If you have just opened up your small business, it is important that you have a way to distinguish your brand from others in the industry. Naturally, you may be thinking about the marketing tools at your disposal, including your social media and advertising strategies.

However, have you considered the type of packaging you will utilise when you send out your merchandise? Your packaging will define what your business’s customers think about your business. So, here are some small business packaging ideas to get you started.

1. Customised packaging

Of course, when you think about packaging, you naturally picture paper packaging that has no design. It is simply used and then thrown away. However, times have changed. After all, your packaging serves a marketing purpose. It is the first thing your customers see; therefore, they will gain an impression of your business from it.

Nowadays, you will get a lot of influencers that do unpackaging videos. Therefore, if you want to be a memorable brand, you’ll focus on how you can customise your packaging. Consider your colour palette and how it can relate to your product. For instance, take a look at the brand Apple. They use white, showing that it is simple and productive. So, what sort of products do you have? If you have wellbeing products, you may want to go with greens and blues. However, if you have more serious or fashion products, you may want to go for darker hues.

Customised packaging can even use product logos, patterns and additional materials that can have text printed on it. You can even think about whether you use a bag or a box with a variety of colours. Just consider your product first and how you can make it memorable.

2. Product safety

Naturally, as a business owner, you need to consider how you’re going to transport your products safely to your customers. To do this, you may want to contact pallet wrap manufacturers based in the UK, or source soft material that can be used to cushion your products. Just keep in mind that you may need to spend more money on these products when you are tallying up your total costs!

3. Compostable packaging

Packaging tends to be a single-use item. Once the customer opens up their package, they will throw the packaging away. This can have an impact on the environment as your packaging may use non-recyclable plastics or materials that cannot decompose. Ultimately, this can affect the environment.

That’s why, if you want to stand out amongst your competition, you’ll use compostable packaging. This type of packaging can be given to customers with instructions on how to help it compost in the soil. You can also focus on using packaging that uses recyclable materials, like paper. That way you can lower your carbon footprint.

4. Box compartments

If you’re thinking about sending out multiple small products, it’s time for you to consider how you can make your packaging more cost-effective. That’s why, instead of sending out several packages, you should consider using a single package that has a number of compartments in it. That way you can make your packaging look organised and fit more items in it. It can also give your customers something exciting to unwrap or even reuse if you make your packaging look unique.

5. Printed stickers

To make your wrapping truly stand out, you may want to add some logo stickers onto your packaging. That way your brand is easily viewable and you can save time not having to write out your shipping information time and time again. Not only that, but the printed stickers will truly make your packaging look professional.

6. Packaging shape

Don’t forget that you have full control over the shape and size of your packaging. So, why not make your packaging suit your products? You can make your packaging into shapes that express your brand. For instance, if you are shipping a Christmas product, your packaging could be in the shape of a Christmas tree or a star.

Are you ready to choose your packaging?

Choosing your business packaging will be extremely personal to your brand. Therefore, if you are a start-up company, take your time to choose the right packaging for you. You need a type of packaging that protects your products and leaves a good impression on all of your customers. Think carefully about how your customers will perceive the packaging you send them. The more thought you put into it the better!

As the owner of a small business, it’s important that you understand how you can sell your products as efficiently as possible. You can’t just think about the products themselves; you need to think about how they are going to be shipped over to your customers without getting lost or broken during their journey. Here are the shipping essentials that you need to know if you are ready to get started on shipping a product.

1. Think about your packaging

If you are thinking about shipping your products, the first thing you need to think about is your packaging. Your packaging is the best way to keep your products safe when they are sent out to your customers. Usually, your packaging will be an envelope or a mailer box. Think carefully about what type of packaging you use. Your packaging will depend on the size of your product and your company’s brand.

Sometimes companies will use packaging with unique designs to grab the attention of their clients. For instance, packaging can come in a variety of colours and patterns. You can even look at eco-friendly manufacturing and packaging, including compostable packaging to make sure that there is no waste left behind.

With that said, you need to be careful not to spend too much on your packaging, especially if you need to replace your packaging regularly. You need to look at the cost of each piece of packaging. It may cost you more to ship your products if your packages are heavier. Some good suggestions for cost-effective packaging include:

• Cellophane bags
• Tissue paper
• Kraft paper rolls
• Twine for packaging aesthetic

Think carefully about how much space is taken up in your workplace due to the amount of packaging you need to store. You can also consider adding some thank you cards to your packaging. That way, your customers know that they are appreciated.

2. Shipping mailers

Moving onto the shipping process, one of the essential things you need to consider is whether or not you need a shipping mailer. You can buy shipping mailers from Uline, Amazon, PackagingSupplies and Papermart, especially if you need to get them in bulk.

Paper mailers are extremely cost-effective. They are easy to get if you need to have a steady supply of them that are ready to send out if you have a last-minute order. This can be extremely useful if you are looking for discounts.

