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8 Low-Cost Packaging Ideas for Your Small Online Business


Your packaging is more than just protecting your products. It also serves as an opportunity to connect with your customers.

For one, your packaging showcases your branding strategy. That’s because customers should quickly associate a product with your brand.

Second, it allows you to reiterate your core values. If you value sustainability, you can show it by using compostable packaging materials.

Lastly, your packaging can also create social media buzz. How you package your products can provide a unique customer experience. And this is something that your customers would want to share online.

8 Low-Cost Packaging Ideas That Small Businesses can Use

Creative packaging can be used as a promotional strategy. However, we are aware that it can also add to our operational costs. This explains why we should find the balance between managing our budget and communicating our brand.

That said, here are eight low-cost packaging ideas that you can use for your small business:

Sticker Labels

Often, sticker labels are an excellent way to add finishing touches to your packaging. It lets you ensure that your logo will be the first thing a customer sees when unboxing a product. Plus, you can create a custom look for less.

For example, when you package a small item in polyethylene (PE) plastic, you can use your sticker labels to seal it. It does not cost much, and the process is straightforward. Yet, it can remind your customers that they bought the item from you.

The best part is that sticker labels can be an affordable packaging option, especially when printing in large quantities.

Tissue Paper and Inserts

Regardless of the packaging you use, adding customized interior elements can help improve the customer experience. As such, consider using customized tissue paper and inserts in your packaging.

These are low-cost packaging materials that you can use to cushion or wrap your products. Thus, it adds a layer of protection to the items inside the box. It also extends the unboxing experience since customers have to unwrap the items.

And because of this experience, a branded tissue paper and insert reinforces brand recall. This means that you will be a customer’s top choice if they need your product. Meanwhile, a thank you note placed inside the box personalizes the experience. This enables you to get your marketing message across while making a lasting impression.

Kraft Paper

Using Kraft paper to package your products can help stretch your budget. That’s because it is sold in bulk and allows you to package as many products using fewer materials.

And just like with tissue papers, Kraft papers can serve as a blank canvas. Hence, you have the liberty to use sticker labels to seal.

Another option is to have it custom printed with your logo and seal your products using a twine. This exudes an eco-conscious brand.

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Foil Stamping

Back then, foil stamping was a labor-intensive process. Luckily, many packaging and printing companies these days offer various options. This makes foil stamping more affordable.

It can add 10-15% of your entire production cost. However, it can help increase your packaging’s perceived value. That’s because foil stamping allows you to add embellishments to your packaging design.

Custom Sleeves

A custom printed packaging sleeve can be an excellent way to present your boxed products. For one, it is designed to secure your items and make them easy to carry. Second, it facilitates a unique brand experience and highlights your branding design.

So, even if you are using a plain white box, people would still know it is from your store because of the custom sleeve.

This can also be an excellent packaging solution if you want to be cost-efficient and eco-friendly. That’s because the sleeves do not compromise the structural integrity of your boxes. This means that customers can easily take off the sleeve and reuse the container.

Printed Patterns

A printed custom packaging allows you to showcase your brand design. It can be as simple as printing your logo and creating a minimal design or using your branding color for the entire packaging.

In case you are wondering, you can achieve printed patterns using Offset Printing or Digital Printing.

Offset printing means you will metal plates to layer colors onto sheets and stamping in rapid succession. Meanwhile, digital printing is like printing in an inkjet printer. The former is a cost-effective option for large-volume prints, while the latter boasts a quick turnaround.

Inside Print Surprise

From the name itself, an Inside Print Surprise adds a custom printed design inside the box. Often, you will see it on the top flap’s interior.

What’s incredible about this kind of packaging idea is that it can make a lasting impression on your customers. More so now that unboxing content is becoming popular on social media.

On the other hand, interior printing allows you to add more information about your brand. You can add a “thank you” message and pair it with your advocacy. Also, you can use this tactic to encourage customers to connect through your social media channels.

Standard Box with Die Cut

This is one classic packaging structure that you should not underestimate. After all, a standard box with a die-cut is one of the most affordable options that you can have. Regardless of the structure of the box that you will use, you can select a die-cut at a nominal cost.

An excellent example of a standard box with die-cut would be the Fit Buns packaging. It uses a standard paperboard straight tuck end structure with full-color printing. However, the die-cut ensures that you will notice the buns first.

Remember: Simplicity can go a long way with the proper execution.


Final Thoughts

Let’s face it: Packaging is integral for our product. It also plays a role in our branding strategy and customer experience.

Nowadays, when instant gratification is constant, custom packaging can influence how customers will perceive your brand. Hence, you should not underestimate what low-cost, custom packaging can do.

That’s because it helps customers associate a product with your brand. It also allows you to showcase the values that you stand for. Lastly, it influences people to stay loyal to your brand. And this brand retention can lead to better sales.

If you want to learn easy-to-implement sales techniques that can help you achieve exceptional business performance, consider signing up for our Sales Mastery program.

About the author

Juliette Anderson is an Outreach Community Specialist for an e-commerce fulfillment company. She works hand-in-hand with e-commerce stores to achieve optimal sales for four years already. Her specialty lies in social media marketing and paid promotions.