Selling products on Ebay, Etsy, Amazon, or your own website can be a very rewarding and lucrative experience. Whether making your own products or reselling products, business owners can list products for sale and watch the sales roll in with enough hard work and determination. After enough sales are obtained some business owners may begin to consider alternate forms of product packaging.
The consideration for an alternate form of packaging may come from necessity or want. Some business owners find that products are becoming damaged during transport, while others are wanting to offer a more professional looking packaging. Shrink wrapping can be a solution to many packaging woes. In this post we are going to look at the benefits and uses of shrink wrapping for e-commerce sales and how they may benefit a variety of e-commerce packaging needs.
Often confused with stretch film or vacuum packaging, shrink wrapping involves applying heat to a film to enable it to shrink and conform to the product being wrapped. One of the most widely recognized uses of shrink film is the film used around water bottle cases.
Types of Shrink Film
Shrink Film- Shrink film comes in a variety of forms and is commonly made of four materials. Shrink film can be purchased on single wound and centerfolded rolls. A single wound roll comes off the roll flat, while a centerfolded roll is folded in half length ways. Shrink bags are also a very commonly used form of shrink wrapping and are available in a variety of different sizes. Shrink tubing is the last most common for of shrink wrapping and often comes on a lay flat roll.
The most common material is a PVC shrink film that has a consistency of a cellophane wrap. PVC is crinkly before being shrunk and after heat is applied becomes harder and more rigid.
Polyolefin shrink film is quickly becoming one of the most common materials used in shrink wrapping. It is a softer shrink film with more elasticity than PVC and is also FDA approved for direct food contact.
Polyethylene and polypropylene are strong durable shrink films often used to wrap large heavy products. Cases of water bottles are often packaged with polyethylene shrink film.
What is Needed for Professional Shrink Wrapping
Heat Sealer- Heat sealers come in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate different product sizes and production levels. The most basic heat sealer is an impulse sealer. An impulse sealer has one sealing bar to seal and close open ends. Impulse sealers can be purchases for under $100 up to $400 depending on the size.
The most common heat sealers for medium to high output production are L-Bar sealers. L-Bar sealers are used with centerfold shrink film. The two sealing sides of an L-Bar sealer seals and closes all open ends in one motion. L-Bar sealers range in price from $600 up to several thousands of dollars based on size and amenities.
Heating Element- After a heat sealer is used to close the open ends of a shrink wrap package, heat must be applied to the film to shrink it and conform it to the product. For low output shrink wrapping applications, a heat gun is the most common heating element used. Heat guns are available for $50 or less depending on the wattage used.
For higher production shrink wrapping applications a shrink tunnel is the way to go. A shrink tunnel has a conveyor running through a heated oven. The products are shrunk down and ejected out of the opposite end of the tunnel. Shrink tunnels start at $2000 and can be up to several thousands of dollars depending on size and conveyor speed.
How Can Shrink Wrapping Help My E-commerce Business?
Damaged or Leaking Products- One of the worst things customers and businesses can experience is damaged product arrivals. When customers order a product and the product is damaged or leaking everywhere upon arrival. Shrink film can remedy some of these problems.
If multiple products are being shipped within a box, shrink film can be used to bundle the products together. This will help to reduce product shift during transport and when used with the proper void-fill can dramatically reduce damaged products.
For liquid items, shrink film can enclose the container to prevent liquids from leaking all over other products within the shipping container. This is a common use for shrink film with e-commerce businesses. Shrink film can also help caps stay on during transport to reduce leakage.
Increased Professionalism- Shrink wrapping is one of the most affordable and professional packaging solutions available. Business owners can produce a professional factory look for a few hundred dollars with the right shrink wrap equipment. Once the proper seals and shrink rate is obtained a professionally designed sticker can be applied to the film for branding and product marketing.
Tamper Evidence- Shrink wrapping is a great way to ensure customers are purchasing a product that has not been tampered with since it was packaged and shipped by the seller. Many e-commerce businesses ship shrink wrapped products with stickers that tell customers not to use the product if the shrink wrap is opened. This offers peace-of-mind to customers to guarantee the product has not been handled since leaving the seller.
Protection From Exterior Elements- For many home deliveries, UPS and Fed Ex often leave packages at the door of the buyer. For products sensitive to moisture, a rainstorm can quickly ruin the product. Shrink film can help reduce product loss by protecting a product even if the exterior box becomes wet in a rain storm.
We offer a large selection of shrink wrap products and machines to small and large businesses across the nation. Visit our online store or call us at 1-800-441-5090 with questions or quote requests.