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The Role of Packaging in Ecommerce: Best practices in shipping and handling

Role of packaging in ecommerce

Your business to business (B2B) buyers expect choices for packaging, shipping and handling to suit their needs. Your conversion rates are affected by clear and transparent pricing for the delivery and shipping options you offer at checkout.

You can streamline and simplify the whole B2B ordering and fulfillment process with a purpose designed ecommerce platform like Cloudfy. Integration with your back-office systems makes ordering easier and more convenient for your customers. You can even automate many repetitive tasks to save time and money.

However, your physical products must still reach your customers in good condition, when and where they need them. By offering customers shipping and handling options to meet their needs at checkout you improve conversion rates and increase satisfaction.

Cloudfy’s customizable delivery matrix includes options like minimum order values, free delivery thresholds, postcode-based charges, next-day and product-based deliveries. You can offer all this flexibility and still provide tailored shipping configurations and accurate pricing.

Cloudfy comes with pre-built extensions for postcode look-up and advanced delivery options. You can collect accurate data about your customers’ shipping, billing and contact information to eliminate errors during fulfillment. You can also provide transparency about delivery options, pricing and accurate, real-time delivery estimates.

Table of Contents

Why shipping is important in ecommerce

An effective fulfillment strategy is important for your ecommerce business. Driven by consumer (B2C) online purchasing, your buyers might well expect same-day delivery options. As more businesses base their operations on agility and responsiveness, delivery windows are certainly getting smaller.

Flexibility in delivery options, such as choosing delivery times or specific delivery locations is becoming a requirement. To do this effectively, you need effective inventory visibility and a fast and efficient approach to packaging and dispatch.

Unlike B2C orders, B2B fulfillment often involves high volumes, high consignment prices and large products and pallets. Well-designed packaging makes sure transport capacity is fully used and products arrive in good condition. You can minimize waste and reduce your shipping costs.

Your B2B customers also want visibility throughout the delivery process to monitor their shipments and coordinate with their own logistics providers. This involves advanced tracking so they can see their shipment status in real time. Easy and effective communication with your customers is essential throughout the ordering and fulfillment process.

Effective packaging and delivery strategy for ecommerce businesses

Your packaging and delivery strategy

The packaging you use for your ecommerce orders can improve or put pressure on fulfillment and delivery times. Taking a strategic approach to this part of your operations can increase customer satisfaction and reduce your costs.

Factors that can affect your overall order fulfillment performance include:

  • packaging assembly
  • packing speed and efficiency
  • customization
  • volumetric shipping
  • product protection
  • order sizes
  • returns
  • logistics.

Packaging assembly

Assembling a single box might take just seconds but over time this can amount to a significant overhead. It can slow down despatch, making it harder to meet customer expectations. However, pre-assembled boxes need a lot of space. Boxes that are easy to assemble could provide a solution and also reduce the need for secondary packaging.

Importance of shipping in ecommerce


Adding product documentation, securing and labelling packages is also time-consuming. Packaging specifically designed for your products and streamlined despatch processes can make a significant difference to efficiency and costs. You can automate processes to ensure the correct packaging, documentation and labels all arrive at a packing station together. Making it easy for your customers to download documents from your B2B ecommerce site also saves you time and money.


Carefully designed and branded packaging makes an important contribution to your business reputation. Just look at Apple’s packaging, for example. Your choice of materials and attention to detail can make unpacking your products an experience in its own right.

Volumetric shipping

Managing your volumetric shipping requirements by effectively reducing or removing the need to ship empty space saves money. You can use any savings to offer more delivery options. However, you will need different arrangements for products and orders that don’t fit in your standard packaging.


One of the most important functions of your packaging is to protect your products so they arrive in good condition. If it doesn’t do this effectively you’ll have the added costs of handling returns and dissatisfied customers.

Order sizes

You can combine your ecommerce platform, ERP and warehouse management systems to simplify even your most complex orders. Your customers will receive accurate prices at checkout and can track their order status at any time. You can optimize your use of storage, picking, packing and transport arrangements.


Customers might return products for a variety of reasons. Making sure your packaging is reusable for returns simplifies the process and saves time. Return instructions and barcoded labels help reduce the inconvenience of sending items back.


To complete the fulfillment process you’ll need to consider the best logistics solutions. Whether you have a delivery fleet or work with third party logistics (3PL) providers you must meet your customers’ needs. Systems integration is essential to provide end-to-end visibility of your customers’ orders.

AE Global, based in Florida, supplies packaging solutions to cannabis distributors who sell to retail stores and outlets. Marijuana legalization has resulted in rapid growth in the sector. There’s also increased demand for custom-branded and child-resistant packaging. AEG wanted to improve efficiency and scale their business.

The solution was a customer self-service portal with Cloudfy and integration with their NetSuite ERP system. Read More….

A.E. Global logo

Optimizing packaging for ecommerce shipping and handling with Cloudfy

Your ecommerce packaging includes branding, product protection, ease of use, cost effectiveness and sustainability. Offering your customers a range of options with transparent prices helps to increase sales and meet their needs. For example, different customers might be happy to offset delivery time against cost or environmental impact. Others might pay a premium for the fastest possible delivery.

Collecting information about customer preferences helps you refine your offer over time. With Cloudfy’s purpose designed B2B ecommerce platform you can flexibly meet all your customers’ requirements from a single self-service portal. At checkout they can specify all their ordering, packaging, shipping and handling requirements and receive accurate pricing.

Find out how you can offer flexible delivery solutions with Cloudfy to simplify and scale your operations. Book a free demonstration today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shipping size, pack dimensions and weight all play a part in your overall shipping costs. Most carriers have standard pricing based on size and weight. Making sure your ecommerce packaging is the right size can reduce your costs significantly.

However, if your dimensional weight (DIM or space versus actual weight) is too high your transport costs can increase. If you pack products in oversized boxes with void fill you could pay too much for shipping. Reducing the volume of your packaging and the space you use reduces transport costs. Lighter and thinner board boxes are often just as strong and can help you optimize the space you use.

Optimizing your ecommerce packaging is better for the environment. Reducing the weight and size of your packaging minimizes the fuel needed for transport. You can reduce your carbon emissions and waste because you’re using less packing material. You’ll need less storage too.

Reviewing the cubic meters of vehicle space needed and packaging weights can help you minimize packaging and shipping costs.

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