The online retail market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds. Delivery and product protection play a very important role in the success of an online business. As the consumer is becoming more and more demanding, it is not surprising that the seller must get more innovative with packaging to satisfy the need of the buyer.
Brand image is a big game in the consumer world. To maintain the brand and customer loyalty, the seller has become extremely careful in delivering the product to match the consumer needs. The consumer has become much more aware, brand conscious, and demanding.
What Is Packaging?
Packaging is the material used to wrap or protect the goods during transit. The definition of packaging has changed in a past couple of years. Thanks to the boom in online purchases. Packaging now is an art, science and technology to protect products for selling, delivery and storage. The functions of packaging too have undergone a dramatic change. Now, the packaging includes functions like promotions, barcode identification, attention grabbing and use of recyclable/ sustainable packaging materials.
The material used to wrap the product not only protects and keeps the product clean, but also identifies, describes, displays and promotes the seller and the product. In the year 2018, customized e-commerce packaging is a unique opportunity to create a positive and memorable impact on the customer. Research shows that the first impression about the package is more important as it creates an impression in the mind of the customer within 100 milliseconds!
Online shopping can be broadly divided into three categories: grocery, consumer electronics, and personal care & household products. With each category, products face a key online challenge. The products have to be protected (and grocery has to remain fresh) right through the picking packing and delivery process. Grocery Packaging:
The design of the package must maintain the look and feel of the product. The packaging should be sturdy to preserve the quality of perishable items. It should suit the logistic operations as well.
Personal care and household packaging:
The packaging must be tamper proof. It should be optimized for easy returns. Offer creative design and use sustainable/recyclable material.
Strong packaging material should be used to protect the product from shock impacts. Packaging should give the brand experience, use of sustainable packaging material and optimized for returns to reduce the product damage rate.
What’s in in 2018 - What’s Out?
- Simple design – In Cluttered design – Out The modern packaging trend is a minimalistic approach. Consumers expect the package to convey the necessary information about the product. Only relevant product information dominates the packaging.
- Soothing and pastels- In Masculine packaging – Out Pastel shades, soft edges are the packaging design for 2018.
- Innovative packaging – In Familiar packaging – Out Familiar packaging was safe. Now the trend is to go in for whimsical and innovative packaging designs. It sure is a big risk, but the consumer today is more enthusiastic about the packaging so it is probably worth the risk.
- Bigger and bolder fonts – In Small typography – Out The consumer attention span is shrinking drastically, mainly because the consumer today has many options for the same product. The packaging now has bigger fonts and a clearer message to quickly deliver the information to the consumer. The trend for 2018 is less words and bigger fonts.
Online Retail / Online Shopping
Online shopping is one of the fastest growing market across the globe. In the USA, www.statista.com forecasts that the online shopping will double between 2016 to 2020 worldwide. In the USA, about 40% internet users purchase products online multiple times a month, while about 20% make weekly online purchases.
As the online sales increase, the need for sustainable packaging and demand for packaging as per the shipping requirement is also increasing. The packaging not only has to ensure that the goods reach the buyer intact, but it also must be a good-looking package, affordable and sustainable. The future of an online business depends upon the packaging, or you may risk losing your customer to the competitor.
The Packaging Trends for 2018
1. Smarter design of packaging to protect the goods- the online retailer is completely responsible to deliver the undamaged products to the consumer’s doorstep. Any damaged product is returned by the buyer, which ultimately results in a loss for the seller.
2. Free returns – to build customer loyalty, most online sellers offer free returns. Use of smart, reusable packaging that protects the products against the shipping hardships is the trend for 2018.
3. Innovation – new payment methods will be actively supported by changes in packaging.
4. Omni channels – new and multiple sales channels require packaging to meet the needs of marketing as well as integrate the products.
5. Home delivery – delivery of products from warehouse/store to home must support easy packaging methods.
6. Customer Experience – the first impression created by the packaging and easy and attractive unboxing decides future customer loyalty.
7. Technology intelligence – intelligent packaging integrates smart features like NFC, barcodes and data activation through smart phones.
8. Sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging – with the awareness amongst the consumers, the use of fewer and lighter material as per the recycling legislation give the seller a competitive edge.
Packaging is the key to online retail success. The online retail seller must capture this massive growth opportunity by ensuring that the package not only protects the product from damage, but creates customer loyalty as well. The innovative packaging trends are a win-win situation for the consumer, for the seller, as well as the packaging supplies seller and manufacturer.