Challenges in E-commerce Packaging
The e-commerce market and its ever-expanding assortment of players made one of the biggest impacts on protective packaging in 2019. According to the E-Commerce: Think Inside the Box report by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies states that product protection is the main issue in E-Commerce packaging. Growth in online purchasing drives changes from product design, to package changes, picking, fulfilling and shipping, and in this new scenario, a package’s ability to protect the product against breakage becomes it’s most vital function.
Protection Over Promotion
Companies that produce consumer packaged goods and brand manufacturers are turning to various new channels to get the product to the consumer, which results in adding more touch points and creating the need for packaging that will protect a product rather than promote it.
Customers are purchasing an increasing number of products digitally, and in most cases, they are making their purchasing decisions on items presented package free.
This led to a shift from packaging’s traditional role, which is to draw consumer attention on store shelves. Since products aren’t sent through traditional retail channels, they usually aren’t shipped on pallets, where padding and wrapping are used to protect the product.
In the retail store, a product is touched six to seven times from the moment of packaging to the time the consumer takes it from the shelf. This number increases to around 20 to 30 touches in e-commerce, which is significantly raising the risk of damage.
Flexibility above all
E-commerce businesses usually sell various products and they often need to pack different combinations of products in a single carton or case for shipping. This requires flexible packaging solutions and machines that can handle various carton and case sizes and different products. This is probably why most of the cartoning and case packing solutions will rely on robotics and robotic infeeds in the future. Pick and place robots offer the level of flexibility e-commerce packaging requires.
Maintain the brand image
Online shops offer affordable, or even free, delivery which is why more and more customers are turning to online shopping. Besides packaging that can withstand day- or week-long journeys with the post office, e-commerce businesses are also striving for packaging that will reinforce a consistent and positive brand message.
Every business must decide what packages should be used to transport products across the country or even internationally. Some companies opt to spend a bit more money in order to make a stronger impression to the consumer, while others make all choices based on cost savings.
Since packaging can be found in low and high qualities, a retailer’s ultimate goal is to use affordable material with strong enough quality. Some brands, known for their low prices can get away with lower-end packaging choices thanks to its brand’s reputation, while luxury companies must use packaging that helps each order feel completely personalized and unique. This type of packaging might be thicker, with tissue paper and even a thank-you card on top.
Packaging demands change with the demands of the market, and packaging machine manufacturers are expected to design and develop packaging machinery that will respond to the challenges that emerge with changes. That is why at Tishma Technologies, we constantly strive towards innovation in order to overcome any packaging challenge that comes our way.