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Corrugated Packaging Inserts: What’s Inside Matters

In the early days of e-commerce, packaging inserts were no more than basic protection for the contents. Rarely were they created with the customer or product in mind.

Today most brands are more in tune with the “customer last mile”—that final step in the supply chain when the package is received. With a little investment and smart custom design, packaging inserts are helping brands provide a more satisfying experience, resulting in loyal customers and repeat business. Corrugated inserts deliver maximum results by:

  • Ensuring products arrive safely
  • Creating memorable unboxing experiences
  • Expanding the brand’s narrative and conveying product information

Designed for Safe Delivery

In its simplest form, package inserts ensure safe delivery of shipped merchandise. They can be designed to separate or cushion products, prevent product movement or suspend product away from the walls of the box to lessen the impact of drops or bumps. Suppliers that take time to design custom packaging inserts to protect the contents as they travel from Point A to Point B score high marks with customers.

Corrugated inserts are versatile, functional and cost-effective because they:

  • are easily tailored to nearly any product shape or size.
  • provide cushioning and structure for maximum protection.

Hexacomb InsertsPCA has a network of structural designers that work with a wide variety of corrugated substrates—including Hexacomb®, the leading paper-based honeycomb solution—to deliver custom solutions that help create the ideal customer experience.

Memorable Unboxing Experiences

Social media has created an earned-media opportunity for e-commerce shippers. Meaning, if you design an experience that wows from start to finish, many times the person on the receiving end will share it on social media. By now most brands understand that user-generated content is second to none when it comes to building trust and credibility.

Memorable unboxing experiences can generate hundreds of view-time hours spent with your brand from potential buyers. A simple search on Instagram alone reveals there are more than four million #unboxing posts from content creators of all ages and interests. And anything qualifies from the fun and surprising to basic everyday household needs.

Brand Narratives That Matter

Unpacking a box filled with foam peanuts or materials that are difficult to dispose of creates a mess. It also sends the wrong message to consumers, who increasingly support companies that value the environment. In one survey, 66% of all respondents and 75% of millennial respondents said they consider sustainability when making a purchase.* Corrugated packaging is the most environmentally friendly packaging material available. Committing to packaging materials that are recyclable and made from a renewable resource lets consumers know that your brand is aware of the impact packaging can have on the environment.

Corrugated inserts can also be printed with messaging or graphics that educate, inform or further support the brand story. They can be both functional and informative. So, the next time you’re designing e-commerce packaging, start thinking from the inside out. It’s likely you’ll quickly realize why corrugated packaging is a smart choice.

PCA designs direct-to-consumer solutions that meet your shipping needs and enhance the customer experience. We’ll rethink your package with a focus on protecting your product, reducing costs, generating sales and building a unique brand that stands out. Our solutions include:

  • Ships-in-Own-Container (SIOC) packaging
  • Performance testing (ISTA 6-Amazon)
  • Assistance with SKU optimization, inventory management and process improvement

Fill out the contact form below to find out how you can make e-commerce packaging work smarter for your business.

*Source: World Economic Forum (, Eco-Wakening: How Consumers Are Driving Sustainability