Getting Started in E-Commerce – What Labels and Packaging Will I Need? 

When you start running your own e-commerce store, you are faced with lots of important decisions.  You have to decide what to stock, who to sell it to, which e-commerce platform to use, how to brand your store and how to market your goods.  Once you start selling, you also need to think about shipping and fulfilment, and that is where Forms Plus come in. We specialise in packaging and labels for e-commerce businesses.  Here is a quick beginners’ guide to help you choose from the wide range of packaging and labelling products we stock.    

Getting Started - New E-Commerce Store

How To Choose E-Commerce Packaging?

In many cases, the packaging you choose to ship your products in, will be your first chance to really make an impression on your customer.  Of course, your shipping materials need to protect your products on their journey, but they also tell your customer something more about your professionalism and what your brand might stand for. Your main considerations as you choose your packaging are likely to include protection, environmental impact, and cost. 

Mailing Bags

Every item you ship will need a level of protection.  Lighter, more robust products could be shipped in a simple Mailing Bag. Forms Plus stock both recycled polythene mailing bags or 100% sustainable and biodegradable Kraft paper mailing bags.

Mailing Envelopes

If your goods need more protection, you could choose a padded or Jiffy bag style mailing envelope. These are available in white or gold in a range of sizes.  We have fully environmentally friendly Enviroflute padded envelopes, as well as traditional bubble-lined mailers.   

Protective Packaging

For larger or more fragile items such as bottles, you may need additional protection before you ship.  Your options here include bubble wrap, postal boxes and tubes, or the innovative, 100% plastic free and eco-friendly, protective packaging from Flexi-Hex®.

When researching packaging options, you will need to consider your budget, the size of your items and how your company and customers feel about protecting the environment. You may also be influenced by the look and feel of the packaging and how much storage space it will take up. We have products available to meet all of those needs and are always happy to offer advice. Do get in touch if you need any help selecting the best packaging choice for your business.  

Packing Tape

Depending on how you plan to wrap your products, you may also need to use packing tape. We offer clear or brown packing tape, including eco-friendly options that are made from 100% recycled polypropylene. If you order 5 boxes of tape, we’ll include a free dispenser. Just enter P219 as a promo code at the checkout

Shipping Labels

Shipping labels are an essential part of your e-commerce process. You will want to address your packages quickly and ship them as smoothly as possible.  Your label needs to be read by humans and machines, surviving the weather on its journey, so it has to be clear and easy to read.  You have several choices when it comes to labelling – Laser Labels, Integrated Labels and Thermal Labels.

Laser Labels

If you are looking for simple Shipping Labels, and do not need too many per week, you might choose to print them out on your own laser printer and could start with our Laser Labels. These come as butt cut (cut up against each other with no wastage) or die cut (cut to shape so they peel out leaving a frame).  We also offer Bespoke Laser Labels that can be pre-printed with information such as company branding, product barcodes, returns addresses or anything else that would make it easier for you to run your business.

Bespoke Integrated Despatch Label

Integrated Labels

As your business grows and the pack and despatch process gets more complicated, you might choose to switch to Integrated Labels. Integrated Labels are sticky labels that form part of an A4 sheet.  They often include the invoice or picking list, as well as the customer’s address. The address part can be peeled off and put on the package. You could also choose to incorporate a Returns label on your integrated form, to make life easier for customers.  You can print out Integrated Labels on your normal printer. They save you time matching packing lists with address labels, making sure the correct items always go to the right customer. 

Thermal Labels

Larger e-commerce businesses who print out a significant amount of labels, may choose to invest in a thermal transfer label printer and use Thermal Labels. These do not need ink, toner or ribbon and the print is more durable and easier to scan.  Ongoing printing costs are therefore lower than for Laser or Integrated Labels, aside from the initial cost of the printer.

Pick, Pack and Despatch Area

Once you have your labels and packaging sorted, plan out your pick, pack and despatch area to match. To keep the process as slick as possible, give yourself as much space as you can to work in. Store your labels and packaging within easy reach and keep the most popular products close to your packing zone.  Make sure you can easily see your supplies of packaging and labels, so you can monitor stock levels, or let us take care of that with our Print Management service, where we store your stock for you and send it out when you need it.

If you need any help choosing the best options for your business, do get in touch.  Our dedicated and knowledgeable team will be more than happy to have a chat with you.  Best of luck with your new store!