Packaging refers to the container or wrapper that holds a product or group of products. Most commercial packaging serves two basic functions: protecting the product from damage during shipping, and promoting the product to the ultimate consumer. Some common types of packaging include shipping cartons, containers for industrial goods, and bags / polybags, boxes, cans, and other holders for consumer products. Packaging is of great importance to both sellers and buyers of products. It can prevent spoiling, breakage, tampering, or theft; enhance convenience in use or storage; and make products attractive and easier to identify. Packaging speaks a lot about the product inside.

Packaging Basics

Know the Target Market: Customer choices vary among different markets. Therefore it is important to know the target market first before designing the packaging of a product.

Adding attributes that appeal to target customers: Add such attributes or features in products that attract customers. For e.g. while designing a product for women try to use feminine colours and soft designs. This is very important as people use to buy products that appear to be attractive from outside whether the product is good in quality or not is a second thing. This is especially more important if the product is intended to be a gift article or for festive occasion.

Know your customers current buying trends. Trends keep on changing frequently. Some years ago people used to prefer large packages but now the small sizes are everyone’s favourite. Look out for such trends in the market.

Get the correct Packaging Material

The material to be used for packaging depends on the type of product. For example if the product is to be seen in clarity from outside, clear plastic should be used. In other cases paper can be used.

Packaging materials are classified by their primary raw material. Two simple examples are paper and plastic. In each material type there are numerous sub categories of different types of packaging. like for e.g. paper packaging it might be a box, a bag, a drum, a tube, a canister and so on.

Useful packaging tips

Know your customers’ requirement. Ask if they need every piece packed individually or bulk packing. This can save un-necessary packing cost. Ask them for any specific requirement they might have.

Choose low cost packaging but be sure that it is attractive and serves the purpose effectively. Packaging can sometimes be very costly, so choose materials carefully.

The packaging should be strong enough to withstand possible transit damages.

Pay extra attention on packaging in rainy season as chances are high of product getting damaged in transit. Cover the outer of the package with moisture proof wrappers.

Keep packaging as simple as possible so that when received the product can be easily opened.

Try to use eco-friendly & recycled packing material. Most packing material goes waste and adds to unnecessary clutter on earth.

Wrap items in a layer of paper, tissue etc. to prevent scratching of surfaces especially for products where the finish or texture of the surface is important.

Properly label the package. Include your return address.

Check packaging of products before dispatching them to the buyer. Look for any loopholes like loose tap, improper wrapping etc.

For packing delicate items

Leave enough room for packaging material; use a box that is slightly larger than the item.

Use bubble wrap, raffia, peanuts, foam, or paper all around the item to be packed, if it is a delicate or breakable material. Use double boxes for packaging of very delicate items.

Before taping the box shut, close and shake the box first. If the item shifts, add more packing material. This helps in protecting the item.

Tape the opening of the box and reinforce all seams. Use brown packaging tape, or paper tape that is at least 2 inches wide. Don’t use masking tape, cellophane tape, cord or string, as it is usually not strong enough.

References and additional resources