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Packaging it right- The E-Commerce Packaging Dilemma

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E-Commerce Packaging

More of us than ever before are shopping online with IGD forecasting that by 2019 27% of UK consumers will be buying groceries via the internet. But what impact will this have on our packaging?

There are arguments for and against packaging but picture this…

So your weekly online shop has arrived and you excitedly unpack the contents … but wait… all of the products are in the same bog standard no frills bagged packaging…how would you feel? Would your products still be appealing? Would they include the information that would expect to find?  Has it been properly protected? 

Despite all the frustrations consumers have about excess ecommerce packaging (I’m no exception here) it is more than likely there for a reason.

Is it really excess? Packaging companies are constantly working to meet changing consumer needs with new innovations to increase freshness, shelf life, structural appeal for added protection, added ventilation, superior flexibility or convenience in stacking, carrying and end use. They do all of this so it doesn’t only function well but it looks nice and appealing to consumer too. 

According to the 2015 eCommerce Packaging Survey from Dotcom Distribution, more than 30% of the 524 online shoppers said the use of branded packaging for online orders affects their perceptions of the brand or retailer. Luxury or attractive packaging brings a feeling of excitement to consumers which was ranked as one of the highest drivers of repeat purchase according to a survey by WestRock.

In fact, if a food product is under packaged it will live a much shorter shelf life and be much more likely to get wasted. There is a misconception that packaging is one of the main suspects in damaging the earth, but in reality packaging is less than 3% of landfill and food waste is more than 18%. What is more, avoidable household food waste has 15 times the impact than packaging waste. One of the main purposes of packaging is to prevent some of this food waste. Lets take cucumber for example, unwrapped it lasts 3 days and in a plastic film lasts 14 days, we need this convenience as consumers, especially with our forever more hectic lifestyles.

Huge progress has been made so far with 60% of packaging now being recycled. So what’s next… how retailers are combining functionality with ever growing sustainable needs…check this out in our next blog.

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