Play at Home: How an Online Business Uses Print for Profit

If ever there were a time to have a night in, now would be it. But finding fun things to do in your home isn’t always easy, especially when brick-and-mortar stores have limited hours or are closed completely. Turning the at-home experience into an entertaining and educational one is what Melissa Williams, vice president of branding for Night In Boxes, knows very well. Something else she knows? How an online business uses print for profit.

How an online business uses print
Print strategies for online businesses

The New Nightlife

Night In Boxes are just what they sound like: boxes with everything you need to have the best night-in ever. With both Date Night In and Kids Night In options, the boxes feature themes with curated items in each.


“Our goal is to provide the ultimate box experience, and to achieve that, our print products have to really portray the theme of the box,” Williams said. “And more often than not, [they] are a huge part of the actual activities.”


With adult themes like the Roaring 20s and learning to dance, and kids themes like being part of a team and the importance of practice when learning new things, the boxes offer coordinating activities, snacks, playlists, recipes and more to connect with your partner or child.

To guide customers through the boxes, Williams uses various print solutions, one of which is a Saddle Stitch Booklet. “We use it as a Date Guide for the box,” she said. “It provides all the details they need to complete their date.”


The size and page-count options were a big draw and big help for Williams. “Our box size is 9″ x 6″, so the 8.5″ x 5.5″ booklet fits perfect and provides multiple pages to give us the room to provide a lot of details and activities,” she said.


With pages laid together and stapled through the fold line, Saddle Stitch Booklets are no-brainers for everything from product and policy manuals to magazines, lookbooks and event programs. And when you use the Versions feature, you can design multiple booklets with varying content as long as they have the same size, stock and finish. It’s a time and money-saver for creating themed content like Williams’.

Custom print for online businesses

At-Home Options

Available through a monthly subscription, Night In Boxes also offers a Faith Guide add-on to foster spiritual engagement and connection. For this one-page project, Williams uses Brochures for a very specific reason. “We just need an 8.5″ x 11″ [piece of] paper, but we need it to fold to fit in the box, so we use the Brochure settings,” she said.


Smartpress’ Brochure folding options make it easy to present your content in a way that best suits your project. Williams’ classic single fold is ideal for showcasing products or services at trade shows and conferences, while a gate fold reveals your design dramatically and an accordion fold offers practical versatility.

How to use print for your online business

Ordering In

Along with graphic designer Danielle King, Williams’ print focus is on “quality, professionalism and uniqueness,” and she achieves all three with Collated Printing. From dinosaur yoga cards to a Parisian password game and clue cards, Night In Boxes activities lend themselves perfectly to this innovative product.


“We love Collated Printing,” Williams said. “We pack thousands of boxes each month and the last thing we want to do is separate and make sets.”

A budget-friendly time-saver, Collated Printing lets you create stacks or decks with varying content on each sheet that are then collated (or sorted) into the right order. As Williams points out, you’ll never have to manually compile sets from separate stacks again.


With so many size options, stocks like recycled, felt weave and linen, along with matte and gloss lamination and the velvety smooth Soft-Touch coating, Collated Printing suits projects of all kinds. Hint: Choose shrink wrapping for convenient packaging, individual retail sale or easy gifting.

Print marketing for your online businesses
Print marketing for online businesses

Emerging Ideas

As part of the Kids Night In experience, Night In Boxes encourages little ones to “play with a purpose.” Williams completes these up close and personal Sensory Kits with activity mats. How? By getting creative with Cards.


“Sometimes we use them for a game or as instructional cards for activities like yoga,” she said. Full of directions and tips with printing on both sides, it’s a single card, just without the fold. Talk about thinking outside the box.


Whether you want to connect with clients and customers in the traditional way or need informational inserts to package with products, Cards lets you do it all – and all your way. Personalize them with Variable Data Printing, add laser cut logos and designs, finish them with rounded corners, pair them with matching envelopes and more.

Online printing business ideas

Doorstep Delivery

Although it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters, Williams knows what’s on the outside can’t be overlooked. She uses Stickers as part of her print strategy to complete the package. “We use them on padded mailers, boxes and sometimes certain products that go in the box to help tie the theme together,” she said. “We love the Stickers we have been getting from Smartpress, and at our quantities, they are cheaper than others we have found.”

Great for on-the-go advertising, trade shows, giveaways and media kits, Stickers promote your brand or business in an effective, interactive way. They’re such a simple idea for how an online business uses print. They get your message across with removable and permanent stocks that are easy to peel, along with custom sizes and finishes that let you market your message any way you want.

Custom printing
Business printing ideas

Business Sense

Developing a print strategy may not be an obvious priority for an online-only business. But if you’re like Williams, you recognize just how much print can enhance your products for customers and how much it can pay off.


“Our print products are a huge part of the experience and really help us to achieve that enjoyable quality time spent with [the customer’s] significant other or children,” she said.


Williams’ imaginative implementation of a wide range of Smartpress’ print solutions has given Night In Boxes a presentation that’s profitable, too. “Our print items are some of the most important aspects of our business and our customers’ experience,” she said. “Without print we would not be able to achieve that experience!”

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