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10 Essential Packaging Supplies For Starting an E-commerce Businesses

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Various packaging materials like cardboard boxes

In the exciting world of e-commerce, packaging supplies play a vital role in ensuring that your products reach your customers in pristine condition. From sturdy boxes to eye-catching branding, these supplies are an essential investment for any budding online entrepreneur. Here, we delve into the top 10 packaging supplies that will set your e-commerce business up for success.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Necessity of Packaging Supplies for E-commerce

Before we jump into the specifics, let's take a moment to appreciate the importance of packaging supplies in the world of E-commerce. While it's easy to get caught up in the allure of online shopping, it's crucial to remember that the journey from your warehouse to your customer's doorstep is filled with potential hazards. From the harsh realities of the postal system to the accidental bumps along the way, your packaging supplies form the first line of defense for your precious products.

Imagine this scenario: you've just launched your e-commerce business, and your first order comes in. Excitement fills the air as you carefully pick and pack the product. You choose a sturdy cardboard box, ensuring it is the right size to accommodate the item without leaving too much empty space. As you seal the box with high-quality packaging tape, you can't help but feel a sense of pride and confidence that your product will reach its destination unscathed.

Think about the automated sorting machines that handle thousands of packages per hour. These machines are designed to efficiently sort and direct packages to their respective destinations. However, in this fast-paced environment, there is always a risk of packages colliding or being mishandled. This is where your choice of packaging materials becomes crucial.

Imagine if your package arrives at your customer's doorstep looking worn, battered, and unappealing. This could leave a negative impression and reflect poorly on your fledgling e-commerce business. So we've created this list of 10 packaging essentials all startup e-commerce business need to help you do the best you can to ensure your first order arrives in at its destination in one piece.

1. Corrugated Cardboard Boxes

Are you looking for low cost quality cardboard boxes? We have an extensive range of cardboard boxes from some of the best prices in the UK.

removal boxes product category image showing a cardboard box, paper based packing tape and paper void fill material

When it comes to shipping your products, nothing beats the trusty corrugated cardboard box. These versatile and durable containers provide the perfect combination of strength and affordability. Whether you're shipping delicate glassware or sturdy electronics, cardboard boxes are a must-have.

In addition to their protective qualities, corrugated cardboard boxes are also incredibly customisable. You can choose from a range of sizes, shapes, and colours to match your brand aesthetic.

Did you know that corrugated cardboard boxes have been around for over a century? They were first patented in the late 19th century and have since become an indispensable part of the packaging industry. The corrugated design, with its fluted inner layer sandwiched between two flat outer layers, provides excellent structural integrity and cushioning for your products.

One of the key advantages of corrugated cardboard boxes is their eco-friendliness. Made from renewable and recyclable materials, they are a sustainable packaging option. In fact, most corrugated cardboard boxes are made from a high percentage of recycled content, reducing the demand for virgin materials and minimising waste.

When it comes to shipping fragile items, such as glassware or electronics, it's important to ensure that they are well-protected during transit. Corrugated cardboard boxes excel in this area, thanks to their shock-absorbing properties. The fluted inner layer acts as a cushion, absorbing any impacts or vibrations that may occur during handling and transportation.

Not only are corrugated cardboard boxes great for shipping, but they also serve as effective storage solutions. Whether you need to organise your office supplies or store seasonal decorations, these boxes provide a convenient and space-saving option. Plus, their stackable design allows you to maximise your storage space without compromising on durability.

Another advantage of corrugated cardboard boxes is their versatility. They can be easily cut, folded, and assembled into various shapes and sizes to suit your specific needs. Whether you require a standard rectangular box or a custom-designed packaging solution, corrugated cardboard can be easily manipulated to meet your requirements.

When it comes to branding and marketing, corrugated cardboard boxes offer a blank canvas for your creativity. You can easily print your company logo, product information, or eye-catching designs on the boxes to enhance your brand visibility. This not only helps in creating a professional and cohesive brand image but also acts as a form of advertising when your packages are in transit.

So, the next time you need to ship your products or store your belongings, consider the trusty corrugated cardboard box. With its unbeatable combination of strength, affordability, and versatility, it's no wonder that they have become the go-to choice for packaging needs across various industries.

