Our ultimate guide to clothing packaging for eCommerce businesses

When your package lands at the customer’s door, it’ll probably be the first time they’ve ever seen and felt your product in person. From opening the cardboard box right down to unwrapping the item of clothing itself, the whole experience will leave a lasting impression on them. If you don’t get it right you run the risk of losing returning customers, receiving negative reviews and tarnishing your brand image – get this right though and you’ll find yourself with more than just happy customers. Here we’ll take a look at why your clothing packaging matters, how you can protect your garments in the post and how you can make the whole unboxing process memorable.

Why clothing packaging matters

Traditionally, when customers go into a shop and hand-pick their clothes, they get to try them on for size and feel the textures. Whereas online they don’t have the chance to do this, and some customers might well miss this experience.

This is one of the big reasons why the unboxing of your product is such an important event. It’s about more than just making sure the item arrives in one piece — it’s also about giving them a memorable experience when they first open up the package and see your product. They need to be impressed by what they see, not disappointed by a jumper thrown into an empty cardboard box. Get the whole unboxing process right and you’re not just supplying a delivery service, you’re delivering a memorable brand experience.

Negative unboxing experiences

To make sure you impress with your clothing packaging, let’s take a look at some of the situations you don’t want your customer to be in when they first get a hold of your product.

The branding anti-climax

When your customers find your website or online store, they’ll quickly get an idea of what to expect from your brand through how you present it. If your clothing is high-end you might market your products with fancy photos and high price tags, whereas if you sell vintage clothing your website might have an old-school feel. Either way, your customers will get an expectation of what they’ll receive, and they’ll hopefully be looking forward to something special arriving on their doorstep.

If you haven’t yet made sure your packaging represents your brand, then what they receive might well be a letdown for them. The wrapping might be basic and non-descript, and alongside your product there could be just a generic receipt and nothing else. If effort isn’t put into the whole buying experience they can be left disappointed, and their view of your brand may well be tainted.

The damaged box

The primary goal of investing in good packaging is to make sure your products are safe and protected, but it also makes a big difference to your customer’s first impression of your brand. If your parcel gets to the customer with crushed edges or tears, they won’t be too impressed. They’ll ultimately be left with a negative impression of your brand and might hesitate to shop with you again in the future — or worse they’ll leave you a negative review.

The needlessly large box

It can be tempting to bulk-buy a single size of box for all of your products with the goal of saving costs, or maybe because you think the process will be simpler that way. But doing this can leave you spending even more on packaging protection to avoid damage, and will make your business less eco-friendly than if your box was the right size. In fact, customers are more and more expecting the brands they shop with to care about the environment: if you have excess packaging your customers might think twice about shopping with you in the future or even shame your business and it’s wasteful choice of packaging via social media.

The single-use box

Receiving a long-awaited package is an exciting experience, but if it takes an engineering degree and several sharp implements to open the box your customers will be left frustrated. If your box is destroyed in the process your customer will have an unnecessary mess to deal with, too. On top of this, the box won’t be reusable (which isn’t very eco-friendly) — leaving your customer with an item they can’t easily return without buying additional packaging.

Choosing the right clothing packaging

With all this in mind, how can you make sure your customers have a good unboxing experience? Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular and effective boxing options for your fashion brand:

Mailbags and mailer envelopes

Not every order needs to be shipped off to your customer in a box. For products like t-shirts, a mailbag can be the perfect packaging solution. We suggest using biodegradable materials over plastic poly bags, not only because there’s less waste and they’re better for the environment, but also because they’re typically lightweight and so can help you keep shipping carrier fees to a minimum.

Mailbags don’t necessarily mean anonymous or unmemorable unboxing experiences. There are a number of ways you can personalise the mailbags for a better customer unboxing experience including:

  • Recycled tissue paper: wrapping your clothes in this before placing them in the envelope can instantly add a premium feel — especially if you choose a colour that aligns with your brand colour scheme.
  • A brand tag or ‘welcome’ card: inserting either into the envelope, this might include a short message about the item and your business, along with an invitation to leave a positive review or to get in touch if there’s a problem.
  • A sticker: placing a branded sticker on the front can be an easy and inexpensive way of personalising the envelope.
  • Custom printing: overprinting your kraft mailbags will give that unique branded experience.

Corrugated cardboard

Protecting your items is incredibly important if you want them to survive transit, and ultimately if you want your brand to maintain a positive reputation. When multiple items are added to an order, the package can quickly become heavy, which increases the chances of package rupture during transit. More delicate items like hats and highly decorated garments are also more vulnerable to crush damage and need extra protection.

Many of your products might already come in a retail ready or presentation display box, but for extra protection and to make sure your products and their retail packaging  stay safe it may well be worth shipping them in a double-walled cardboard box.

Presentable postal packaging for clothing

The rise of the Etsy marketplace has shown the true value of how a customised unboxing experience can connect a brand to its customers on a personal level. At the end of the day, boutique and hand made products such as those sold on Etsy deserve a boutique unboxing experience. Our breezebox is a great example of how this can be achieved at a much larger scale – with branded integral self-adhesive “breezepaper” that replaces the need for ugly void-fill, it will give that stylish hand-prepared look and feel of a custom boutique unboxing experience that your customers will love. Check out Hotel Chocolat’s unboxing video below to learn how well breezebox works in reality.

Making sure your products are well-packaged is important for keeping them safe, ensuring your customers are happy, and ultimately maintaining a positive brand image. Quality unboxing and delivery experiences form part of making the ultimate commitment to perfecting user experience – something that every ecommerce company should be striving for, it’s that ultimate “cherry on top” and will leave a lasting impression if done correctly. If you’re looking for a unique solution to your fashion postal packaging needs contact us to arrange a quote for custom size and print. Alternatively, checkout our mailbox, breezebox or standard cardboard postal box ranges.

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