3. Shipping labels

Shipping labels are crucial if you want to give your shipping and packaging a professional touch. Instead of writing out a hand-written label that can be difficult to read, shipping labels can be easily designed on Word before they are sent to a printer and returned in bulk. You can then put them on your packages to show off your brand and make your products memorable.

4. Cushioning materials

If you are shipping a fragile item to your customers, make sure to use a cushioning material to make sure that your products don’t get broken during the travelling process. You can use bubble wrap or tissue to do this.

5. Consider your shipping options

Another shipping essential you need to think about is your shipping mail provider. A good courier company in the UK can help you get your products sent to your customers in a decent amount of time. Make sure to take some time to find the best courier for your needs. That way you can ship a variety of parcels as quickly as possible. Some of the best courier services include:

• Royal Mail
• Parcelforce
• TNT Express UK
• Hermes
• Yodel
• FedEx

6. Additional personalisation

Although this may not be an essential, if you want to make effective marketing out of your packaging and parcels, you may want to think of ways that you can personalise your shipping items. Think carefully about the products you own and ways you can make your packaging suit your brand. For instance, if you sell candles, you may want to use soft mute colours for your packaging, and incorporate twine and even stickers to stand out compared to your competitors.

Are you ready to ship your products?

As a small business owner, it can be stressful trying to get your products shipped out in a timely manner. That’s why it’s important that you fully understand what options are available to help your products when they are on their journey to your customers. Your customers will appreciate the amount of time and effort you put into your shipping.

Whether you are a business owner or you are curious about how you can help the environment, a great way to do your part to make the world a greener place is to look into sustainable packaging.


The type of packaging you use can have a real impact on the natural world. Discarded waste from packaging can hurt wildlife or clog up rivers or landscapes. That’s why it’s crucial that you make small changes in order to help the environment. You can start by using sustainable packaging.


What is the effect of unsustainable packaging?


Unfortunately, it is estimated that only around 17% of waste in the UK ends up being recycled. That means the rest either ends up in landfill or in the environment as waste.


Litter can look bad and leave residue or unwanted materials on the ground that can hurt animals and humans alike. For instance, packaging could conceal glass or sharp-edged metal that could cut your hand or cause further injuries. Animals may also swallow unwanted substances that could ultimately kill them.


Packaging that is left out as litter can catch fire, especially if it is cardboard. You’ll also find that packaging litter can create bacteria due to the amount of vermin that is attracted to it.


Packaging that has been left on the ground can also take up space in landfills. There is so little space in landfills that it was estimated that by 2020, there would only be around 50 landfill areas that would be available for use. That’s why it is important that you keep an eye on the type of packaging you use, thereby enabling you to make a real difference to the environment.


The Basics of Sustainable Packaging


Sustainable packaging solutions are crucial to use in order to help the environment. Most of the time, sustainable packaging is made from materials that are completely sustainable. These materials need to be based on four variables:


  • Cost
  • Sustainability, which can consist of reusability, recyclability, and how well it can compost
  • Performance
  • Sortability, which means how well materials can be recovered after they have been recycled


If you intend to create sustainable packaging, you need to make sure you are able to achieve all four of these variables at the same time. It can be difficult to do this, so most companies tend to try and mix and match the types of materials they use. However, with packaging, you can use a variety of sustainable materials to make an impact on the planet.


What materials can create sustainable packaging?


If you run your own business, you will need to think carefully about the types of packaging you are going to use. After all, they are going to have a major impact on your brand and how safely your merchandise is going to be able to travel to your customers. Not only do they need to be recyclable, but they could also potentially be reusable.


Some materials you may want to think about using include:


  • Boxes with paper tape
  • Printed boxes
  • Poly mailers
  • Paper mailers
  • Tissue and butcher paper
  • Compostable bags


If you want to create sustainable packaging that can help the environment, try and stick to simple, separated items that can make it easier to recycle.


Most customers want to help the environment, but they may find it harder to do so if the recycling or reusing process is difficult or inconvenient. That’s why it’s important that you use products that can be easily recycled or reused.


For instance, using a compostable bag means that it can be used for home composting. This keeps it simple for your customers while being completely environmentally friendly.


The benefits of sustainable packaging


The purpose of sustainable packaging from your organisation’s point of view will be to limit your effect on the environment and the amount of pollution you produce when you sell your products.


There is a wide range of benefits that come with using sustainable packaging. These are:


  • Increasing the recyclability of your products
  • Improving your company’s flexibility
  • Lowering your business’s waste
  • Reducing your carbon footprint
  • Strengthening your company’s brand
  • Appealing to your customers


It is important that you do your part to help create a sustainable world in the future. If you focus on creating sustainable packaging, you will find that your customers will enjoy supporting your business more.


