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Book Wraps: Perfect for Books, Better for Ecommerce

No Comments    |        |    March 30, 2023    |    Reading time 6 minutes
Best packaging for shipping ecommerce orders, book wraps

Not just for books. Definitely for all-round e-commerce success.

Book wrap mailers are e-commerce’s not so secret weapon. Though simple and rather plain to look at and it could even be said, pretty basic in shape, they’ve been used for a number of years with huge success by all sorts of companies from small start-ups with only a handful of employees to industry giants like Amazon. (They're so good, Amazon not only uses them, it sells them as well!) Not bad for what is essentially a flat piece of cardboard only 2ply thick.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the reasons for their well-deserved success. We’ll examine just why mailers are so versatile, talk about the products for which they're ideally suited and finally, look at some of the reasons why it is that they’ve come - quite rightfully - to dominate packing stations across the globe.

Table of Contents

What is a book wrap mailer?

The book wrap mailer - also known as a corrugated postal wrap - is a self-sealing postal wrap specifically designed for packaging e-commerce shipments. In layman’s terms, it’s essentially a flat piece of corrugated cardboard, the clever net design of which enables cardboard wings to be folded around an item, thus securing it in place quickly and effortlessly and ensuring it gets to its destination in pristine condition.

Large book wrap carrying a puzzle game

If you think about it, how you go about using a book wrap mailer to package a product is not dissimilar to how you’d assemble a breakfast burrito or a filled tortilla wrap (just not as tasty).

Why are book wrap mailers so versatile?

Within the packaging industry, the book wrap mailer’s cardboard wings are commonly referred to as ‘integrated retention flaps’ and it is these fully adjustable flaps that give the mailers their versatility, because they’re able to fit around items of varying depths or heights, ensuring each is snug. Whether a package contains one book or multiple books or whether those books differ in size, it doesn’t matter; the wings will hold contents securely in place regardless and create an automatic built-in crumple zone that provides cushioning without the need for void fill. Once sealed, the book wrap mailers are rigid and therefore incredibly strong. The perils of transit need not be feared with a book wrap mailer.

What can you ship in book wrap mailers?

It's stating the obvious really to say that book wraps can be used to send books, so we won’t bang on about that. But don’t overlook the fact that they’re also good for shipping media (video games, CDs, and DVDs), picture frames, phone tablets and cases, brochures, catalogues, stationery, seed packets and anything of a similar ilk.

Book wrap packaging for Large Letter Royal Mail

The fact that mailers come in various sizes makes them an especially good choice for boxed jewellery and watches as well as bulkier board games and electronics. If a product’s flat and rectangular or box shaped and square there’s no reason why it can’t be sent in some sort of book wrap.

Here at The Packaging Club, we love book wrap mailers so much that we’ve sourced a version suitable for vinyl. Known as LP mailers, our vinyl record packaging takes the premise of the book wrap mailer but uses at least 33% more material to ensure that it’s as robust as possible without compromising the adaptability of the retention flaps. Vinyl has legions of devoted fans, but it's fragile, so our LP mailers are among the strongest record packaging of their kind on the market.

The bottom line is that book wraps are successful because of how versatile and protective they are. However, there are many other reasons why they're so popular.

1) Straightforward and cost effective to produce

Relatively inexpensive to manufacture and straightforward to produce to a high standard (there’s nothing complicated or convoluted about their shape or structure), it’s not surprising book wraps are so popular. Their strength really does lie in the ingenious simplicity of their design where the feature of an overhanging wing on each end is able to offer superb protection from damage. A further advantage is that once made, mailers are easy to palletise; they can be stored flat until needed and take up minimal warehouse space.

2) Ideal for packing high volumes of small orders fast

As we've already made clear, the number one reason for the success of the book wrap mailer is the speed and ease with which they can be employed: they take as little as 3 seconds to assemble and this is a huge deal especially when coping with incredibly high volumes of small orders of the like dealt with by e-commerce on a daily basis. Mailers offer a cost-effective, highly practical, time saving solution.

Packers simply place them flat side down, retention flaps facing upwards placing whatever’s being packed between the flaps. Then, it’s a simple job to wrap the body of the book wrap around the item ensuring a close, snug fit. All that remains is for the packer to peel the release paper from the sealing strip and apply a bit of pressure to get a good, secure seal. 

3) Perfect for consolidation

If you’re a company looking to consolidate your packaging processes - i.e., shipping multiple items from a single order in one package - then book wrap mailers are the sensible, tried and tested choice. Time, money and resources don’t need to be wasted on packaging and delivering each item separately. Consolidate and conquer.

4) Letterbox friendly

Close up of a hand holding the retention flaps down on a corrugated cardboard book wrap, the book inside is a book on nature in the UK.

There are a large variety of book wrap mailers that are letterbox friendly and fall into the category of the Royal Mail’s ‘large’ letter option. Hurray! This is a big plus for e-commerce businesses, shipping companies and consumers alike, keeping postage and delivery costs at a minimum.  The convenience of being able to push a parcel through a letterbox and into the hands of the customer, thereby achieving order fulfilment securely and swiftly, should not be underestimated. 

Additionally, consumers will appreciate the appropriateness of the packaging. Not too big and unnecessary wasteful, not flimsy nor looking like a cobbled together afterthought. The book wrap mailer really is a ‘Goldilocks’ product: just right. Consumers will be more inclined to give a business a positive review and be keen to repeat-buy when they find the packaging convenient and just as impressive as the product.

5) Recyclable and completely biodegradable

Not only is the book wrap mailer speedy to open with its peel and seal strip, not only does it look smart and professional, but it’s also speedy to dispose of because, being made from cardboard, it's completely recyclable and biodegradable. What’s more, the mailers – thanks to their adjustable retention flaps – require no bubble wrap, packing peanuts, tissue paper or similar. Void fill can be done away with. Book wrap mailers are the ultimate in sustainable packaging with sustainable protection.

6) Printable and customisable

Book wrap mailers look smart and professional just as they come. But they can, of course, be individualised, either with custom printing or by using simpler marketing tools, like stickers.

Both approaches will display a company’s brand or logo and give an extra special first impression to the consumer as well as helping a business stand out from its competitors and increasing brand identity and product appeal. Truth by told, all packaging can be customised and book wrap mailers are no exception.

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There you have it. Our take on why the versatility of the book wrap mailer has earned its stripes and become one of the most popular packaging products out there. Amazon is now so well known for using them and they’ve become so recognisable by consumers that other packaging companies even use the tag ‘Amazon -style’ to promote their own versions. 

Speaking of which, check out The Packaging Club's book wrap mailers here. Ours - though high quality, sustainable and cost effective - might not be wholly unique, but our company is because we truly understand consistency of supply, especially for e-commerce businesses looking to scale. With us, you'll be able to get hold of the amazing book wrap mailer whenever you need it, no manufacturing delays, no supply chain issues.

Call us today and let us be the wind beneath your (fully adjustable) wings. We look forward to speaking to you.

This article was written by...

Jo Hilton

I studied at the University of St. Andrews and have an MA in French and German. For a number of years, I worked for a Swiss financial institution and lived in Hamburg, London, Zürich and NYC before retraining as a primary school teacher and settling with my family in Cambridgeshire. When I'm not at school, I write content for various blogs and edit academic research articles for clients at ETH Zürich and the University of Munich. I'm also in the process of completing a Masters in Crime and Thriller writing at the University of Cambridge, so behind me you'll find a trail of fictional dead bodies and actual biscuit wrappers.

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