Containers
Although rare, some businesses may find themselves shipping perishable products. Perishables must be managed and packed on a case by case basis, as the packing needs of any single perishable may be vastly different than another. Insulated boxes are essential, and depending on the perishable in question, heavy duty coolant packs or even dry ice may be required.
Businesses frequently shipping perishables are usually better advised to find a professional shipping company which specializes in such complex tasks, as spoilage, the cost of coolant materials, and the small window of time involved in successfully shipping such products are all difficult to manage, especially in bulk.
Overall, choosing the right packaging is essential in order to keep costs low while ensuring customers are happy with their product when it arrives. If you’re struggling to choose the right type of shipping material, consulting with an expert is sure to provide the valuable expertise you need.