Your customers will desire simplicity. So, if you offer boxes, paper, and bags, they will appreciate how easy it is to reuse these materials in the future. Therefore, you will be helping your clients to be greener, alongside your business. This should inspire your clients to continuously return to your company as you will be supporting the environment.


How can I use sustainable eco-friendly packaging?


Making the change to eco-friendly packaging does not have to be drastic. Instead, think carefully about your business and how you can make the packaging suit your brand.


First of all, focus on your brand and how you can incorporate your eco-friendly ideals into your website and overall message. You may want to dedicate a page to your sustainable packaging, or you could use a blog page to explain your overall mission.


With that said, start off by thinking about the packaging you use in general. Lightweight packaging can ensure there is no waste when it comes to your products. It can get frustrating when you order a small or medium product and then it comes in a giant box. That means there will be a lot more waste because there will be a number of wasted materials.


By using heavier packaging, you will also have to spend more money on it. Instead of this, focus on using cardboard. It is one of the best recyclable materials to use over and over again!


What other recycling materials do I need to think about?


Don’t forget that if you want to create reusable and recyclable products, there are many other packaging items you can choose to use. These include labels, adhesives, and closures.


Try and avoid plastics that can create contamination. You may also want to focus on papers, biomaterials, and reusable containers. There’s also compostable packaging you can use to make sure you can give back to the planet. That way, there will be no waste left behind.


Don’t forget about your packaging design!


The design of your sustainable packaging will also play a part in your efforts to be eco-friendly. The better your design is, the less likely it is that the items will get damaged. If your package is damaged, it may get sent back, therefore it will impact the environment.


If you are going to ever use non-recyclable products, try to reuse packaging instead, such as recycled materials. You also need to think about how long the life of the packaging of your product is going to be.


The more thought you put in, the easier it will be for your customers to use it in the future. So, optimise your brand’s packaging design to get the most out of it.


Are you ready to use sustainable packaging?


If you’re thinking about how you can improve your business, or at least make it a little eco-friendlier, the best thing you can do is start by taking small steps.


Using sustainable packaging is a small step in the right direction. Your customers will certainly approve of the changes you make that help you reduce your carbon footprint.


Once you have implemented your new packaging, think carefully about other things that can help you reduce the level of emissions you produce. The eco-friendlier you become, the more effective you can be in playing your part to safeguard our planet.


FBA stands for “fulfilled by Amazon.” It’s been estimated that around 7.7 billion packages are delivered globally every year. Therefore, if you are thinking about shipping items through Amazon, it is important that you use the proper packaging. That way, you can adhere to Amazon packaging requirements and make sure your package is safe on its journey to its customers.


If you are intending to send your packages out through FBA, you need to follow packaging regulations. Here is what you need to know to get started.


Why do I need to adhere to FBA packaging regulations?


Packaging for FBA is more than just finding a box to put your products in. Badly packaged products can have a number of consequences, including:


  • Being lost in transit
  • Being damaged in transit
  • Being mixed up due to badly labelled packaging
  • Being wasteful by not using eco-friendly packaging
  • Using too much packaging and hurting the environment
  • Damaging your brand and your business’s reputation


If you do not package your items properly, you may find that Amazon will issue a penalty. This could include blocking your future shipments, getting rid of your inventory, or even a non-compliance fee. That’s why it’s important to stick to the rules to ensure both Amazon and your customers are happy with your shipping packaging.


What sort of packaging should I use for Amazon FBA?


The type of Amazon FBA packaging you use will depend on the size of your items, what type of items you want to be delivered, and how they need to be shipped. There are some general requirements for packaging. These include:


  • Creating an FNSKU that is unique to the unit or type of product
  • Using Amazon barcodes, including ASIN or FNSKU, or manufacturer barcodes, including GCID, UPC, ISBN or EAN that are scannable and are easily readable
  • Making the package secure by using tape and placing it in a bag


Your packaging material can be provided by Amazon. This includes boxes, stretch wrap, poly bags and bubble packs. If you intend to use a box, keep in mind that you will need to use a B flute, regular slotted carton, Ect-32 and 200BH.


Can I use packaging materials for Amazon FBA?


Amazon FBA will allow you to use a variety of packaging materials to help you keep your items safe when you send them out in a parcel. You can use foam sheets, air pillows, paper sheets and bubble wrap.


Can I use labels on my packages?


It is necessary to use a label on your package to ensure it reaches the right customers. Amazon FBA have strict guidelines when it comes to the appearance of your labels.


All product labels must have the same product title that is under 50 characters. Don’t forget to capitalise the first letter of each word, but avoid using all caps, special characters, symbols and promotional titles.


If you intend to sell your items as a set, you have to have this marked on the package as well as the label. Be aware that all sets must be sold together. You will not be able to separate them.


