Online sellers have many options to ensure their brand is always in the forefront of customers’ minds. These include social media, blogging and SMS marketing, loyalty programs and email marketing.
A common mistake is to overlook the importance of custom, branded packaging. Customers can see your brand’s aesthetic in person, even if they don’t have a physical store.
It can be hard to find a company that will create packaging for your business. Why? There are many options, and some can be confusing.
So, how do you find a packaging partner who won’t let your brand down? And whose work is of high quality?
Answer: Look deep into online reviews.
We’ll be looking at Packlane as a popular custom packaging provider. Here are the details:
- What is Packlane?
- What box styles are available and how much they cost
- Packlane’s features
- What is Packlane Plus?
- Packlane’s pros & cons
- Packlane’s shipping
- Packlane’s security and payment methods
- Packlane customer support
- Our Verdict
There is a lot of information here, so let’s get started!
Packlane, a company based in San Francisco was founded in 2015. It is a platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs and startups who want to improve the unboxing experience and brand their packaging.
Packline is an online service that allows businesses to create custom packaging.
Customers can select the dimensions, sizes and materials they want, and can order as many as one unit with their 3D designing tool.
Packlane is used by thousands of businesses, including L’Oreal and Google, New York Times and Benefit, Shopify, as well as smaller businesses of all sizes, including influencer marketing agencies.
Packlane’s website states that they offer full customization, instant quotations, and quick turnarounds. They also claim that they are the only company that offers a custom design lab with live preview and an instant quote. We not only allow you to express your creativity and create your own design but we also provide efficient support.
There are four options for custom boxes available to customers:
…And we’ll get into more detail about them further down.
After you have chosen the packaging type you prefer, you can create it online with their online tool (no need for experience), view a 3D preview of the final product before printing, and make any adjustments during the proofing process.
Packlane’s Pros and Cons
Although the benefits of Packlane are obvious, it is worth looking at the platform’s cons and pros.
- Access to an easy-to use 3D design tool
- You have a wide range of packaging options and materials.
- Packlane Plus is an excellent option for big brands and businesses looking to grow.
- Smaller businesses will find it helpful to be able purchase at low minimums
- Both sides can be printed
- Packlane ships internationally and in the USA
- There are many options for packaging made from recycled and recyclable materials
- You have a choice of a budget-friendly option and sizes that are suitable for you
- It is easy to navigate its website
- You can also refer friends and earn rewards
- Customer service is easy to access and frequently recognized as being very helpful.
- Prices can add up especially for small businesses with limited orders and a tight budget.
- Some reviewers complain about the poor quality of printed materials
- Some customers complain about the poor customer service.
- Some customers complain about inconsistent quality.
We now have a good overview. Let’s look at the different types of custom packaging that you have to choose from.
Packlane’s Packaging Types & Costs
There are four types of boxes, as we have already said. Prices vary depending on the size, quantity, and type of material. The prices below are for plain-packaged boxes. If you add color or custom artwork to your boxes, the prices will go up. The more customization you make, the higher your prices.
You are not charged for the number of colors you use. The price of your ink is determined by how much coverage you have. If you choose to use solid colors, you will pay more.
Although we won’t get into the details of prices, we will give you an idea of the basics. Packlane has an online calculator that makes it easy to calculate your expenses. This calculator can also be used to customize your designs. You can be certain that once your packaging is finished, it will cost you exactly what you expected.
A slightly different topic: packaging sizes refers to the interior dimensions measured in inches. You can also find a calculator to help you determine the right size package for you.
This sturdy, customizable mailer box can be customized in several sizes. You can order one or more units.
One 4″x4″x2″ unit will set you back $68.65. This is a large amount of money, but the more packaging you order the lower the price. For 500 units of the same size, it’s $0.93 per unit. Or, for 2,000, $0.76 per Unit.
These prices are for a mailer box made from classic matte white cardboard and printed with a satin-finish finish. For 2,000 units, a premium bright-white box will cost you $0.91 per unit. A natural matte brown cardboard box costs $0.75 per unit.
