So, you have a great product that you know is going to wow your customers. But that's just half the story. How do you present your product to your customer? That’s not to say ‘How does it look in your ecommerce store?’, but rather how does your product present itself in the hands of your customer?
That’s where your packaging plays an important, and often overlooked role.
First impressions count and you only get one chance at a first impression, which is why packaging is so important.
In fact, your packaging is the first physical touch point that your brand has with its customer. And let’s face it, your goal is to build a brand based on a quality product that keeps people coming back to buy again – if you’re not, you shouldn’t be in ecommerce.
And it’s this reason that means your packaging needs to be the stage that presents your product to its new owner.
If a customer opens an item they’ve ordered online and it’s stuffed into a random plastic bag, that doesn’t look good, right? That’s not how you make a good first impression.
That’s why product packaging is important. But finding the right company to source said packaging can be tricky. You want a low cost per unit, but also flexibility in your design process. So, we’re going to take a look at Packhelp, Europe’s leading supplier of custom packaging for ecommerce brands.
Let's dive in!
Packaging: The Basics
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
Imagine how they feel when their package arrives. It’s easy to see how a beautifully wrapped item in robust and well-designed packaging increases a customer’s excitement when they receive their order.
Quality packaging takes your customer’s first impression from ‘yep, this is what I ordered’ to ‘I seriously got a lot more than I bargained for here’.
Packaging, in our view, has to be:
- Original with your logo and branding
- Inspirational in its design
- Practical, easy to handle and send via courier or post
- Reflect and represent your branding
- Secure enough to protect products from damage
Your brand’s packaging should also:
- Make customers feel they got more than they paid for
- Help customer retention by creating a great first impression
- Remind a customer why buying from you was the right decision
So now you know how packaging can help your brand in a handful of ways, here’s how Packhelp can connect you with any type of packaging you want.
Packhelp is a startup based in Warsaw, Poland. The company connects businesses of all shapes and sizes to custom package solutions for their products. Many of these brands are ecommerce brands like yours – dropshippers, hobby brands and boutique brands selling customised products.
Traditional industrial print houses don’t want to talk to you unless you’re ordering 50,000 units. Clearly that’s too much of an investment for an ecommerce brand like yours.
Packhelp connects small brands like yours to printing facilities that would otherwise be out of reach for small brands like yours.
The established startup also simplifies the complex parts of packaging that usually require specialists, such as:
- Designing packaging that reflects your branding and USPs
- Source branded products (e.g., boxes, carrier bags, labels, envelopes, tape, tubes, tissue paper and so on)
- Printing quality materials in a variety of cost effective methods
Packhelp’s home page summarizes their USP succinctly: “Design & order custom packaging. Without a hassle.” Their target audience is pretty broad. The company describes their service as offering support to “local heroes with big hearts and growing champions with global ambitions.”
So, if that’s you, then read on…
Packhelp’s existing customer base is impressive – listing Google, H&M, Wrangler, Uber, TMobile, Allegro, and L’Oreal, just to name a few. But international corporations aren’t the only companies they cater to. The company regularly documents the small ecommerce brands they work with (full list here). Not to mention, they’ve already racked up a few awards since starting in 2015:
- Debut of 2016, Ekomersy 2016
- Best product/service supporting the logistics of an online store
- Ekomersy 2016
- eRising Star PayU Lab Award 2016
- Robotics & Process Automation ABSL Startup Challenge 2016
- Audience Award ABSL Startup Challenge 2016
In total, 14,263 brands all over Europe have used or use Packhelp, so that’s a pretty successful startup.
What does Packhelp do?
Packhelp has an extensive range of standard products you can customize using the company’s online box editor. You choose what you need, input quantities and sizes, upload your image(s) and text, and Packhelp does the rest. The products are made in Poland and shipped to customers all around the world. Being made in central Europe keeps not only delivery costs down, but also delivery distances.
You can create the branded packaging you need via the Packhelp website and an app – you don't need to employ an expensive designer or print specialist. This means that you’ve got total control over the design process, without the expenses of a professional.
Standard Packhelp products include:
- Boxes: Eco-boxes, ecommerce delivery boxes, sleeve mailer box, double-sided mailer box, and plain delivery boxes
- Poly Mailers: Lightweight poly mailer bags and biodegradable mailer bags
- Carrier Bags: Paper bags made from recycled paper
- Envelopes: Rigid cardboard envelopes
- Printed tape: Branded tape, eco-friendly printed kraft tape
- Paper Tubes: Round printed tubes, for example, for toiletries or perfume
- Packing Papers: Customized tissue paper
Packhelp’s minimum order size is 30 pieces, and you can score a 5% discount by signing up to their newsletter.
The company's range of products are aimed at three distinct camps:
- New and Small Businesses
- Growing Brands
There are no price plans. Instead, prices get lower the more you order. That said, even smaller quantities aren't crazy expensive.
