Amazon has already offered its shoppers easy-to-open packaging labelled as “frustration free”. Photo: Amazon.
Trendsetting Transport Packaging
Transport packaging has to withstand extreme conditions and is therefore largely made of solid materials like corrugated board. At the same time, packaging should be as thin and lightweight as possible for the environment’s sake. But buyers receiving their new favourite shoes in a damaged box not only lose the fun of unwrapping but also their trust in the seller. To optimise the seller-shopper relationship and to stand out from the sea of beige parcels experts recommend thinking out of the box and being far-sighted when it comes to packaging design.
For a number of years now the market share of goods sold online has been constantly on the rise. The biggest e-commerce turnover is generated in China. Up to 12% of retail sales are made online there and in 2016 e-commerce alone totalled US$ 752 billion in the Middle Kingdom. According to a market report of the EHI Retail Institute, online retailers’ turnover in Germany amounted to EUR 35.5 billion last year. 40 million households spent an average of some EUR 1,800on e-commerce by the accounts of the German E-Commerce and Distance Selling Trade Association (Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel) in 2016. Additional data is provided by credit card service provider Mastercard that also supports the positive trend. Consumers in over 20 countries of the European Economic Area were surveyed. The result: one in four consumers shops online at least once a week. According to the survey, 41% of Brits shop by smartphone, PC or Tablet followed by the Irish at 32% and the Germans at 30%.
Parcel shipments have increased worldwide thanks to e-commerce. The right packaging ensures high spirits both on the retailer’s and addressee’s part. Photo: DHL parcel drop-off in Vienna. @ DHL.
In view of these figure experts believe brand owners should give more and targeted thought to packaging design for transport in future. In this process it was of great importance to already think about sales channels in the run-up to packaging design, said Joe Stadola, Vice President of Global Business Development at Jabil Packaging Solutions, recently at an expert event. Especially for beverage packaging in e-commerce safe closures play a decisive role in transport.
Colourful – rather than “brown-on-brown”
In future, experts go on to say, products will no longer start their voyage to shoppers in boxes with bubble wrap, foam chips and the like but travel in “envelopes” specifically geared to their distribution channel. Those wanting to catch the buyers’ eye and stand out from their competitors will opt for printed packaging and personalised adhesive tapes, for example. This applies particularly to high-quality goods and lifestyle products where unwrapping is simply part and parcel of the customer journey.
Eye-catching transport packaging stands out from the mass of brown boxes. Photo: Oberland.la.
However, these beautiful envelopes also come at a price: costs will be in part four times as high. And still, the investment seems to pay off for some companies, such as Shirt-Shop Oberland.la, for example. To Fabio Cinelli, owner of the company, the rural Bavarian wooden-crate look of the printed boxes forms an integral part of his corporate image and identity. "Since we do not have a physical store where we can create that atmosphere for our shoppers with furnishings, we already want to get them into the mood for unwrapping the minute they receive the order,” explains Cinelli.
Pull strips and integrated adhesive strips ease returns for shoppers. Photo: DHL courier in Vienna. @ DHL.
A similar approach is taken by the American company Amazon, which aims to embellish and/or ease shoppers’ unwrapping experience with its “frustration-free packaging (ffp)”. The online giant does not wrap USB sticks in tight-fit blisters that can only be opened – let’s be fair – with suitable tools or pointed nails but in simple carton envelopes with handy pull strips.
Some mail order companies also make returns convenient for their shoppers. To facilitate returns the secondary packaging is shipped in such a way that it doubles for sending back the undesired item – complete with integrated adhesive strip and pre-printed return label.