You don’t need to purchase or design additional packaging for the mailer box. It can be used as a gift box or subscription box and can be sent in its entirety.
The product box is made from SBS paperboard and can be used for packaging products that are sold in your store or online. This product box is ideal for packaging beauty products, chocolate, and health supplements.
It’s still not strong enough to ship without additional packaging.
Minimum order 25 units. Sizes range from 2.25″x2.25″x6″ to 4″x4″x4. To give you an idea of costs, 25 units of the product box measuring 2.25″x2.25″x6″ will cost $6.57 each.
SBS uncoated, white paperboard is the only material that’s available.
These shipping boxes are made of strong cardboard and corrugated. They can be used by businesses to ship bulk items or heavy, fragile products.
The minimum order quantity is 1. Sizes range from 6″x6″, 6″x6″, up to 12″x12″, and one 6″x6”x6” unit costs $69.22. For 2,000, it will cost $1.25 per unit.
You have the option of a matte white or natural matte kraft shipping box. Both can be printed with a satin finish.
Econoflex Shipping box
These boxes are Packlane’s most eco-friendly and budget-friendly packaging.
These shipping boxes are 100% recyclable and made from 100% recycled materials. They come in sizes from 6″x6″,x6″, up to 12″x12″, and one 6″x6”x6” unit costs $0.43.
These boxes can be used to ship items of different sizes. They are also a more affordable option than some of the more costly options.
You can order a sample kit to test the product before you buy. You will receive swatch cards that are pre-designed and include the Packlane corrugated cardboard materials in Standard and HD Gloss print finishes. Samples of the colors that you can print on your design will be included, as well as one Shipper, one Mailer and one Product Box.
Packlane’s online design tool is its main feature. Packlane customers have the ability to customize their packaging via its simple interface.
- Click on the packaging type you wish from the four options.
- This will take to you to a page that provides more information about which products your packaging choices are best for. The page will also include information about the various sizes and unit quantities, as well as the prices.
- Select your packaging type, size and quantity.
- Next, click on the “Design” button. This should take you to the design page.
- Have some fun. You can choose the package size and the material that you would like it to be made from. You can then start designing.
All but the Econoflex Box, which has only four design options, there are five.
These functions are:
- Choose color: Color can be digitally printed using CMYK (cyan magenta yellow and black). You can choose almost any color. You can create custom boxes with either a block color or a colored print and design.
- Upload an image: Here you can upload graphics or images, such as a logo for your company.
- Add text: Choose from 41 fonts to place your text. For different colors, you can choose black print or click the CMYK palette.
- Request a dieline:If your design requires a template, this can be used too. You can also request a Packlane dieline, which will be created for you at no cost.
- Upload your dieline: This is the same as above. You can upload your dieline once Packlane has created it or if you have one that an agency or designer has made for you.
Lastly, in each instance above, there’s a drop-down menu so that you can select exactly where on the box you want to place your colors/images/text/dieline and so on.
To share your design with your colleagues, click the Share button. You can either share it via URL or 3D URL. You can also shorten both URLs. You can also download a snapshot from your design.
You can test the tool’s usability by giving it a go. Packlane allows anyone to access the site; there is no restriction on who can access it. You don’t need to create a Packlane account in order to access this feature. You can save your designs and make purchases only after you have created an account.
Packlane can also match you with a 99design professional if you prefer to leave the design up to them. Prices start at $349.
Packlane will send you a digital proof of your design within 24 hours after you have completed it. You can then sign off and check it.
You can approve or reject your proof until it suits you. Voila!
What’s Packlane Plus?
Packlane Plus offers the same packaging options as above, but with higher order quantities and a minimum order of 2,000 units. Packlane Plus unlocks a variety of branded packaging, such as:
- Rigid paper mailers for lightweight items
- For goodie bags, in-store purchase and trade shows, custom bags
- Custom pouches available for Ecommerce, retail and display
- Customizable tissue paper
Certain bulk orders are eligible for packaging add-ons like dividers and void fill. Packlane can source additional packaging for you if it doesn’t have any on its site. Packlane also works with structural engineers to create something unique for your needs.