2. Kraft Paper Packaging Tape

  • Reinforced Gummed Paper Packing Tape

    Reinforced Gummed Paper Packing Tape 70mm x 152m 38mm Coreless

    £5.15 - £5.92 ex. VAT (£7.10 incl. VAT)
    Add to cart
  • Recyclable Kraft Paper Packing Tape 38mm x 50m

    Recyclable Kraft Paper Packing Tape 38mm x 50m

    £42.12 - £51.04
    Select options
  • Recyclable Kraft Paper Packing Tape 50mm x 50m

    Recyclable Kraft Paper Packing Tape 48mm x 50m

    £59.12 - £69.78
    Select options

Sealing your packages securely is crucial for ensuring that nothing goes missing during transit. This is where Kraft paper packaging tape comes to the rescue. Not only does it offer excellent adhesive properties, but it also adds a touch of eco-friendliness to your packaging strategy.

When it comes to packaging, sustainability is becoming increasingly important. As consumers become more conscious of their environmental impact, businesses are seeking eco-friendly alternatives to traditional packaging materials. Kraft paper packaging tape is a perfect solution for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Unlike traditional plastic tapes, Kraft paper packaging tape is biodegradable and recyclable. This means that it can easily break down in the environment without causing harm. By using this tape, you can rest assured that you are making a positive contribution to the planet.

But the benefits of Kraft paper packaging tape don't stop there. Apart from being environmentally friendly, it also offers excellent adhesive properties. This tape is designed to securely seal your packages, ensuring that nothing gets lost or damaged during transit.

Imagine sending out your products with peace of mind, knowing that they are well-protected. With Kraft paper packaging tape, you can do just that. Its strong adhesive ensures that your packages stay sealed, even during rough handling.

In addition to its practical benefits, Kraft paper packaging tape also adds a touch of rustic charm to your packages. Its natural brown colour gives a warm and earthy feel, making your packages stand out from the crowd.

Whether you are running an e-commerce business or simply sending out gifts to loved ones, Kraft paper packaging tape is a versatile choice. Its eco-friendly nature, strong adhesive properties, and rustic charm make it an ideal option for all your packaging needs.

3. Paper Void Fill Material

  • Honeycomb paper wrapping void fill

    Honeycomb Paper Wrap Kraft 395mm x 250m

    £26.31 - £42.75
    Select options
  • TPC honeycomb paper wrap in black

    Honeycomb Paper Wrap Black 500mm x 250m

    £58.60 - £63.48
    Select options
  • Alternative to speedman paper void fill dispenser

    TPC QuickFill Paper Void Fill Box

    £14.54 - £16.95
    Select options

When it comes to packaging, one of the key concerns is ensuring that your products remain safe and secure during transportation. That's where paper void fill material comes in handy. This versatile packaging supply is designed to fill those empty spaces within your packages, providing excellent cushioning and protection for your items.

One of the great advantages of using paper void fill material is its eco-friendliness. Paper is a renewable resource, and using it as void fill material helps to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from traditional packaging materials. Paper is also easily recyclable, making it a sustainable choice for your packaging needs and zero hassel for your customers to recycle. By opting for paper void fill material, you're not only protecting your products but also doing your part for the environment.

4. Shipping Labels (integrated A4)

Next on the list of essential packaging supplies are integrated A4 shipping labels. These labels serve a dual purpose – they help you streamline your packaging process and act as a branding opportunity.

By integrating your shipping labels onto an A4 sheet, you save valuable time and ensure that each package is correctly labeled. Additionally, you can use this space to showcase your brand logo and contact information, leaving a lasting impression on your customers.

Imagine receiving a package with a beautifully designed shipping label that showcases the brand's logo and contact details. It instantly gives the impression of a well-established and trustworthy business. This attention to detail can go a long way in building customer loyalty and trust in a start up e-commerce business.

5. Document Enclosed Wallets

  • C5 paper plastic free documents enclosed wallet

    C5 Documents Enclosed Wallet Paper Based 229 x 162mm

    £31.63 - £45.83
    Select options
  • C6 paper plastic free documents enclosed wallet

    C6 Documents Enclosed Wallet Paper Based 162 x 114mm

    £18.52 - £26.11
    Select options

When it comes to including essential paperwork with your deliveries, document enclosed wallets are a game-changer. These transparent pouches keep your invoices, delivery notes, and other documents safe and secure, ensuring that your customers receive all the necessary information alongside their products.

By providing a professional and organised experience, you build trust with your customers and increase the chances of repeat business.

6. Compliment slips and loyalty inserts

Looking to add a personal touch to your packages? Compliment slips and loyalty inserts are the way to go. These small cards allow you to include a personalised message or a special offer for your customers.

Whether it's a heartfelt thank you or a discount code for their next purchase, these little surprises go a long way in creating a strong bond between your brand and your customers.

