Buyers Guide for Rigid Boxes for E-Commerce and Subscription Applications
They are known by many names including rigid wall boxes, set up boxes, two piece boxes, and even telescoping boxes. They are made of paperboard, not corrugated board, and have been used in the candy, greeting card, and board game industries for decades.
They are gaining in popularity for subscription applications as companies work to deliver value to their customers while creating a permanent or long-term brand presence. These are not shipping boxes, which in most cases are quickly discarded soon after they arrive. Rigid boxes tend to be kept and reused or repurposed. This makes them a greener option but it also means your brand lives on and the box serves as a constant reminder of the company that sent it.
With Appreciation to Birchbox and Others
This type of subscription box has been made popular by companies like Birchbox who understand the value of packaging that is more than a disposable shipping container. This type of packaging makes a great first impression and in many cases provides a series of collectible containers the customer values, encouraging repeat orders and extending subscription life.
Rigid boxes are also a graphic designer’s dream because unlike direct print flexographic printing (typically used on corrugated), this is a laminating process where sheets of interior and/or exterior paper can be printed any way you want, as many colors as you want, on a wide variety of papers including linens or foils, as well as spot or flood coat coatings. They can also be die cut, creating openings for product display.
Advantages of Rigid Boxes
Compared to other types of boxes they can be made to any size you want without expensive tooling. As mentioned above, the graphics flexibility is incredible and there are few limits to what can be produced. Rigid boxes offer the ability to vary board color, and wrap exterior as well as lining interior which creates a truly custom look.
The minimum is relatively low at 1,000 though pricing due to setup costs becomes much more attractive in larger quantities of 5,000 or more. You can combine different (same size) copies for larger quantity, bulk pricing. When working with a company like ours, you can create the shipping containers to protect the rigid box in shipping.
Factors that Influence Cost of Rigid Boxes
As stated above, order quantity is always a major factor and of course box size also impacts the cost of any box we create. Other factors also include:
- Base/bottom and/or top/lid wrapped (exterior) or lined (interior). Anything is possible but it does add cost.
- The amount of overlap of the top/lid over the base/bottom. It can overlap 100% or anything less. Keep in mind not totally overlapping the base will likely mean you will have to wrap the exposed base.
- Board color of any unlined or unwrapped surface. Natural chip paperboard is the least expensive. White is also available at an upcharge, as well as other colors like black, though they may have a higher minimum.
Disadvantages of Rigid Boxes
They are such an impressive marketing tool that we can only come up with two negatives you should be aware of:
- They are not inexpensive and your product price point has to justify the cost of the rigid box as well as the shipping container. People will often ask why/how other companies like Birchbox can afford to use them and I remind them large shippers like them are buying much larger quantities, thereby substantially reducing their cost per unit.
- Most boxes and cartons ship flat minimizing the space they require to store and ship. Rigid wall boxes do not collapse, increasing those costs.
Salazar Packaging continues to be a one stop shop for all forms of e-commerce and subscription box packaging. There are few companies in the country with our experience in shipping containers as well as interior/protective packaging solutions.
Please call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at Salazar Packaging to discuss your specific needs. Let us show you how we create effective “packaging that communicates” at a much lower cost than you think possible.