Beauty Bay - Bespoke eCommerce Packaging Case Study

The Challenge

In October 2017, BEAUTY BAY's COO was excited to learn of a prototype that Fred Lill wished to present to him, which Lil Packaging would be entering into the 2018 ecommerce awards innovation category.

It was the latest Breeze Mailbox   which featured many ‘firsts’ (never previously been done before in ecom packaging) with advanced varnish coatings, metallic inks, 2nd hot-melt peel & seal adhesive for easy returns, and custom-printed integrated Breeze tissue paper, patented by Lil.

BEAUTY BAY invited Lil Packaging to its warehouse in November 2017 to discuss their challenges.

It was made clear of the strong social media presence of BEAUTY BAY with far greater followers than any of its competitors. Its then current lacklustre ecom postal packaging boxes were the “last piece of the puzzle” in increasing brand awareness and customer experience – a project that begun in 2016 when the company grew significantly.

The idea of seasonal artwork variations became very exciting to BEAUTY BAY. Fred explained that for approximately £400 (cost of a new 1 colour printing plate aka stereo), a marketing message could be changed at NO IMPACT TO UNIT PRICE, to coincide with particular Social Media marketing campaigns. BEAUTY BAY commenting “compared to our total marketing spend, that’s a drop in the ocean”

The focus really was on the brand and making sure the packaging resembled BEAUTY BAY. The old boxes and voidfill were slower and more difficult.

When asked approximately how much extra Breezebox would cost, Fred advised that it was unlikely to cost more than 40% extra than the current standard brown B flute cardboard boxes, to which BEAUTY BAY replied "based on that, we’re happy for this to progress forward with you guys". 

Unbeknown to Lil, BEAUTY BAY had already begun next steps of creating a new artwork design based on next years re-branded logo.

“Any such new method of web postal boxes must improve: Sustainability, Unboxing experience, Reduced returns & Faster fulfilment”

What was Beauty Bay using previously?

Its old boxes were very bland and had no internal printing. They required brown voidfill paper and were slower to pack. Some sizes featured double-sided tape on the flaps but the adhesive was not always strong enough, thus additional plastic packing tape was sometimes required.

The former cardboard box glue seams sometimes failed and the box material was a softer B flute and suffered damages resulting in returns.

The Trial

By the end of Spring 2018, a 1 month trial of Breeze Crashlock was agreed. The trial was successful but BB wanted an even more premium feel.

“We are happy to commit to Lil. Many factors deemed a success. Our Warehouse is very excited, Breeze Crashlock is a good experience, it is very good looking & good to pack. We’ve looked at other alternatives but nothing as good. While the material is better than our old boxes, it’s still not providing the feel that our brand deserves.”

BEAUTY BAY COO, January 2019

The Solution

Lil adopted Amazon iSTA 3a drop-testing on the trial specification of boxes.

The slide 2 below demonstrated that after 17 drops (with 1.4Kg content), that the box was bursting but more importantly to BEAUTY BAY, they disliked how the lines of the corrugated B flute cardboard were clearly noticeable, as such the material was still deemed too soft for the direction of the brand.

Material 6 (slide 3) was the winning formula for BEAUTY BAY. It had proven that E flute has far Superior ECT value (Edge Crush Test) for single-item parcels in transit and that corrugated flute lines in the cardboard cannot be seen like they can with B flute. Ever since this investigation with BEAUTY BAY, Lil Packaging insists E flute is always the preferred corrugated material for Ecommerce. Tried, Tested, Perfected.

The Outcome

OutcomeBefore Lil BreezeboxAfter Lil Breezebox
SustainabilityApprox 1/2 a tonne of plastic sealing tape with no environmental credentials. 45 tonnes of paper voidfill.No tape required since Lil hot-melt peel & seal is 300% more aggressive than former double sided tape.  FSC® sustainable sources, 100% recyclable, 100% biodegradable, eco inks and are now PLASTICFREE for 2020. 2nd peel & seal negates customers to use parcel tape for returns. Integrated low-tack adhesive Breeze paper cleverly hold items in place without need for voidfill.
Unboxing ExperienceLittle social media engagement on packaging. Bland external print only.Noticeable spike on social media engagement, thousands of likes/comments on Lil Breezebox and customer prize for best unboxing. External & internal box print + custom-printed Breeze tissue-paper.
ReturnsReturns due to damage standardNegligible returns
Faster FulfilmentAv. Pack time 86 secondsAv. Pack time 55 seconds (36% faster)
Box spendAcceptable CostsSlight increase in costs (but for overall benefit)
Tape SpendIncreases in tape and labour costsNo tape required for the new Breeze crashlock boxes and less Labour time
VoidfillYOY increases in void fill use and labour timeThe internal Breezepaper of Lil’s Breezeboxes reduced voidfill by over 90% whilst reducing time and costs at the pack bench

If you're interested in seeing how we've helped other major brands around the world with their packaging needs, you can check out our other case studies right here.

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