Snug packaging is a win-win. You use less materials which means less waste for the environment, and you pay less for shipping when you slim down your package to the bare necessities and eliminate extra weight and bulk. Sometimes, that even means designing a product that can collapse or be condensed for shipping. It's an extra step, but certainly one worth considering for vertical e-commerce brands that are selling a handful of SKUs, all online.
This roundup includes inspiration from some of our favorite companies and designers around the web. Unless specified, these designs are not made by Lumi.
Floyd's Flatpack Box
Ikea made ready-to-assemble furniture famous. The flat pack approach not only lowers the cost of furniture, but the slim boxes make it easy to shop and ship huge pieces. Direct-to-consumer e-commerce businesses are taking after the Swedish brand by shipping huge furniture like couches or, in the case of Floyd, beds to people's doorstep all in a slim box.
Images via Floyd
Soma Molded Void Filler
Instead of opting for bubble wrap or packing peanuts which can be costly and take a toll on the environment, Soma opted for a custom, recycled fiber mold that fits like a glove around their carafe, and right into a cardboard tube to keep it from moving in transit.
Images via Manual
Alma Tea and Hookah Set Tube
The simple lines of this ceramic set design aren't just for looks. Each piece is stackable so that they can go on top of one another and into a cardboard tube for shipping. With thick cardboard and a super tight packing structure, the tea set can stay in place through transit.
Images via Michela D'angelo
With each new release, Apple isn't just slimming down the iPhone, but their boxes too. In fact, the iPhone 7 box uses 84% less plastic than previous versions of the box. By layering the phone and its accessories, the entire package stays condensed, and custom slots hold each piece in place.
Matthew Hilton OPF Watch Box
In the box business, OPF stands for One Piece Folder. This custom OPF is perfectly measured to protect a watch within a cardboard sleeve. There's a built in buffer of extra corrugated on either end to prevent damage to the watch in transit. With locking tabs, the need for tape is minimal too!
Casper Mattress Box
Mattresses are huge and heavy. At Casper, machines roll them up and stick them into the smallest box possible, and this packaging design wasn't just a matter of efficiency. Hefty shipping fees could have quickly caused issues for the modern mattress brand, but by shipping minimally, they can keep costs down without sacrificing speed or comfort.
Images via Casper
Clif Pendant Lamp Custom Box
When you're shipping something that's not quite rectangular, a custom box build may be a good solution. You save a lot on void filler, and you have a package that shows off the silhouette of your product even before it's out of the box.
Image via Tomasz Czaban
Bethnals Poly Mailer
So many apparel brands are experimenting with collections that are all about the essentials, and Bethnals took that approach to their packaging as well. Poly mailers are a lightweight, minimal solution for shipping apparel that eliminates a lot of bulk and weight.
Image via Delivered by Post
Ready to find the most efficient solution for shipping your product? Watch our YouTube series, Shipping Things to get packaging strategies.