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Packaging trends in eCommerce

Published: May 18, 2021
Author: Keelin Rowan

Packaging trends in eCommerce

In an online world the customer experience is dictated by a series of interactions from pre-purchase, to the online store experience, through payment, fulfilment, order communications and the delivery and presentation of goods to the receiver.  The brand is reflected in all of these touchpoints.  A positive customer experience comes from setting and meeting expectations throughout the purchase, delivery and use of the product.

Some of the key things to get right when considering packaging;

  • Size matters: Using correctly sized boxes for your products, protects them better in transit and leaves the consumer with less packaging waste.   In addition, properly sized packaging requires less expensive filler and reduces the overall financial and environmental costs. Profile the types of product being shipped and provide for a range of packaging sizes that can accommodate most products.
  • Eco-friendly and sustainable packaging: Companies are transitioning to more sustainable packaging materials, using recycled materials and increasingly eliminating the use of plastics.  A recent survey by Oceana found that 87% of consumers think online retailers should reduce the level of plastic packaging used.
  • Frustration free: Retail packaging is designed to protect from theft in store and can frequently be difficult for customers to open – requiring scissors or similar. There is an opportunity for eCommerce packaging to remove some of the frustration with packaging that protects without frustrating.
  • Brand storytelling: #unboxing has by now been used over 2.1 million times on Instagram. Increasingly, influencers share their experience receiving and opening packages, and give their thoughts on packaging, whether it is sustainable and appealing to the eye. Thought needs to be given to positioning of product within the packaging, and the customer’s experience on opening.
  • Branded packaging: Security considerations may limit the scope to have fully branded exterior packaging, but brands can consider branded inner paper, cards, tape and labels as ways to extend the brand look and feel, at an affordable cost.
  • Returns: Consider the potential returns experience for consumers. How can the packaging be used to support returns, and how can the process be facilitated without the need for the addition of additional labels in every package that is distributed, are key considerations.

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