Ecommerce has taken over as consumers favorite way to shop. People are buying everything from groceries to clothing and everything in between. Even businesses are turning to ecommerce to stock offices and more. The technology that is available to get products out the door and in our customers hands with incredible speed is only growing. By understanding the trends that are driving ecommerce packaging we can prepare for what’s to come and streamline our packaging standards to meet the needs of our customers. Here are are the top 6 trends that are prominent in ecommerce packaging right now in 2019.
The omnichannel fulfillment utilizes brick and mortar store to fulfill ecommerce orders. In other words, when someone orders online the closest brick and mortar store is alerted and has the materials and technology to prepare the order and ship it to the customer. This is helping retailers to save floorspace in large distribution centers and instead use the systems that they already have in place. For some retailers this requires setting up packaging stations and reworking the brick and mortar layout. Since many companies have seen a drop in foot traffic, this helps to repurpose the in-store resources.
Our customers are on the go more than ever. The ability to reach our customers via mobile devices is extremely important. One way companies are doing this is through sophisticated ecommerce channels on their mobile websites as well as specialized mobile applications. Even when a customer is in store, they are often comparing products and prices on their mobile devices. Making it easy to reorder within the ecommerce platform is also critical for customers. With customers being on the go, it is also important for retailers to package products in easy to carry containers (especially with beauty and food products).
With the boom of subscription TV and movie platforms like Netflix and Hulu, it is no surprise that customers are using subscriptions for other consumer goods like meats, razors, pet supplies, and more. This is an opportunity for packaging companies to provide a tailored unboxing experience for the customer each month. It is also a challenge for packaging companies as many of the goods that customers want to subscribe to have special packaging restrictions (for example, temperature requirements for food).
More than ever, our customers want to know where their products come from and that the ingredients are safe and sustainable. The media has informed customers that our planet is in a vulnerable state, encouraging customers to pay attention to how sustainable their life is. Further, customers want to know they can trust the companies they buy from. Customers have endless options when it comes to purchasing products, so it’s not surprising that they will turn to your competitors if they don’t trust you. One thing that packaging companies are doing is using labeling technology to track the specific batches and make sure they are selling safe products.
The modern consumer doesn’t have to wait, period. They have more control than ever with getting what they want when they want it. For companies to stay competitive and keep their customers, they have had to respond by offering the speed of service, such as fast shipping times, 24-7 customer service, and self-serve kiosks. Packaging comes into play for a number of reasons. The packaging equipment and systems that are needed in distribution centers must be fast enough to get products out the door in response to consumer demand. When it comes to self-serve kiosks, companies also have to find new ways to package their products for the self-serve environment.
Less is More
It is more important than ever to reduce the amount of packaging and stick to the basics. Due to shipping costs and restrictions, companies have turned to smaller more flexible packaging options, such as mailer envelopes, instead of rigid boxes. This makes it cheaper to get into the customers hand. The technology around these smaller packaging options has advanced to meet the needs of companies today.