So let’s take a look at each.
New and Small Businesses
If you’re new to the world of packaging and don’t need tons of it, you can order as little as 30 pieces to be shipped to you free of charge in as little as 3 weeks.
Ordering is simple and not unlike any other ecommerce transaction.
- Pick your product
- Pick your quantity
- Pick your size
- Upload your design and then drag & drop on the 3D model of your box
- Place your order.
type in how many of each thing you need, the size you require, and then upload the design you want printing on your packaging.
For an/eco white mailer box with black print (example here), 26.5 x 19.5 x 2.6cm for books, DVDs, and electronics, if you ordered 30, you’d pay €126.00.
If you’re already expanding, or intend on snowballing your business, you can order from 300 to 100,000+ units with discounts available for wholesale orders.
For a flat eco/eco white mailer box with black print, 26.5 x 19.5 x 2.6cm for books, DVDs, and electronics, if you ordered 300, you’d pay €270.00.
Enterprise or Packhelp Pro
Packhelp Pro, the company’s enterprise service, is for large wholesale orders for businesses that need high volumes, or complex, highly-customised packaging. It doesn't matter whether you want to upgrade your existing packaging or develop something from scratch – Packhelp pro has limitless options..
To upgrade your existing packaging, the minimum order is 5,000 units, whereas if you're developing something new, it’s 10,000.
The Packhelp website explains how to generate a custom quote.
You need to provide info like:
- The type of packaging you need
- What you need it for
- When you need it by
- Examples of any artwork and photography you may want to print.
Using these details, Packhelp gives you a customized quote for your bespoke packaging..
Packhelp Pros and Cons
The most notable advantages:
- Competitive prices
- An easy-to-use website
- Access to eco-friendly packaging
- Easy to obtain quotes
- Free delivery within the EU
- Fast turnaround times
- Lots of happy clients
- You can order sample packs before committing to a larger order
- Unlike other companies, you can order small amounts
The main drawbacks:
- The box editor doesn't work on mobile devices. But, you can access it via all significant internet browsers on your macOS, Windows, and some Linux operating systems.
- The less you order, the more it costs per item (but unfortunately, that's industry standard)
If having a small carbon footprint and using eco-friendly products is part of your brand’s business strategy, Packhelp has a few products that comply with your standards
There are case study examples of major brands using Packhelp’s sustainable packaging options such as H&M, Monday’s Child, and the UAU Project. Most of Packhelp’s cardboard products are both recycled and recyclable, while the water-based inks break down in landfill.
You can even order Bio PolyMailer bags made from Polylactic Acid (PLA), a plastic substitute made from fermented plant starch. As far as cardboard products are concerned, Packhelp says that: “every single cardboard product in our range is made from a minimum of 80% recycled cardboard.”
So, when you order custom packaging, rest assured, you'll get something that was once a “school book, cereal box, or a bank statement in another life.” Pretty cool to think that your cardboard box used to be little Johnny’s math book.
Some of the cardboard boxes, such as the Corrugated Eco Mailer Box, have a higher percentage of recycled material (90%), and are fully recyclable.
Customer Support and Consumer Reviews
Packhelp has a Help Center where you can type in specific questions, and hopefully, your required answer will appear. To us, this seems like a pretty decent resource should you have any problems. Typical Help Center questions concern minimum order sizes, order completion length, and repeat orders.
Topics in the Help Center are divided into categories including invoicing, troubleshooting, designing, offer and products, and box editor – which makes finding the solution to your query all the more easier.
There's also a chat box you can ping over questions and comments, and a member of their friendly customer support team will email you back a helpful response.
There’s also a section on how to make a complaint. That said, we found almost no grumbles online, and Packhelp (mostly) boasts glowing reviews on TrustPilot. Indeed there’s a link to them on the Packhelp homepage.
Reviewers love their customer service, fast delivery, the quality of their products, and the easy-to-use online editor tool. The few negative reviews we saw concerned shoddy print quality.
Good product packaging has to be part of your overall business and marketing strategy, and you should budget for it accordingly. It’s merely another way of standing out from the crowd. With the right tailored packaging, you’ll enhance your customer’s experience by showing you care that their products arrive safely and look beautiful.
We think that Packhelp makes it easy for you to enhance your brand and doesn't cost you the earth -win-win!
It’s certainly worth exploring their sample pack offer to see how it fares before committing your hard-earned cash. Best of all, if you’re a small business that’s been turned away by other companies because your order is too small, Packhelp is different.
Last but not least, there are helpful case study examples on their website. Not only do these outline how small and growing businesses used Packhelp, but they also show how they designed their own packaging to reflect their brand and grow their customer base. It’s a useful research tool for any ecommerce entrepreneur before you seal the deal on your own package design.