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Create Personalised Packaging on a Budget

For an e-commerce business, few moments are more pivotal than the instant your customers receive your package in the mail.

What do they see and feel when they unwrap the packaging? Is it excitement and anticipation? Or is it disappointment and annoyance? First impressions matter, and there are no do-overs. A negative or underwhelming unboxing experience will be forever associated with your brand. But a pleasant surprise will also leave its mark.

It’s easy to forget amidst the hustle and bustle of operating a business, but the unboxing experience has a lasting impact on how your customers view your brand – and ultimately if they decide to shop with you again.

Why Personalised Packaging Matters

In a survey of 500 online shoppers, the 2016 Dotcomist eCommerce Packaging Study found that packaging influences how customers evaluate a brand:

  • 40% of shoppers said they’d be “somewhat more likely” or “much more likely” to buy from an online retailer again if their order came in a gift-like or premium package. In 2015, this number was only 29%.
  • 40% of shoppers said the use of branded or gift-like packaging affects their perception of a brand; 68% said it makes the brand seem upscale, while 61% said it gets them excited about receiving the package.

If you want your business to stand out among your competitors, you need to dedicate a little extra attention to creating attractive, branded packaging for your products.

But how do you go about doing this if you’re a small e-commerce business without a huge budget? What are your options if you don’t have the sales to justify ordering the large quantity of customised boxes that many printing companies require?

You’d be surprised at how easy and affordable it is to make your packaging look branded, polished and memorable. Here are a few simple DIY ideas you can implement right away.

Creative & Cost-Effective Personalised Packaging

Don’t be intimidated by big companies and their lavish designs. By incorporating even one or two of these materials into your packaging, you can dramatically enhance your customers’ unboxing experience.

Coloured gift boxes




A pop of unexpected colour makes a big difference. Coloured gift boxes – in black, pink, red or even tiffany blue – give a premium quality to the products inside. Add an element of surprise by shipping your items in postal boxes with a coated coloured interior, or adding bright branded labels or stickers.




Tie a bow around the outside of your product with ribbon, string or twine. That way, when your customer opens the shipping box, they’ll appreciate your extra attention to detail. It costs next to nothing, but it gives your packaging a little extra polish.


Stamps or labels


Order a branded ink stamp or personalised labels that you can use to decorate your packaging. This is an easy way for even the smallest companies to customize packaging. An attractive stamp or label immediately transforms a plain brown box into personalised gift packaging.


Tissue or kraft paper


Instead of using packing peanuts or other standard void fill, opt for coloured tissue paper, crinkle shredded paper or plain kraft paper. Both are inexpensive but give an air of understated elegance. If your shipping box contains smaller boxes inside, wrap them in kraft paper and decorate with ribbon or twine.




Use your company’s small size to your advantage. Include a handwritten note on pretty stationery in every package, thanking your customer for their order. It’s a simple, personal touch that large businesses can’t manage and customers will remember.




Include a small surprise in every box, whether it’s a free sample, a discount code for a future purchase, or even a handful of chocolates or hard candies. Aim to delight and amuse your customers.


DS Smith now offers personalised packaging options for many different cardboard boxes. Customise your packaging by printing on the interior or exterior of the box; make your brand memorable by including your logo, a promotion or a special message.


Learn more about DS Smith’s customisable packaging.

Ready to take your packaging to the next level? Discover our customisable product range with minimum order quantities as low as 100 units.



Add Branding to Your Packaging

All you need for a great unboxing experience just a few clicks away.

2020-07-28T13:37:09+01:00August 15th, 2018|Categories: Branded Packaging|


  1. Olivier 10th October 2018 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Excellent article! Thanks for the invaluable tips. Cash flow is a real issue for small businesses…

    • Ksenija | DS Smith ePack 15th October 2018 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the feedback Olivier! We know that the price is a very important criterion for our clients. So we work on providing high-quality packaging solutions that guarantee a great unboxing experience and are affordable at the same time.

  2. Lola 7th December 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Brilliant tips, love when companies give great advice!
    I include seasonal postcards for customers to regift or use! Will be buying my packaging from you guys from now on.

    • Ksenija | DS Smith ePack 7th December 2018 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the great tip Lola! The postcard sounds like not only a nice branded touch but also an incentive for a new customer.

  3. Sarah 28th April 2019 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Thank you for the article…big business’s should support the smaller ones more and offer all the advice they can. Cash flow is important to get somebody’s dream up and running and packaging is a major factor in presentation of the brand/products and reputation I think…I will be calling D S Smith tomorrow to find out how they can help with my packaging needs – hopefully they can help greatly as I’ve found packing to be a very tricky area – thanks again, very informative article

    • Ksenija DS Smith ePack 29th April 2019 at 9:35 am - Reply

      Hi Sarah,
      thank you for your feedback and we are looking forward to helping you create a great unboxing experience!

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