Why Retail Ready Packaging is the Key to E-commerce

Think of the last great online shopping experience you had. Did the item ship on time? Was the packaging easy to open? Was the look and feel of the item and packaging appealing? The packaging is a big part of the consumer experience, so it’s crucial you nail it as not all packaging is created equally. In fact, retailers give preference to what’s referred to as retail-ready packaging–a new form of packaging that originated in the early 2000s.

What is retail ready packaging?

Retail-ready packaging is utilitarian and easy to use. Traditionally, only the retailer would see retail-ready packaging. However, now that many items are shipped directly to consumers, it’s crucial to nail your retail ready packaging.

What are the characteristics of retail ready packaging?

Since big box retailers want to have items shipped in bulk boxes that can be easily stacked and stocked, it’s essential that retailers follow best practices. Generally, retailers will outline packaging requirements, such as box size, bar code format and placement, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, and the strength of the container.

Packaging Guidelines for Walmart, Amazon, eBay and more.

For details, refer to the website where your products are being distributed. Below are links to the packaging guidelines by top retailers.

Walmart’s “RRP and PDQ Display Standard Style Guide” – Download here

Amazon’s Packaging Guidelines

eBay’s Packaging Guidelines

Tips to Make Your Packaging Retail-ready

  1. Easy to identify: Packages should be able to be easily identified by the brand and SKU.
  2. Easy to open: People should be able to open your packaging without any extra tools. They should also be able to be stocked easily.
  3. Easy to recycle: In accordance with best environmental packages. Retail-ready packaging should be able to be recycled easily. Try to opt for eco-friendly materials, such as recycled cardboard or seaweed.
  4. Easy to shop: Your packaging should be visually stunning and stand out to consumers. Consider the 5-year-old test – your packaging should be distinct enough that a 5-year-old could identify your brand. Think of the unique simplicity of McDonald’s golden arches or Tropicana’s orange packaging.


For more on the packaging that stands out, see:  How To Create Social- Media Packaging Design.