Discreet Packaging: When You Need to Ship Something Subtly

Discreet shipping is a service offered by many online retailers to provide customers with more privacy and security for their delivery. Items are typically shipped in unmarked boxes, and nobody but the intended recipient knows their contents  — no matter how many hands they pass through in the supply chain.

This discretion also includes the company it was ordered from, in case that’s a dead giveaway for what may be inside. That means packages don’t have company logos or branding on the exterior or indicate who has sent it.

So when should you use discreet packaging, and what are the benefits? Let’s find out!

Discreet Packaging and Everyday Products

Discreet packaging is used to conceal the contents of a parcel. It can come in the form of postal boxes or mailer bags. This means nobody can see or tell what is inside at any point in the delivery process. Consumers might want the option of discreet packaging for several reasons, so it’s worth considering whether this is something your business should offer or if your discreet packaging meets all of your customers’ requirements.

Some retailers offer discreet packaging on items bought as gifts not to spoil the surprise when they arrive. In this case, sellers might not use plain packaging as standard but offer a “secret packaging” option if customers disclose that their purchase is intended as a gift at checkout.

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Which Industries Use Discreet Packaging?

Any brand can offer discreet packaging, but several industries typically offer it as standard. If your business falls into one of these categories, consider offering an unmarked packaging option for your customers:

Discreet Packaging for Adult Products

Whether it’s for lingerie or adult toys, consumers shopping for adult products may prefer to avoid unwanted attention when it comes to deliveries. For example, Lovehoney promises to use plain brown boxes to help customers maintain their privacy. 

Private packaging for adult products means that family members or anyone else who answers the door won’t know what they’re signing for when the parcel arrives.

Shipping High-Value Products

Many customers are reassured by a discreet packaging option when ordering high-value items. When shipped discreetly, these products can move through the postal system without drawing attention to the item’s value inside, reducing the risk of theft in the process.

With high-value products, there is a risk that if they end up at the wrong address, an opportunist may keep the item. If unaware of the contents of the package, they may be more likely to send them back to the return address. It also means that if a package is left on the doorstep because the recipient is out, it won’t draw too much attention.

Delivery of Medical Products

Some deliveries contain sensitive information, so they need discretion for several reasons. Prescription medication and medical documents are typically delivered in plain packaging without indication of what’s inside. A pharmacy is responsible for keeping medical information confidential, and discreet shipping helps facilitate that.

Most pharmacies will offer discreet, plain packaging as standard. Discreet shipping allows treatments to be delivered with less chance of being intercepted. As with high-value products, there is a risk of medication being stolen when sent through the post, so your parcel may be safer with discreet shipping.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) also means that customers’ medication and records should be protected. This means that delivering medication to the wrong patient would be considered a breach should the unintended recipient become aware of the medication prescribed to a different patient. Discreet packaging can help reduce the risk of a GDPR breach should a parcel end up in the wrong hands.

Compostable Mailing Bags landscape

What Does Discreet Packaging Look Like?

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to discreet packaging. The main objective is to be unable to see the contents, so avoids the use of cellophane windows and other clear plastics. This is great for brands prioritising plastic-free packaging, as discreet packaging is often cardboard-based to ensure no transparency.

As with any custom packaging, discreet packaging can be designed around your shipping products. Discreet packaging usually uses kraft paper and card or plain cardboard, as they are commonly used materials that don’t identify what’s inside.

How Does Discreet Shipping Work?

Discreet shipping doesn’t require any special processes, and it shouldn’t matter which courier you use — you simply dispatch the item as usual. The courier then ships this as they would any other parcel. Of course, you still need to use the appropriate labelling to ensure your products are handled correctly.

Things only become slightly more complicated if you’re shipping products overseas since there are implications for customs declaration.

Depending on what your business sends, you may need to declare the contents of a parcel when it’s shipped. However, the customs label shouldn’t be so detailed that your discretion is a waste! For example, medical treatments would be declared as “personal medicine” rather than broadcasting the exact contents.

This is also true of adult items that may be declared a “toy”. You should check the obligations for your e-commerce brand that take GDPR and customs declarations into consideration.

Aside from how the parcel looks, discreet shipping works like any other shipping, so you can expect the same service as with any other delivery.

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Featured: Custom Printed Packaging for Dr. PAWPAW

Creating an Unboxing Experience with Discreet Packaging

Shipping your products in plain or unmarked boxes can limit your options for customisation, but we’ve helped numerous brands provide customers with a great unboxing experience while keeping their shipments a secret!

While your outer packaging may be blank, you can still express your brand identity inside. The contrast between the plain outer and exciting inner can add to the customers’ experience. 

With our packaging design service, we can help you create packaging that helps customers have a memorable experience with your brand.

Get Custom Discreet Packaging with Us!

Discreet packaging can be a major selling point for brands. Offering a discreet shipping option can give you the edge over your competitors who don’t provide the same. In the highly competitive e-commerce arena, you can set yourself apart from other businesses and give potential customers a reason to choose your brand.

If a customer has reservations about your delivery options, that can ultimately lose you a sale. Removing any barriers makes website visitors more likely to convert, so ensure you shout about your discreet shipping services.

To find the perfect custom, discreet packaging for your business, get in touch with our friendly team today. Our packaging experts can help work on the perfect solution for your brand from our Complete Packaging Services.

Get a free custom packaging quote in just 48 hours!