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How to Decide What Packaging Materials to Use for Your Products?

Rashi Sood

Content Writer @ Shiprocket

December 9, 2021

7 min read

Choosing the right packaging material for your products is as important as selecting the right products for your online store. The right product packaging material will not only give your customers a delightful unboxing experience but will also bring you new customers while retaining the existing customers.

product packaging

When shipping your products, there comes a time when you will have to choose the best packaging solution and material for your products. The best packaging material for your products will be based on factors such as how well it travels, how well it offers protection, and if it looks aesthetically pleasing or not.

But it isn’t easy to choose the right packaging material that fits your checklist especially when there are so many kinds of packaging material available; from polybags to wooden crates and more. We are here to make that easy for you by helping you understand the different factors to keep in mind when choosing a packaging material for your products. Let’s start.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Packaging Material

product packaging

There are certain factors that one should keep in mind when choosing a packaging material. It is crucial that you choose the right material to ensure that it fits your budget, keeps your products safe during transportation, and is easy on the eyes.

Mode of Transportation

How the order is being transported is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a packaging material. Based on the mode of transportation, it is estimated how the products will be secured.

For instance, for packages that are being shipped via air, the products will be secured taking into consideration the atmospheric changes and turbulence. For packages being shipped via ground transport, the packages will need to be packed in a way that they can handle the rough road and manual handling of the packages.


Packages are subject to exposure to moisture when being transported, stored, or when being delivered. The moisture can be either be due to products being shipped via sea or being stored in warehouses that are in a humid environment or simply coming in contact with rain when being transported on foot or otherwise.

In such cases, corrugated cardboard packing material will not stand up to moisture and is bound to get damaged, and the same is the case for paper-based packaging material. Rains or moisture will dampen the package and weaken its ability to secure the products inside.

Characteristics of the Products

The characteristics of the products will heavily influence the use of the packaging materials. Characteristics such as weight, shape of the product, and size of the product are deemed as important factors when considering the packaging material.

The detailed information about the product, including but not limited to, the nature of the product will help in determining the right material of the packaging material to ensure that the product reaches the consumers safely.

Size of the Products

The size of the products will also help in choosing the right packaging material. The size of the product is crucial as not only it will ensure that the product reaches the consumer safely but will also ensure that costs born by your business are well within your budget.

If a large crate or box is used for small items, there is a chance that it will be an added cost to the business. And using an extra-large box will create room inside the container that will allow the products to move during shipments, thus damaging the merchandise.


The packaging material being used for the shipments and delivery of the products will be heavily dependent on the ability of the material to safeguard the products and keep them at an optimal temperature according to the nature of the product.

This is especially important if the products being transported are perishable in nature. One should keep in mind the variations in the environment that the products might experience when researching for packaging options.


Budgeting is important not just for the business aspects, but also when choosing a packaging material for your products. However, it certainly does not mean that you choose the cheapest option available. One should not just make a decision based on the upfront costs of the packaging solutions.

Choosing a cheaper packaging option might drive up your costs in the long run as opting for an ineffective packaging solution can lead to damages to the product, thus bringing down your overall sales.

Strength of the Material

The right strength of the material being used for the packaging of your products will give your products the right amount of safety as and when required. Transposing a fragile product will require more strength and durability when it comes to packaging material.

For fragile products, you will also need to consider the transportation and handling aspect of the shipping as that is when most of the products can get damaged. To avoid damages to the product, always go for high-quality materials.

Business Audience

For most businesses, the packaging material is decided based on the audience they are catering to. Knowing your audience will highly help you in the decision-making process about packaging materials.

For businesses that take pride in being environmentally conscious, it is best to use recyclable materials. For businesses that sell small fragile items, recyclable packaging will not make sense as it would drive up the overall costs.

Types of Packaging Materials

In the eCommerce industry, depending on the nature of your business, there are many different types of packaging materials available. The question is not just how to choose the right material but also what is the best material to use for your business. Let’s take a look at some of the material packaging options available for use.

Wooden Boxes

One of the safest and secure packaging materials that are available. Often used for heavy items and storing items for long periods. However, it is heavy and not a flexible material and therefore can’t be used for small items.

Corrugated Boards

Corrugated boards are one of the most widely used packaging materials as it is low in cost, and offers good protection to the products being shipped. The material is lightweight and customizable according to the needs of the business.

Plywood crates

When compared to corrugated boards, plywood crates offer much more superior protection. This material offers breathing space to the products thus minimizing the exposure to moisture. They are lightweight and pocket-friendly too.

Steel-Based Packaging

It is one of the most flexible packaging solutions as it can be used anywhere and in any environment. It is often used as a returnable packaging option, for example, collapsible racks. They are strong, and long-lasting, thus offering protection against impacts during transportation, rough handling, and more.


This material is extremely versatile and is used everywhere as it is low in cost and offers ease of transportation. They are lightweight, sturdy, and easy to clean. It is commonly used in retail and transportation units.

Final Thoughts

Opting for the right packaging material for transporting your products is an important decision and should be made after due research and consideration. Wrong materials can be hazardous for products and your reputation as an eCommerce seller.

The right packaging material will ensure the safety of your product, minimize the risk of damage, keep it safe from moisture, and will fit well within your budget. Choosing a professional-looking packaging material will keep your consumers happy as they will receive the orders without damages. The packaging material will build the reputation of your company for you.

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