7 Types of Boxes for Business Packaging

Learn which box types you should use to meet your business needs and delight your customers.

What's the right type of box to use for your business? That all depends on your goals and products.

In today's post, we'll help you decide which box types you should use to meet your needs and delight your customers. We'll also explain the benefits of customizing boxes and why customized boxes perform better than generic packaging.

Why Use Boxes For Your Packaging?

Jewelry Box by Happy and Hannahmade
Jewelry Box by Happy and Hannahmade

Boxes are one of the most secure types of packaging you can use to protect products from damage and bundle multiple parts together. They're cheap and versatile, too. Boxes weigh significantly less than stiffer packaging options like crates — meaning lower shipping costs.

When you order boxes, they arrive flat. So, they occupy less space in your home, store, or warehouse than bins or crates. 

You can order boxes in different sizes and configurations. Properly sizing the box to your products not only improves product presentation but also keeps the items secure, preventing products from rattling inside their casing.

Common use cases for boxes:

  • Product Display — Give your products a public “face,” promoting them to customers, providing them with critical information, and protecting them in a retail environment. They are also important elements of presenting your products on an ecommerce site.
  • Shipping — Deliver products safely to your customers.
  • Storage — Keep out contaminants, air, moisture, light, and other factors that can affect product quality before and during use.
  • Promotion — Introduce your products to people and educate them with the details that clarify what the products are for.
  • Branding — Help people remember your brand name with excellent box designs.

Why Use Custom Boxes?

Custom Cookie Boxes by Laura the Cookie Lady
Custom Cookie Boxes by Laura the Cookie Lady

Custom boxes offer the same protection as regular boxes but with the added benefit of promoting your brand. A well-designed custom box becomes an effective brand ambassador.

Using consistent design elements across your packaging, website, and marketing makes it easier for shoppers to recognize your brand. This improves brand recall, leading to more people trusting your company and its products, thus increasing repeat sales. 

Custom boxes:

  • Make your brand look more premium and upscale
  • Make your packaging easier to identify during shipping and display
  • Increase your product's visual appeal in retail environments
  • Promote products during promotional events, on crowded shelves, and in ecommerce displays

You can also use custom boxes for corporate, fundraising, and educational events. Certain box types double as great gift boxes and long-term storage of reusable products. That makes them the ideal packaging for corporate events, holidays, and giveaways.

Special Use Cases

Some box types go beyond their intended use. Creative business owners have found innovative ways to use their custom boxes. 

For example:

Styles like pizza boxes store and ship products other than pizza. Bakeries use them to ship cookie cakes and flatbreads. Pizza boxes also house non-food items like wall clocks and artwork. Basically, anything relatively flat and thin can go inside a pizza box.

Wine display cases fit any 750 ml. bottle. That means olive oil retailers can use them to showcase their premium selections. The same goes for spirits manufacturers. They can even be used for items like vases if they are sized and shaped right.

Having an open mind when shopping for custom box packaging is essential. Don’t be afraid to get creative!


Corrugated cardboard boxes are easy to recycle, making them a great choice for sustainability. This is increasingly important for many consumers. A growing segment of consumers only support businesses that identify as eco-friendly and offer sustainable choices.


Other types of packaging, like poly mailers, are great for shipping clothes and other non-fragile items. But they aren't suitable for delicate or fragile items. You'll want to use boxes for those because they can absorb impacts during transport, protect against puncture and penetration damage, and may even provide some protection against cold and heat.

Popular Boxes and How To Use Them

Product Boxes

Best for: Consumer goods, food, electronics, health and beauty, art supplies, automotive, jewelry, toys, candles, and more.

Candle Box by Bethel & Co.
Candle Box by Bethel & Co.

Product boxes are one of the most common types of packaging you'll encounter. They're so versatile that you can use them for almost anything. 

These boxes go by many technical names, like reverse tuck end, tuck-top auto-bottom, and tuck-top snap-bottom These names simply describe how they lock into place before use.

Product boxes can be made from paperboard or lightweight corrugated cardboard. 

The choice of material and bottom closure style is driven by the size of the box and the weight of the item it will hold. Another consideration is how many layers you want to stack in a display or during shipping. As product box styles are not secure to directly ship items, they are typically stacked within an outer shipping box for transport.

Product boxes are ideal for displays. In a brick-and-mortar store, product boxes protect your products on shelves, racks, or counters. This allows shoppers to inspect items without having to touch the products themselves. They also provide an elegant and high-end visual appeal that remains uncluttered by labels and information required for shipping.

Shoe Boxes

Best for: Footwear, food products, clothing, accessories, office supplies, electronic cables, DIY kits, cosmetics, travel kits, collectibles, hobby kits, and more.

custom shoe box
Custom Shoe Boxes

Though shoe boxes originated for footwear, some industries use them as product packaging, including electronic accessories like cables, office supplies, travel kits, and collectibles. As long as food items are individually wrapped, they can be placed inside shoe boxes, too.

Shoebox styles don't lock closed, so they usually ship in an outer shipping box. They stack easily for retail display or warehousing, as well.

You can repurpose shoe boxes for gifting. Place small- to medium-sized product samples inside and turn them into lovely swag kits, which are great for trade shows, events, welcome gifts for new employees, and prizes at fundraisers. 

Mailer Boxes

Best for: Subscription services, jewelry, stationery, food, apparel, clothing, pet products, fishing equipment, DIY kits, and more.

