One of the most satisfying and fulfilling parts of my job is being able to add the special little touches when packing orders. My husband and I do a little cheer and clap with every order that comes in (seriously lol! Those small business memes aren't lying) and it brings me so much joy to be able to pack up our Selah Paper products to go to your home.
We're in an era where there are literally millions of packages and parcels being mailed to doorsteps every single day. For my business, I wanted to make sure that my products were being packaged in a way that was sustainable but also beautiful. There's extra love and care that small businesses are able to give (that Amazon can't!!). I love when customers say that it felt like they were opening a present when they receive our packages. Adding those moments of delight is something I really value.
That being said, I want to share the elements that make up my packaging! Of course, every parcel and order is different (we use about 10 different types and sizes of boxes and mailers) but today I'll use one of our flat mailers as an example.
Postcard With Artwork and Business Info
Though it's important to have your logo directly on every product (usually with the SKU), it's still important to include your business information with every order. Ours includes valuable information such as our website, email, and recycling information. Because our products are packed with a variety of materials (glassine, plastic, paper sleeves, stickers, labels, etc.), we didn't want the customer to have to figure out how to recycle or dispose of them.
Lastly, I use seasonal postcards rather than a business card. I find business cards are often tossed away, but a postcard can double up as artwork! I love seeing our Selah Paper postcards taped up on walls. I try to refresh my postcard design every season (or whenever we run out). It keeps it fun, especially for our returning customers!
Wrap it up with Tissue Paper
Because many of our orders include multiple small items, I quickly realized the need to wrap it all together. No one likes opening a mailer and having to dig for those loose little stickers and papers! I use one sheet of tissue paper (ULINE) to keep everything together. These are made from 60% recycled content and it seriously makes it feel like Christmas!
A Bold Logo Sticker!
This has got to be my favourite part of our packaging. I created this square vinyl sticker with our company logo to be used on the outside of all our packages. It quickly helps identify where it's coming from and adds a pop of colour. I want our customers to instantly light up at the sight of their parcel!
I ordered this sticker from Sticker Canada and am in love with how vibrant the colours turned out. It's vinyl, which makes it waterproof and weatherproof... perfect for outer mail packaging. Stickers are such a good way to add customization to your packaging without breaking the bank for custom mailers or printed boxes.
Return Address Stamp
This simple stamp is one of my most useful purchases! I ordered this custom Xstamper on Staples for about $60 CAD and it has sped up my packaging process. These stamps come pre-inked (no stamp pads required!) and can do up to 50,000 impressions before a re-ink is required (I definitely have not hit 50,000 orders yet haha!). The stamp body is made with 100% recycled plastic and you can pretty much get any design customized on it.
Packing Tape Pop of Colour
Another pop of colour! Though most of my packages are taped up using a simple kraft paper tape, I sometimes like to splurge with these fully printed custom tapes (StickerMule). This water-activated tape is made from recycled kraft paper which makes recycling your taped boxes and mailers easy to recycle. This one is also reinforced, making it strong and durable for heavier boxes (think wholesale orders!).
I use the Zebra ZP-450 thermal printer to print my shipping labels directly from ChitChats (the third party courier I use). They're 4x6 and fit perfectly on the front of my mailers (or back of smaller mailers).
Handlettering the final touch
Ah, the final touch. When all is done, I like to grab a trusty old Sharpie and handwrite out the recipient's name. It's a custom little touch that you can't get from big box stores ;) After all, they are ordering from a calligraphy company.
I've heard comments from post office clerks and mailmen that they've "never seen prettier packaging before." What music to my ears! Sometimes our customers cut out their names from their mailers to keep too. I love this so much and hope to continue handwriting names as long as I can :)
And there you have it! It's so important to make unboxing fun for your customer but also to make packaging efficient for you as a business. Even though an order has already been placed, a beautifully branded and packaged product is an opportunity to showcase excellent customer service, your brand values, and hopefully gain a repeat, loyal customer. And you don't have to break the bank to create a wonderful unboxing experience. Grow slowly, use what you have, and make one meaningful change at a time :)