Specialised packaging


There are going to be times when you ship products that will need to be packaged in a specific way. They will require specialised wrapping and preparation to ensure they successfully reach their buyers without breaking or becoming damaged. These products include:


  • Liquid products
  • Powder products
  • Pellets
  • Glass and ceramic items
  • Items with batteries
  • Jewellery
  • Baby items
  • Plexiglass


These items require specialised packaging to ensure they do not break or become contaminated on their journeys. You can find more information about their requirements on Amazon Seller Central.


What should I do before I ship an item?


Now that you understand packaging requirements for your products, it’s important that you keep a list you can check off throughout the shipment process. That way, you can ensure you fulfil all of the requirements and still give yourself enough time to make the shipment.


Are you ready to use Amazon FBA for your products?


Amazon FBA is a great way to grow your customer base. Whether your customers are scrolling and stumble across your product, or you advertise your product’s Amazon page, you’ll find that using Amazon FBA will make it far easier to get your products shipped as quickly as possible.


So, make sure that you follow the packaging regulations if you are going to use Amazon FBA. That way, you can ensure your customers are happy and that you are able to send out as many items as possible!

We are now almost a third of the way through the last quarter of 2019. After what has been a challenging year for retail, the high street must be holding it’s breath for the end of political turmoil to concentrate on the business of Christmas. Competition as fierce as always, getting customers through the door is key. So what has the biggest influence on footfall? Your window display! So how can you stand out in the crowd and engage with customers in the short moments it takes to walk passed your window? We take a look at some great things you could be thinking about to make the most of the next 2 months.

Know your customer

Magic & Sample

Magic & Sparkle

Worried about being on trend? One thing that never goes out of style is a brand’s ability to capture the imagination and tell its story. Consider your customer’s aspirations and reflect this in your window. They need to identify with the story so it needs to be relatable and relevant.

Take a look at this window by Marks and Spencer, playing on their “festive brand alternative” that has become synonymous with Christmas. The window shows the mannequins have been transformed into fairies with their modern take on a winter wonderland. This window is sure to delight the die hard Marks & Spencer fan as well as being intriguing enough to attract new ones.


Eye level buy level

It makes sense to place the central element of your window display at eye level.  It makes it easier to have an instant impact on customers.  Over time, customers will look forward to seeing it when they pass by. If it is an example of clothing, it will need to inspire and cleverly sell a lifestyle rather than be seen as just a product. Again, it’s all about being engaging as well as relatable.

Clever retail

Trick or treat shop window display

Trick or treat window display

Visual merchandising is more important then ever with competition from on line as well as pop-ups and other shops on the high street. This brilliant shop window by Coles Hardware heralds the Trick or Treat season with a very clever display that cost less than $100. Humour can go a long way in capturing the imagination and getting customers through the door.

Ultimately your window display is your billboard. It’s all about creating drama, impact and the unexpected – and it doesn’t need always need big budgets!




Marks & Spencers photo by Millington Associates

Coles Department Store photo by Noelle Nicks

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Loyalty schemes are seeing something of a renascence with 64% of brands reporting an increase in memberships over the past year. A lot has to do with the fact that schemes are certainly a lot more sophisticated than they used to be. As more and more retailers understand that the retail landscape is changing and move towards a more omnichannel model, programs can record every customer interaction with their brand, building better profiles to enable greater insights than ever possible before. This allows for more personal marketing to effectively lock-in customer loyalty.

We take a look at how the traditional image and offering of the ‘reward scheme’ has changed and why customers are keen to embrace this like never before.

Loyalty driven through personalisation

Locking In Customer Loyalty

A trip to the shops

This is the main driver of acceptance of loyalty schemes and there is a distinct connection between being able to offer this and achieving customer satisfaction. Consumers want to feel like they are an individual, that they receive unique and bespoke offers based on their shopping preferences and buying habits. Being able to deliver these personal experiences with frequent seemingly tailored communications keeps customers engaged and anticipating the next brand ‘message’.

Connecting brands

Making the loyalty scheme even more compelling is where brands deliver in greater value to their customers when connecting with partners. This allows strategic partners to reach a new audiences and deliver something really unique to their customer base. It really helps to ‘extend’ the brand in the customer’s eyes with matched special offers.

Behaving responsibly

When 81% of millennial’s expect the brands they ‘adopt’ to go beyond just generating profit – they want to buy-in to the brand itself and are determined to hold them socially responsible. Almost 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services if the company is committed to reducing their environmental impact for example. Brands need to do more than simply say they stand for their core values, they need to be seen to living up to them. Creating brand ambassadors through an environment of responsible behaviour creates an emotional connection to the brand-and your opportunity to create customers for life. If you need greater footfall – make your scheme reward instore visits. It’s a fabulous way to incentivise your customer’s spend with you and keep them spending!



Statistics from Marketing Land, Crowd Twist