All Things Shipping
Nov 23, 2021

How E-Commerce Pros Fill Packages To Protect Products During Shipping

Protective packaging is a booming business in and of itself, with logistics insiders worldwide waiting in eager anticipation for new material development and more sustainable options.

That said, no matter what materials individual e-commerce companies choose to use, their protective abilities have to outweigh other advantages in terms of importance. After all, bruised or broken shipments never win over customers.

Picking out the perfect packaging infill to ensure your products survive the shipping process is essential to keeping your e-commerce customers happy. Product protection is a leading issue among business leaders in this industry for a reason — poor product protection makes for even poorer profits as customers look elsewhere for a better buying experience.

Stuffing packages with specialized materials can help to stabilize items as they travel to their intended destinations. However, not all materials are made equally. Finding one that works well for the items you sell is an important part of protecting your profit margins and keeping your customers happy.

The Pros and Cons of Each Protective Packaging Method for E-commerce

With the question of customer satisfaction in mind, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of some of the most popular protective packaging options.

Air Pillows

Air pillows are a relatively new contender in the world of protective packaging, yet they’ve already earned their spot in many company’s packaging processes.

Product Examples

Air pillows are commonly used when shipping the following product categories:

  • Electronics
  • Sporting Goods
  • Home Decor

Kraft Paper

Kraft paper is a simple shipping solution for problems with in-transit scratching and damage. It can also be used to create a better aesthetic presentation in your shipments.

Product Examples

Kraft paper is commonly used when shipping the following product categories:

  • Books
  • Heavy products

Packing Peanuts

Packing peanuts are a long-time staple of the shipping industry for a reason — they’re effective and relatively inexpensive, though they may not be suitable for all kinds of shipments.

Product Examples

Packing peanuts are commonly used when shipping the following product categories:

  • Jagged items
  • Heavy items
  • Items with irregular shapes (toys, musical instruments, etc.)

Bubble Wrap

The once ubiquitous bubble wrap has seen its popularity dwindle with the sudden adoption of air pillows, but this iconic void fill still fulfills enough primary packaging needs to remain relevant.

Product Examples

Bubble wrap is commonly used when shipping the following product categories:

  • Small, fragile items
  • Large heavy items (even furniture)

Shredded Cardboard

Cardboard is already a core component of all shipping processes, but this baseline box material can also be used to add padding for packages.

Product Examples

Shredded cardboard is commonly used when shipping the following product categories:

  • Small, heavy items (especially those made of glass)
  • Items with irregular shapes
  • Items with rough surfaces

Molded Infill

Molded infills offer a degree of fine-tunable customization that other options simply can’t match. Produced with cardboard or styrofoam, these forms of packaging infill can be shaped to closely match the contours of both the box and the item itself. However, they aren’t a perfect solution for all cases.

Product Examples

Molded infills are commonly used when shipping the following product categories:

  • High-value, expensive items
  • Machinery and large electronic devices.

Which Infill Type Should You Choose for Your E-commerce Business?

All of the infill options covered above make it possible to protect products when shipping them — no matter how far they’re traveling. However, it should be clear by now how different each option is and why it’s so important to pick the right one for your products.

Ultimately, selecting the right option comes down to balancing effectiveness, ease of use, and estimated expense. Your best bet will be the option that fits your budget — without forcing an inconvenient unpackaging experience on your customers or failing halfway through your item’s journey.

Once you’ve got your packaging squared away, Shippo can help ensure you’re getting the best deal on your shipping costs and shipping insurance. Get started today or reach out to our team for more information.

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Sarah Gage
is a Michigan-based freelance writer covering business, marketing, and technology topics. She is also the owner of Content Conquered, a B2B-focused content marketing consultancy.

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