Custom Mailer Box by Skylar Grace Co.
Custom Mailer Box by Skylar Grace Co.

Mailer boxes are a cross between shipping and product boxes. Use them to mail products to customers or solely for product packaging. Either way, their unique look increases the visual appeal of your packaging. Mailer boxes are the favorite choice of subscription businesses and they are excellent options for PR boxes.

They are made of corrugated cardboard, and their larger size means you can pack more items inside than you can with product boxes. If you sell kits to customers, consider using mailer boxes.

An additional benefit is their ease of reuse. Mailer boxes are designed not only to open and close easily (and securely), but they also are highly functional as storage. Printing on the inside lid of the box makes them a great choice for items with instructions and information that should be referenced with repeat uses, like cosmetics, personal care tools, skincare, and vitamins.

Wine Display Gift Boxes and Bottle Carriers

Best for: Wine bottles, olive oil, salad dressings, spirits, premium soy sauce, cocktail mixers, juices, and more.

Wine Display Gift Boxes
Wine Display Gift Boxes

Wine display gift boxes and bottle carriers not only make wine products look amazing but also make them easier to carry. They'll look great on store shelves and display cabinets. They’re also a great choice for corporate gifting, events, and fundraisers. When used with an outer shipping box, they can be a key packaging component for bottle-based “product of the month” subscriptions.

But again, these boxes aren't just for wine. Any 750 ml. bottle can be placed inside, so if you're selling olive oil, spirits, premium condiments, or similar products, this could be the perfect packaging to draw attention to your product offerings.

Both wine display gift boxes and bottle carriers can accommodate up to three bottles. 

Shipping Boxes

Best for: Businesses that mail products in bulk, as well as retail display and shipping of electronics, appliances, big box retailers, sporting goods, heavy equipment, bookstores, home decor, pet stores, and more.

Shipping Boxes by Curly Cue Design Studio
Shipping Boxes by Curly Cue Design Studio

Shipping boxes aren't only for mailing products to customers, though that is their primary purpose. Businesses that sell large items like appliances frequently use shipping boxes as product packaging.

If you mail bulk items, this is the ideal packaging. Shipping boxes work for subscription services as well, especially if the items are larger or heavier products like full-size hair care products or baking supplies. 

If you're in the automotive parts business, shipping boxes are the best solution for transporting many of your products.

These boxes are also suitable for books, pet toys, bulk food items, and pieces of equipment.

Gable Boxes

Best for: Wineries, bakeries, party supplies, food shops, specialty shops, pet products, and more.

Gable Box
Gable Box

Gable boxes have a unique design and built-in handles. 

Gable boxes are frequently seen in wineries and oil-and-vinegar shops, where they are used for the carryout of one to four bottles of varying sizes. 

They're typically used in food businesses, but you'll also find them in party and specialty shops. 

Pet stores use them broadly for the safe transport of small animals like gerbils and hamsters, as well as pet treats and some toys.

In short, they're popular across businesses that need a convenient and secure way of carrying their products. 

Pizza Boxes

Best for: Pizza restaurants, chocolatiers, art supplies, toy stores, DIY kits, tech gadgets, and more.

Cookie Cake Pizza Box by Madkind Design Studio
Cookie Cake Pizza Box by Madkind Design Studio

Pizza boxes have such unique proportions that sometimes they're the only packaging option suitable for specific products. Of course, they're best used for pizzas. However, you can also use them to transport other food items like flatbreads, cookie cakes, brownies, and sweets like chocolates.

Some DIY kits will also fit inside pizza boxes. So will tech gadgets and toys. You can even use them as containers for art supplies, clocks, paintings, and other artwork.

Beyond Boxes: Packaging Fillers and Accessories

Thank You Cards by Kats Fine Art Creations
Thank You Cards by Kats Fine Art Creations

Make the unboxing experience more memorable and protect your products by using packaging fillers and accessories. 

Packaging fillers, sometimes called Void Fill, help position your products so they keep their best face forward and don't move around during transport. This reduces damage and enhances customers' perception of your products when they open the box. 

Common fillers include:

  • Tissue Paper — Surround and/or wrap your products in tissue paper to protect them from dirt and fingerprints.
  • Tissue Shred - Nest your products in colorful tissue shred, which cushions them and prevents movement.

Accessories are elements that add the finishing touches to the packaging experience. These include things like:

  • Stickers — Freebies like stickers are inexpensive marketing materials you can include with every box you mail customers as a little thank you for their support. They also act as subtle reminders of your brand and help your customers share their experiences with others.
  • Packaging Tape — Seal your boxes with custom packaging tape to add branding elements to your boxes.
  • Flat Cards — Use flat cards to say thanks, offer discounts, provide instructions for use, or promote some of your upcoming events. They're also a great place to mention your social media pages to drive traffic to your channels. 


Businesses need custom boxes to store and ship products and make their brands more recognizable. 

Custom boxes are the best packaging option for fragile items. They increase the impact of your brand by adding visual appeal and can support your sustainability messaging and goals with their excellent recyclability profile.

The most common types of box packaging include product boxes, mailer boxes, shipping boxes, shoe boxes, pizza boxes, wine display gift boxes, bottle carriers, and gable boxes.

To learn more about custom boxes and how they can help grow your business, give us a call or reach out via live chat. You can also send us an email at sales@packm.com

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