In the new world of eCommerce, online sales are rapidly increasing, and new retail channels are opening up. Consumers are receiving products in ever more unique packaging but there is an environmental and societal impact on our new way of shopping. There is a higher financial cost for the more tailored containers and greater waste with growing numbers of smaller deliveries. Additionally, courier deliveries can be like sending your products through a tumble dryer. How do you delight your consumers with safely delivered, beautiful packs and give them a great brand experience? How can you minimise waste, use easy to recycle solutions and keep the costs low?
This article takes look at the challenges and opportunities for eCommerce packaging – a brand experience in the post.
Prepare to delight
Planning for eCommerce packaging at the start of your project allows you to build in the costs and time required to source or develop the packaging solutions that your products need. It ensures that you look at how your products are delivered and at the physical challenges they will face. Sending products directly to a retail store still requires consideration but shipping direct-to-consumer requires different thinking.
Protection is king. One sure-fire way to annoy your customers is to make them think you don’t care about them after you have their money. DSSmith, a global supplier of transit packaging, ran a study that found 39% of people in the UK had received online purchased products in poor quality packaging. 19% of those were angry or upset by this experience.
From online stores to automated stores, and from grocery delivery services, like Ocado, to multi-item, mixed packages such as Hello Fresh, and Amazon Pantry, protection needs will differ. With up to 50 touchpoints for eCommerce packaging, the likelihood of bumps and drops is very high. Getting your packaging specification right for the retail channel and the challenges it will face equates to good customer service.
With no in-store contact, the delivery of your product may be the first physical touchpoint your consumer has with your brand. This creates a real opportunity for your eCommerce pack to be a brand experience in the post. What unwrapping experience would you like your buyers to have? How can you extend your brand messages and identifiers on to your eCommerce pack? From custom print and luxury closures to branded tape and tissue-paper wrapping, your eCommerce package can deliver your marketing strategy.
One downside to lots of beautiful, branded packages is how much of it remains with your consumers to manage. Difficult-to-recycle poly bags and bulky boxes piling high in consumers’ homes raises questions about the environmental impact of eCommerce packaging. Designing for recyclability will minimise the sustainability-scare that customers face when left with the empty containers of their recent purchases. Sizing packs properly results in less material used and less air being shipped with your product. Making packs collapsible means consumers recycle bins are less likely to overflow and introducing a returnable, re-use eCommerce pack, removes all packaging waste from your consumer. Options such as RePack opens the dialogue for circularity with your customer and demonstrates your brand is backing its sustainability messages. Each considered step in designing your eCommerce pack helps you build your brand loyalty.
eCommerce is here to stay
Nielsen’s 5-year forecast of e-commerce predicts that FMCG online growth will double over the next 5 years. New retail channels are opening up the market place and bringing opportunities for your business. The delivery methods are tough on the humble corrugated box and customised design options are numerous. Having a clear strategy for your eCommerce packaging will help you to deliver a brand experience in the post and be critical for your future online success.
For a chat about your brands eCommerce packaging, contact Circle Packaging.