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The latest trends in ecommerce packaging

Once upon a time, shopping was something we did at the weekends, driving or taking public transport to a mall or central shopping street to browse the shelves and discover new, must-have items.

Today, the average shopper is more likely to browse online from the comfort of their own home, which means – for companies big and small – carving out an online space has become the go-to method for generating revenue.

Myriad factors have contributed to the ubiquity of online shopping in the past two decades: access to faster internet and affordable devices, developments in online security and payment systems, and improved global supply chains to name just a few.

In more recent years, the spread of COVID-19 – which saw lockdowns taking place around the world – has been a significant factor. It’s thought that the pandemic contributed $219 billion to the US ecommerce market in 2020 and 2021.

As with any other market, ecommerce is one that needs to grow and adapt with changing times and in response to evolving consumer demands. One area where we’ve seen huge developments is in packaging – if you’re a business running an ecommerce site, read on to learn about some of the latest trends.

SIOC (“ships in own container”)

One of the biggest trends in ecommerce packaging right now is SIOC, pack formats that allow a produce to be shipped in its own container.

These durable, specially designed packs enclose and seal around an item securely, ensuring security during transit. They remove the need for any tertiary packaging, and are often slimline enough to be posted directly through a mailbox.

The benefits of this approach are far-reaching, as a pack that “ships in own container” offers the following:

  • No additional prep by the fulfilment company
  • Less packaging
  • Minimal damage and defects
  • A more cost-effective process

SIOC Packaging ecommerce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a SIOC pack you can reduce warehouse space, shipping costs and packaging costs, and free up vital hours for your fulfilment staff. Another key benefit is an improved consumer experience – SIOC packs are lightweight and easy to handle, and mean there’s no more rooting around in oversized boxes to get to your product!

A SIOC pack can come in many different varieties offering a host of different applications.

At GPA Global, we’ve developed a wide range of SIOC formats including:

  • RELF (roll end lock front)
  • Clamshell
  • Drawer
  • Lid & base

We’ve developed these SIOC pack formats to suit the needs of all kinds of ecommerce products, including electronics and wines & spirits.

Sustainability & ecommerce packaging

Ask almost any brand right now and they’ll tell you their consumers are far more eco-conscious than they used to be – in one US consumer survey from 2020, 84% of respondents said they expected products and packages to be “easy to recycle and made with recycled content”.

While plenty of traditional ecommerce packaging materials are fit for recycling, there’s still a lot of waste that goes on when prepping products for fulfilment. If you’re looking to improve on sustainability when it comes to your ecommerce packaging, there are various approaches you can try.

SIOC (“ships in own container”) packaging is a great way to cut back on packaging materials, warehouse space and shipping costs. Another good format to work with is padded/flexible bag, as this offers huge savings on space and fuel.

You can also cut back on waste and pollution by experimenting with newly developed, eco-friendly materials, particularly those which are tailor-made for recycling or – better yet – fully biodegradable. Some new packaging materials even dissolve in water!

Here at GPA Global, we aim to work with materials that provide an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic products. Some of our favorites include:

  • Molded pulp
  • Crinkle paper shred
  • Paper pad
  • Corrugate
  • Paper foam

One of our favorite innovations in recent years has been Eco-Logic, a range of biodegradable molded pulp containers specially designed to package luxury cosmetics items.

You can learn more by reading this article: A guide to sustainable packaging trends for 2022.

Custom inserts, SIOC packs & security during transit

Custom inserts can be added to ecommerce packs – and, in particular SIOC packs – to enhance security during transit. There have been countless innovations within this area in recent years, but the basic idea is to craft a fitment perfectly customized to the size of the product and ideally made from a sustainable material.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inserts can be made from a variety of materials, including paperboard, layers of shaped corrugate, molded pulp and paper foam. The most eco-conscious brands will probably want to consider mono-material packs, in which the same material has been used for the exterior packaging and the insert, allowing for it to be disposed of within the same recycling stream.

Enhanced packaging design

Along with other technologies, print has advanced hugely in recent years, making sophisticated techniques accessible for companies of all sizes. Now, the average ecommerce site can afford to use print techniques to inject color, fun and flair into their packaging.

There may even be the potential to craft a secondary use for your pack, encouraging the end user to hold onto it for longer than they usually would. This is a great way to encourage brand loyalty from consumers who are troubled by the “throwaway” culture surrounding ecommerce packaging.

 

Enhanced ecommerce packaging design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At GPA Global, we can provide simple, functional SIOC packaging with full color print and custom finishes on the interior. This gives our clients the opportunity to use otherwise “dead space” within their packs, helping to build a sense of their brand even before the consumer opens the product.

Digital packaging

“Digital packaging” is a catch-all term for ecommerce packaging that incorporates intelligent digital features such as printed electronics and QR codes. These kinds of features can be used to:

  • Enhance security
  • Enable easier fulfilment
  • Improve product tracking

Perhaps the biggest benefit of digital packaging is that it can curate a superior user experience. Now that the average consumer has a smartphone in their pocket, digital packaging allows for enhanced interaction with the product, whether by scanning a QR code to access the product website or using augmented reality to bring a label to life.

Digital e-commerce packaging

Partner with GPA Global for custom ecommerce packaging

If you’re looking to enhance and streamline your brand’s ecommerce packaging, get in touch with GPA Global to find out what we can offer. We are a truly international business, with facilities, warehouses and offices across North America, Europe and East Asia, and we have expertise across every major sector.

Our sophisticated ecommerce packaging solutions are tailor-made to reduce costs, save time and space, and deliver an enhanced experience for the end user that will have them returning to your website time and time again.

Contact us today to learn more.

 

11 April 2022
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