Custom Boxes for Small Businesses

When it comes to building your brand, attracting new customers, and increasing customer loyalty, creating custom boxes can be a very effective strategy for small businesses. Thinking of getting started on a custom box project for your company? United GMG discusses how custom boxes can benefit your business, the best types of custom boxes for small businesses, what to look for in a packaging vendor and more.

Why Create Custom Boxes for Your Small Business?

From having your brand stand out to creating a fun user experience, custom boxes can be a very effective way to reach potential customers and build customer loyalty.

1. Meet Consumer’s Expectations With Ecommerce

Unlike products sold on store shelves, customers don’t get the chance to interact with products they order online until after they purchase and receive their product. This means that, with ecommerce, brands need to find other ways to engage the customer in order to make up for the lack of in-store shelf branding. To compete with in-store shelf branding, ecommerce custom boxes need a memorable user experience when the customer is opening the box. A user experience that emphasizes usability, personalization, consistent branding, and memorable, unique elements creates a positive interaction with the product and brand.

2. Elevate Your Product

A great custom box design can also elevate your product, leaving a stronger and more positive impression of your brand on consumers. Custom boxes with multi-sensory elements can create an impactful unboxing experience and help your product stand out while modular inserts can create an organized look that conveys your product as high-quality and luxurious.

3. Create a Memorable Brand

Unique custom boxes, such as multi-sensory boxes or custom boxes with a suspenseful unboxing experience can differentiate your brand from competitors by creating a memorable impression. Additionally, branded custom box packaging for small businesses can convey a company’s values. For example, an eco-friendly company can integrate their custom box design into their branding by using sustainable materials.

4. Show Customer Appreciation

A great custom box is also a great way to show customers you care. A surprise gift for loyal customers put in a well-thought out package can delight customers and motivate them to continue to stay loyal to your brand.

Furthermore, using elegantly-crafted, unique custom boxes for ecommerce packaging is one way your company can help show that you value your customer’s patronage.

Types of Custom Boxes

There are 3 main different types of custom boxes that suit different needs, and each of these types of boxes can be configured differently. The three main types of custom box solutions are folding cartons, mailing cartons, and shipping cartons.

Folding Cartons

Do you need primary or secondary packaging for your product to go inside? A folding carton is the right option. Folding cartons are extremely versatile and can be configured in several ways. Some of these configurations include:

  • Straight Tuck Boxes
  • Tuck & Lock Tab
  • Snap Lock Totes

Mailing Cartons

Mailing cartons are ideal for ecommerce businesses. This type of custom box is sturdy enough to protect the product on its journey from the warehouse to the customer. An example of a mailing carton is a roll end front tuck package with flaps. This type of custom box also can offer a memorable unboxing experience. The receiver will feel suspense while opening the top flap. Once opened, the box can be specifically designed to showcase the product in an exciting way, such as with modular inserts.

Shipping Cartons

Lastly, shipping cartons are the best option for protecting the integrity of your product while it is being transported. Many times, especially with heavy goods, shipping cartons are corrugated to offer optimal protection. Some examples of common custom shipping cartons for small businesses include:

  • One-Piece Folders
  • Regular Slotted Containers

Common Materials for Custom Boxes

When it comes to choosing a material for your custom box, the right material depends on several factors, including your product, whether or not your package needs to be shipped, and your budget. Below is a list of some of the most common materials for custom boxes, as well as pros and cons to each.


Plastic is a popular custom box material choice due to its versatility. It is a very flexible material that can be configured into many different shapes to accommodate many different products. Furthermore, it can be made to be food-safe, transparent, or chemical and heat resistant. Plastic also is ideal for shipping, as it is lightweight and durable.

For eco-friendly brands, however, plastic custom boxes may not be ideal, as it is hard to recycle.


Paperboard is another popular custom box material to choose from and comes in a few different forms, including Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS) and Coated Unbleached Kraft (CUK). Like plastic, paperboard is lightweight and flexible. It also can be made corrugated, which offers more protection for products. Unlike plastic, however, paperboard also is more sustainable making it a great choice for brands who are targeting the eco-conscious consumer.

One downside to paperboard is that while it is durable, there are other custom box materials that are sturdier and offer more protection.

Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard is made up of layers. Fluting with a ruffled shape runs between an inner and outside liner, giving additional strength to the construction and making cost effective. It’s also environmentally friendly. Corrugated is a great option for mailing and shipping cartons that require sturdiness and must be lightweight.

However, corrugated cardboard is thicker than paperboard which may not be suitable for secondary packaging.

What to Know When Ordering Your Custom Boxes for You Small Business

Before ordering your custom boxes, you’ll need to determine several factors, including:

  • What order size will you need?
  • What type of custom box material do you want to use?
  • Will you need additional packing supplies for your small business, such as modular inserts, special coatings, or embellishments?
  • What custom box configuration do you want?
  • What is your budget?

How to Choose a Vendor

When it comes to choosing a vendor, not all custom box packaging suppliers are created equal. There are certain factors you need to consider in order to ensure the supplier in question is the right fit for your company. Before deciding on a supplier to create your small business custom box packaging, some of the most important things to look into include:

1. Quality Assurance

You’ll want to ensure that your products are durable and high-quality in order to maintain a positive brand image. This is because high-quality products instill consumer trust in your brand, which leads to brand loyalty. On the other hand, products that are perceived to be low quality can damage your company’s credibility. To help ensure that your supplier will provide you with a high-quality end result, it’s a good idea to request references. By learning about past client’s experiences, you will have a better idea on the reliability of the company you’re thinking of working with.

2. Agility

It’s important to offer reliable and quick delivery times in order to provide a positive and convenient experience to customers. This means you’ll need a supplier that can offer fast production turnaround times. With fast turnaround, not only will you be able to satisfy consumer demand and leave customers happy with their experience with your company, but you’ll also pay lower inventory costs.

3. Willingness to Collaborate

It’s important to find a manufacturer that is willing to communicate and collaborate with you every step of the way. This shows that the supplier is committed to creating a product that is perfectly in line with your brand and business needs.

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Contact United GMG for All Your Custom Box Needs

Looking to get started on a new custom box project? United GMG is here to help you create a finished product that attracts and delights your customers. For more information on how we can help, contact our team at United GMG today.