Packaging is one of your greatest allies as a subscription box owner. How your box is packaged can make or break your customer’s unboxing experience — so great subscription box packaging will inspire customer loyalty, excite the senses, and serve as a practical means of protecting your products.
We get a lot of questions about packaging at Cratejoy: What size box should I use? Where do I find manufacturers? What should I think about when shipping?
Here are the key terms you need to know, and some quick links to resources if you’re planning to design and order your own custom subscription box packaging:
Demand Digital Printing: Interested in designing your own box? Cratejoy’s packaging design partner, BoxUp, lets you customize and order boxes in quantities as low as 12 — and Cratejoy merchants get 10% off their first order, plus 5% off for life. If you’re not ready to customize a box yet, Cratejoy x BoxUp offers two standard-size options in teal and grey.
Plates & Dies: These tools are used to cut the cardboard and print ink onto your custom box. BoxUp does not charge for dies, but with other companies, these charges often vary from $750-1500 for standard subscription box sizes and designs. (Get 5% off your Custom Subscription Box Packaging from BoxUp on their website!)
Flute: Fluting describes the thickness of a box. Most subscription boxes work with a standard E-flute (1/16″). Our case study around How to Launch a Subscription Box shows Prospurly, which uses E-flute board.
If you’re considering doing a custom-sized box, keep cubic shipping rates in mind – find out where the dimensions of your box land, and consider “maxing out” your sizes to take advantage of your cubic tier. For its affordability and reliability, Cratejoy recommends using the US Postal Service to ship your box. You can compare shipping quotes from the USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL through their online shipping calculators.
Stickers and stamps are good alternatives to completely custom packaging, particularly if you want to keep startup costs lower when you launch. Check out our guide on stickers and stamps for subscription boxes for more information on cost and the pros and cons of either.
Below, we’ll check out some good examples of custom packaging in a few different product categories:
Packaging for T-Shirts and Clothing Subscription Boxes
As you might guess from its name, TeeTube has a sleek, simple design that is unique in the subscription world: a tube!
2. Trunk Club
Trunk Club is a larger, deeper box, with a minimal but pronounced design.
3. Five Four Club
Five Four Club offers another take on clothing packaging: it comes in a black bubble mailer and is wrapped in custom tissue paper.
Packaging for Snack Subscription Boxes
NatureBox tends to update their box design, but inside, you can see how they include extra box materials to hold snacks.
Treatsie captures another take on minimalist design.
Boxtera is a snack box with its own snacks inside, similar to NatureBox, and features a unique, eye-catching exterior design.
Packaging for Fresh Food Subscription Boxes
7. Hello Fresh
Hello Fresh delivers their ingredients in large square boxes with individually wrapped ingredients, usually packed with freezer packs. Their design does an effective job nodding to its purpose while retaining a cheerful, straightforward style.
8. Blue Apron
Blue Apron is similar to Hello Fresh in that their individual ingredients are also packaged and labeled, as seen here, and their logo design is simple and effective.
Plated comes in the same type of box as Hello Fresh & Blue Apron – a larger, square box packed with insulation and individually-wrapped ingredients.
Packaging for Gamer/Nerd Subscription Boxes
LootCrate changes their box design often, usually monthly. Here are two examples of their uniquely branded boxes and the contents from inside.
With its blue cartoon design, printed guide, and unique-cut packing material inside, BitsBox appeals to kids excited to tackle coding projects.
12. Fandom of the Month
Learn More About Custom Subscription Box Packaging
Interested in learning more? Head over to our complete custom packaging guide to learn more about how to make the most of your boxes.
Also, check out the standard Cratejoy boxes or design your own custom boxes through the Cratejoy box program! Through our partnership with BoxUp, we offer high-quality boxes, fast shipping, and special prices only for Cratejoy sellers!
Cratejoy is an all in one subscription commerce platform that includes everything you need to start your own subscription commerce business online. Try it free for 14 days.