7. Decorative Tissue for unboxing

Coloured tissue paper unboxing experience in a cardboard box

Unboxing experiences have become an integral part of online shopping. Adding a touch of elegance and excitement to your packages is easily achievable with decorative tissue paper.

Whether you opt for vibrant colours or a classic monochrome palette, wrapping your products in tissue paper gives them a luxurious feel. It's the perfect way to make your customers feel special and elevate their unboxing experience.

8. Your brand messaging (custom printed tape)

  • Custom printed tape made from acrylic in white, brown or transparent

    Custom Printed PP Tape 48mm x 66m

    £1.51 - £2.97
    Select options
  • custom printed vinyl tape with solvent low noise adhesive

    Custom Printed Vinyl Tape 48mm x 66m

    £2.23 - £3.40
    Select options
  • Custom printed eco friendly paper packing tape for Subscription boxes

    Custom Printed Kraft Paper Tape 48mm x 50m

    £2.88 - £7.17
    Select options

Branding is key in the competitive e-commerce landscape, and custom printed tape is a fantastic way to showcase your brand messaging. By printing your logo or a catchy slogan on your packaging tape, you create a cohesive and recognisable brand image.

Every time a customer receives a package from your e-commerce business, they're reminded of your unique and playful brand, increasing brand awareness and customer loyalty.

9. Reliable Printer and Paper

laser printer sitting on a busy packing bench in black and white drawing

Running an e-commerce business involves a fair share of administrative tasks, and a reliable printer is essential for smooth operations. Whether you're printing shipping labels, invoices, or packing slips, investing in a quality laser printer will save you time and frustration.

Don't forget to choose high-quality printing paper, as it enhances the professionalism of your paperwork and ensures that it stands the test of time.

10. Packing Station Consumables - scissors, tape gun, marker pens, labels, and more

packing station consumables sketch - scissors, tape gun, marker pens, labels, glue, stapler, box cutter knife and more

Last but certainly not least, setting up a well-equipped packing station is crucial for efficient packaging. From scissors and tape guns to marker pens and labels, having these consumables within reach will make your packaging process a breeze.

By creating an organised and well-stocked packing station, you ensure that your operations run smoothly and minimise any unnecessary delays.

Some ideas for key Components for establishing a Startup E-commerce Packing Station:

  1. Compact Digital Setup:
    • Space-efficient Laptop or Desktop Computer
    • Keyboard and Small Monitor
  2. Basic Print and Scan Solutions:
    • All-in-one Printer and Scanner (for invoices and labels)
  3. Manual Sealing Tools:
    • Handheld Heat Sealer or Tape Dispenser
  4. Simple Binding Supplies:
    • Manual Stapler
    • Glue Stick or Small Glue Gun
  5. Basic Weighing Equipment:
    • Compact Digital Postal Scale
      Essential Supplies for an Efficient Dispatch Area:
  6. Space-Saving Packaging:
    • Foldable Cardboard Boxes (various sizes)
    • Padded Mailing Bags
    • Bubble Mailers
  7. Labeling Essentials:
    • Self-adhesive integrated Shipping Labels
  8. Office Necessities:
    • Basic Stationery (pens, scissors, notepads)
  9. Packing Fillers for Protection:
    • Paper void fill

This setup is optimised for space efficiency and cost-effectiveness, ideal for small-scale start up e-commerce businesses!


There you have it – the top 10 essential packaging supplies for starting an e-commerce business. Remember, the packaging materials you choose represent your brand and play a significant role in the overall customer experience.

Investing in high-quality packaging supplies not only protects your products during transit but also impresses your customers and sets you apart from the competition. So, start assembling your packaging arsenal and get ready to amaze your customers with delightful unboxing experiences!

Ready to take your e-commerce business to the next level with packaging that stands out?

At The Packaging Club, we specialise in creating bespoke packaging solutions that elevate your brand and provide your customers with an unforgettable unboxing experience. Our expertise in custom printed packaging, combined with our partnership with the UK's largest packaging manufacturers, means we can offer you high-quality options like 4 colour flexographic printing, premium lithographic finishes, and versatile digital printing for short runs.

Don't let packaging be an afterthought. Let's work together to create bespoke packaging that's tailored to your exact specifications and helps you save money while enhancing your customer's experience. Learn more about our bespoke packaging services and start your journey towards a powerful brand statement today.

This article was written by...

Nathan Calvert

Nathan is Head of Digital at The Packaging Club. He has worked in the packaging sector for over 15 years across food, consumer electronics, FMCG ecommerce and more, both directly in-house or as a freelance consultant.

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