Packlane Plus offers customized pricing and volume discounts to companies interested. The dedicated account manager is an experienced packaging expert. Other printing options, including flexographic or lithographic printing, are also available to you.
Packlane Payment Methods & Security
It accepts Mastercard, Visa and American Express payment methods. The company also has an SSL certificate that reassures customers that their payments are safe.
Packlane Customer Support
Packlane’s website has FAQs that cover all aspects of Packlane products and Shiplane services. There are also guidelines for artwork. These include general artwork guidelines, Packlane Plus print guides, CMYK print guidelines and Packlane Plus print guidelines.
Packlane’s customer service team can be reached by submitting a request via its website. At the time of writing, however, there was no information about customer service hours or response times. You can also find helpful blog posts that include customer stories, eCommerce insights and tips for custom packing.
Packlane can be connected to via its social media accounts, including Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.
Packlane’s website also features an Inspiration Gallery. You can choose the industry that interests you in the Inspiration section.
- Promotions and branding
- Food and drinks
- Beauty and health
- Subscribe to boxes
This then shows you examples of Packlane customers’ branded packaging to give you an idea of what you can create. Clicking on the brand’s image will take you to a page that displays details about the packaging, including its dimensions and material.
Packlane and Shipping
Packlane also provides shipping-related software, Shiplane. Shiplane offers small and medium-sized customers discounts up to 80% on postage when they use USPS (United States Postal Service). This is for shipping in the US using the carrier’s high volume commercial pricing.
Shiplane is especially useful for self-fulfillment businesses. You simply need to upload your order files from other eCommerce stores and then input them into Shiplane. You can also type them directly into Shiplane’s interface. You can then choose your shipping method, purchase your postage and print your labels.
Shipping costs were not available on Packlane’s website at the time of writing. There are no monthly fees, memberships, or charges for shipping; you pay what you use. Packlane also automatically creates a USPS account for you, so that you don’t have the hassle of setting it up.
Shiplane will send order tracking emails to customers on behalf of Packlane partners. This allows you to focus on growing your business and not on the operational details.
Packlane may still be a mystery to you. Here are some answers:
When will my order be delivered?
Packlane claims that eligible orders will be shipped within 10 days with priority turnaround options. This means that you have three options after choosing your packaging and designing your package.
- Economy: 10-21 business days
- Standard: 8-11 business days
- Rush: 6-8 business days
The production and shipping times for holidays can vary due to high volumes of orders in the fourth quarter.
This all depends on the order size. For example, the larger the order, the printing process will take longer. The figures below do not include shipping transit time, which can take up to 1-2 weeks. Order turnarounds can take longer during busy holidays.
Packlane will provide an estimate shipping date when you reach your checkout page.
Can I make further changes after I have signed off on the design proof?
This is the short answer: it’s impossible. Packlane will not accept cancellations or changes after sign-off. It’s important to verify your proof, and maybe ask a friend or colleague to look at it.
Are there rewards and referrals?
Yes. It’s called PackPerks. To earn Boxcoins, you will need to sign up for a PackPerks Account. This account allows you to share and follow Packlane on social media. Your Boxcoins can be used to get dollar or percentage discounts for your next order. Refer a friend to the PackPerks program and you will receive $50. The more Boxcoins that you earn, the higher your status, from Bronze to Gold to Silver to gold.
Can I use Shiplane only and not Packlane?
Yes, you can. You can ship packaging that you have purchased elsewhere, and still use Shiplane. All shipments go through USPS. However, Packlane states that it plans to expand its reach to other carriers in the near future.
We are all for custom packaging. This is a great way for customers to engage and increase brand awareness. It can, however, be costly. Packlane is simple to use and allows you to create your own packaging. You don’t need to order bulk.
Packlane’s costs may seem daunting to small businesses with low order volumes. Packlane is worth looking into if your business plans are to grow. However, Packlane can be a good investment if you have the finances in place to cover all costs.
Packlane is a great option for you. Are you looking for other packaging options? Let us know what you think in the comments.