Order #
Job needs payment before we print.

Order # Item #
Waiting for files. Proof needs your approval before we print. Track Shipment via {{notification.shipMethod}}.

Main Banner

Subscription Box Packaging: Custom Packaging Guide


Since 2004, the subscription box industry has grown tremendously and is considered one of the fastest growing sectors of the currently booming e-commerce industry.

This guide aims to answer the following questions which are relevant to this growing industry and how online retailers can maximize the use of custom packaging to secure their place in an incredibly competitive industry:

  • What is a subscription box service?
  • How did subscription box services become so popular?
  • What kind of packaging works for subscription box services?
  • What Packola products can I use for my subscription box service?
  • How do I create and customize subscription mailer and/or shipping boxes through Packola?


A subscription box service is defined as a kind of product distribution where customers get a recurring delivery of products from a single bespoke brand or a curated selection of products delivered by an importer or purveyor. Subscription boxes are usually corrugated mailer boxes that hold up well through local, cross-country, and international transport.

Since 2004 when a website called The Sampler first offered curated product selections online, subscription box services have been helping customers sample and enjoy a wide range of products from various parts of the country or even from faraway nations. It is considered the fastest growing sector in the e-commerce industry, chalking up a phenomenal 890% growth rate over its nearly twenty-year history. In fact, industry experts project that annual revenues from subscription box services will hit a high of $4.2 billion compared to just $1.3 billion when the industry last hit a peak back in 2013.

The current drive for having everything delivered to one’s front door from ready-to-eat meals and basic groceries to specialty foods and apparel has helped spur the growth of the subscription service industry even further.

Today, subscription boxed services are used by both major manufacturers and small artisanal businesses to deliver products to customers practically anywhere in the world. As a result, there is a strong demand for packaging solutions that are durable enough to withstand rough handling and the rigors of transport, sturdy enough to keep the products within safe from breakage or contamination, and look good enough to give customers a fun unboxing experience with every package that they receive.


It isn’t enough to simply bag up a clutch of items and send them on their way to your customers. You end up worrying if your products arrived safely at their destination and you also wonder if customers would trust you to send anything else as they certainly won’t be impressed by shoddy packaging.

Packaging your subscription products right gives you the following benefits:

  1. Reinforces Brand Identity and Recall - Adding a corporate or product logo to subscription boxes lets you use your packaging as a promotional tool that will maximize brand visibility with both new and recurrent customers.
  2. Unboxing is Fun - A properly designed box filled with a delectable selection of goods has a draw of its own and opening it is considered an experience that many repeat customers look forward to.
  3. Eco-friendly Packaging - If you choose to go with companies that can assure you that they use sustainably sourced materials to make your boxes, that’s great – more so if these are also 100% recyclable or compostable. Using eco-friendly boxes not only gets your products to their destinations safely month after month, but these also help make your carbon footprint smaller.
  4. Protect the Package - Especially with boxes made of corrugated – or, better yet, double corrugated – cardboard, items are protected from damage and contamination. Likewise, they are less likely to break or spill while in transit.
  5. Best Packaging at the Best Price - The properly made subscription box helps you save money in the long run as both materials and production should be reasonably and competitively priced.


Using a box made with corrugated cardboard is ideal when it comes to choosing packaging for subscription services, as the material is highly durable, effective for protecting the contents of each box thanks to its construction and is also sustainably sourced and recyclable.

There are two ideal options for subscription box services:

  • Shipping Boxes Given their size, these boxes are great for big and bulky items or for product collections with many items. These travel very well with minimal risk of damage, as the layered construction of the box ensures that even the most fragile of products arrive at their destination in one piece without compromise in quality.
  • Mailer Boxes The ones we offer here are roll-end tuck-front with dust flaps boxes (RETFs) which were specifically created for online entrepreneurs. to package their products in. These boxes range in size (W x D x H) from 3” x 3” x 1.25” for small items such as makeup samplers or candy selections to 14” x 12” x 3” for product collections with bigger items such as apparel and ceramics or a larger number of objects.


Q: How do I order shipping boxes from Packola?
A: On the Shipping Boxes page, add the relevant details including the quantity required through the online widget, and you can start working on your box through our online 3D design studio. Save and submit your work, and we get right into production.

Q: Is there a specific size range for shipping boxes?
A: Dimensions range from the following parameters:

  • Length: 2" to 30"
  • Width: 2" to 29"
  • Depth: 2.5" to 32"

Note: Dimensions are based on the interior of the box.

Q: What are the standard measurements for mailer boxes?
A: Our standard mailer boxes range from 3” x 3” x 1.25” to 14” x 12” x 3”. If these aren’t quite the sizes you’re looking for, you can customize your mailer boxes on the following dimensions:

  • Length: 3” to 25”
  • Width: 2” to 25"
  • Depth: 1" to 15"

Q: What materials do you use for boxes?
A: Our boxes are made of high-quality corrugated cardboard which gives the finished product structural integrity and durability. The cardboard that we use is both sustainably sourced and recyclable. We offer this material in the following variants:

  • Standard Corrugated White Cardboard
  • Premium White Corrugated Cardboard, prints with a glossy finish
  • Brown Kraft

Material thickness is determined by box dimensions and may be either of the following:

  • 1/16” E-flute corrugated cardboard
  • 1/8” B-flute corrugated cardboard

Q: How many pieces can I order?
A: Online orders can run from as few as one (1) printed sample to as many as 20,000 units.

 For orders greater than 20,000, email us at for a competitive custom quote specific to your requirements.

Q: Can I ask for a free sample?
A: We do not give out free samples, but you can order one (1) sample box before running multiple items. Our samples are reasonably priced and can give you a better idea on how your packaging will look like.

Q: In case anything comes up regarding my order, how do I get in touch with you?
A: Our Customer Service team is ready to help you any time. You can drop us a line at or, for urgent concerns, call us at 1-855-PACKOLA or talk to us online through the LiveChat widget on our website at

Get Production Started: Choose Your Box Style