The traditional retail shopping experience has shifted dramatically in today’s digital age, as meal delivery, online product ordering, and pre-purchasing services continue to rise in popularity. Online grocery sales alone are predicted to take over $100 billion of the food market by 2025.
As more and more shoppers opt for click-to-buy options in place of brick-and-mortar shops, it’s become crucial for companies to focus on all aspects of supply chain management. Branding consistency, attractive packaging presentation, and optimal quality upon delivery are all critical factors in consumers’ final satisfaction levels. The traditional supply chain model, built around stocking for retail, wasn’t driven by these factors in the same way.
Direct Consumers Vs. The Retail Shelf
Online buying platforms continue to grow, and expectations are high: Consumers seek nothing less than perfect distribution. Essential concerns for the modern online shopper include:
- Rapid, prompt delivery
- Ease of return
- Protective packaging and intact final products
- Easy package disposal
- Consistent, recognizable branding
- Efficient, environmentally friendly packing materials
Shoppers today have a huge range of choices for very similar — and even the very same — types of items, and the variety of product shapes and sizes can make packaging and shipping operations challenging. With such a wealth of options to choose from, packaging is often what sets apart one product from another for today’s consumers.
For online grocery, in particular, consumer trends show an increasing demand for high-quality packaging. Online grocery sales are expected to capture 20% of the market share by 2025, so suppliers need to start preparing now.
Great Expectations: E-Commerce Packaging for Direct Delivery
Today, package designers no longer focus solely to the retail shelf display; in the e-commerce world, customers take into account every aspect of the supply chain experience, and the impact of a package is realized at its final destination — consumers’ doorsteps.
These customers are seeking different things than their predecessors, who dealt only with brick-and-mortar retail. So what are today’s consumers looking for?
- Professionalism — From web presence to customer service calls to final shipping packages, customers are now paying attention to every step of their purchasing journey. Consistent branding, easy-to-use designs, and environmentally friendly materials are more valuable than ever before.
- Security and quality assurance — Online shoppers expect products to arrive in nothing less than premium condition. Damaged goods are simply not acceptable.
- Fast delivery — Time is money in the online shopping world. The longer a customer’s wait for delivery, the less satisfying their overall consumer experience. Quick turnaround, good communication, and fast receipt of purchase are the best ways to ensure ultimate customer satisfaction and return purchasing.
E-Commerce Considerations: Packaging for the Future
Here at Plastic Ingenuity, we understand that positive brand perception is crucial for succeeding in the e-commerce world, with packaging playing an increasingly important role in the overall consumer experience. We also understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach; when deciding on a packaging solution, companies should consider their specific shipping routes, products’ unique physical properties, and required materials and their thicknesses.
As we work to develop new solutions to meet shoppers’ ever-evolving expectations for cost-efficient, sustainable, and durable packaging, countless new developments and innovations are flooding the market. To learn more about the new era of packaging for online retail and the many sophisticated packaging options available, download Plastic Ingenuity’s free eBook, “How the Shift From Brick-and-Mortar Stores to Online Retail Is Impacting the Packaging Industry.”