E-commerce packaging design plays a critical role in the sale of your online products. Most companies understand the importance of using impressive retail packaging, but e-commerce packaging is just as crucial and has another element to consider beyond the primary packaging - the corrugated shipping box. When your product packaging and shipping box are both appropriately designed, the product will arrive protected, and your customer will be thrilled.
E-commerce sales boomed in 2020 and are on track to increase this year as the second quarter of 2021 realized $222.5 Billion in sales, a 9% increase over the second quarter of 2020, according to Census Bureau data. With more people than ever relying on online shopping, getting the packaging right will ensure your customers remain happy and you see repeat business from them. Customers who receive damaged products or are otherwise unhappy with the experience are more likely to tell others or leave poor reviews online and on social media.
Companies that can recognize and fulfill their customers’ expectations can count themselves among the successful. However, customers’ expectations can change over time, so looking for trends in packaging can help you stay abreast of your customer’s desires. Current trends seen in e-commerce packaging include minimalist packaging, sustainability, and social sharing.
When it comes to e-commerce packaging, less is more. In the last few years, there has been a growing trend toward minimalist design that is simpler and more elegant. Visually understated elegance can convey a premium product. However, beyond graphic design, minimalistic structural design optimized for performance will appeal to your customer and save you money through fewer materials, fewer returns, and reduced transportation costs.
A study for understanding consumers’ emotional response to protective materials in parcel packaging was conducted by Packaging Insight, using facial cameras to record the emotional reaction of each participant as they opened packages. Styrofoam peanuts caused participants the greatest frustration - participants were 39% more frustrated to find packing peanuts than paper.
However, this doesn’t mean you should replace packaging peanuts with wads of paper. Consumers dislike excess packaging in any form and will take to social media to express their disdain. Even top e-commerce leaders have been guilty of overpackaging.
The Packaging Insight Study also revealed that 73% of participants would be unlikely to purchase from the company again after receiving a damaged item. So, optimizing e-commerce packaging design by reducing materials while ensuring product protection is critical.
Sustainability has been a buzzword for quite some time, but consumers still demand that companies take responsibility for the environment. An Ipsos poll conducted in September 2020 revealed that 66% of consumers believe companies have a moral obligation to use sustainable packaging.
As discussed, consumers dislike excessive packaging and are more frustrated when materials used are not sustainable. So, there is a movement toward providing customers with more sustainable packaging, including packaging from a renewable resource and recyclable. One survey revealed that two out of three consumers say that environmentally friendly, recyclable packaging is important, and half will avoid packaging that is not recyclable.
Corrugated board meets the requirements of a sustainable material. It is renewable, recyclable, often contains recycled content, is reusable, and when uncoated, it is compostable.
In addition, it is lightweight, and through further material reductions through optimization for the specific product, corrugated can help you further reduce your carbon footprint by allowing you to ship more product per truckload, reducing gas use and emissions.
Social Media can be your best friend or worst enemy. Trends toward posting images and videos calling out perceived wrongdoings by companies are growing. Using excessive packaging or environmentally unfriendly packaging can put you on the wrong side of this trend.
On the flip side, unboxing videos are a popular trend that involves opening products to give viewers a look at what is inside. Searching unboxing on YouTube brings up more than 125 million videos. If your e-commerce products are appropriately packaged, you can create a memorable unboxing experience that further drives sales. For example, using a branded shipping box can create immediate anticipation for your customer the moment they see it on their doorstep.
When a customer has invited you to their home, you want to impress them. Targeted messaging, high-quality graphics, packaging material choice, and packaging structure itself create their first impression.
From initial conceptualization, testing, and prototyping to finished and printed creative packaging, our integrated One-Resource Design and Manufacturing Team provides all levels of design and manufacturing solutions for e-commerce packaging. We have extensive experience with subscription boxes, branded brown boxes, and high graphic packaging and can help you create the ultimate experience for your customers.