2024 Packaging Trends to Watch For: Custom Printed Shipping Boxes and More

custom printed shipping boxesIt’s that time of year again when we at Axis Corrugated Container like to take a look at what’s coming next in the world of packaging. January is traditionally a time for businesses to reorient themselves around their missions and set new goals. And while it’s important to take care of your internal operations with things like packaging audits, staying aware of the coming trends can help you better prepare your business to pivot to meet new industry standards and consumer expectations. It’s also a great way to stay ahead of the curve and your competition. With that, let’s look into the packaging trends to watch for in 2024, from custom printed shipping boxes and sustainable packaging to smart packaging and AI integration.

A Continued Preference for Custom Printed Shipping Boxes

One of the trends we see for packaging in 2024 is an increased preference for custom printed shipping boxes. And while the style and aesthetics of your boxes will likely depend on your business image, it is worthwhile to note that hand-drawn images, vintage textures, and hand-drawn typography are predicted to be popular in the coming year. Adding some of these elements into your packaging with custom print and graphics services can be a great way to modernize your packaging and stay relevant while remaining true to your core image.

Remember that custom printed shipping boxes are also an excellent way to incorporate more personalization into your packaging. In today’s market, where 76% of consumers say they prefer brands that personalize, the value of this cannot be overstated. Updating aspects of your custom printed shipping boxes also gives you the chance to add elements like QR codes that can help streamline your shipping processes and enhance your tracking capabilities. We’ll talk more about that last one in a minute.

Increased Focus on Sustainability and Plastic-Free Materials

It should come as no surprise that sustainability will be a major focus for the packaging industry in 2024. With government incentives and a renewed interest in eliminating single-use plastics, innovative paper-based solutions (including things like custom printed shipping boxes) are becoming more popular across the board.

In light of this, it’s a good bet that many companies will start turning to recyclable packaging solutions, like corrugated boxes, as well as biodegradable materials.

A Rising Need for E-Commerce Packaging

If we’ve learned anything from the last five years, it’s that online shopping is not going anywhere. In fact, in 2022, retail e-commerce sales alone were predicted to exceed $5.7 trillion and that number is expected to continue to go up, especially with Millennials and Gen Zers moving up as the dominant demographics. As a result, the need for e-commerce and omnichannel packaging is on the rise as well.

Businesses can take this opportunity to pivot their custom printed shipping boxes and other packaging collateral to meet these demands and fulfill the customer expectation of a consistent experience across all shopping channels.

Next-Level Branded Messaging with Smart Packaging

The next major shift in the packaging industry is likely going to come from the increasing adoption of smart packaging and next-level branded messaging. These two innovations present opportunities for businesses to communicate with their customers and optimize their internal processes more than ever before.

For instance, many companies have started to use QR codes to communicate more effectively with customers via introductory videos, easy-to-access instructions, or story-based materials that portray a company’s values and mission statement more effectively than print alone. Smart packaging can also be utilized to provide higher levels of convenience and value to your customers. And, finally, providing interactive experiences may be the new way to stand out with younger generations for businesses in both the B2C and B2B sectors. Those same Millennials that are shopping online are also entering into decision-making roles in their own jobs, after all.

AI Integration with Packaging Solutions

Closely related to smart packaging is the idea of AI integration with packaging solutions. While the applications of AI in packaging are wide and varied, one thing we find particularly interesting is the concept of using AI to enhance the designs of custom printed shipping boxes and other packaging solutions. By analyzing consumer behavior and purchasing patterns, AI can assist companies in designing packaging that will appeal better to their target market.

And, of course, AI has a role to play in enhancing supply chain and inventory management. With the right data, AI can optimize real-time monitoring, enable defect detection, and more effectively merge inventory and distribution.

Stay Ahead of the Curve with Axis Corrugated Container

At Axis Corrugated Container, we’ve been in the packaging business since the 1980s, but we’ve never stopped looking for ways to grow and improve. As a result, we’re not just a supplier of standard and custom corrugated packaging for businesses in North Carolina and the surrounding areas. We also offer comprehensive services in packaging design, custom print and graphics, JIT shipping, and VMI programs.

Our expertise and passion has enabled us to provide our customers with tailored packaging solutions that fit their every needs. If you’re looking for a packaging supplier for your business, we can help you stay ahead. Connect with us today to get started with a free quote.