In 2019, ecommerce generated more than $4 trillion in sales globally, and with the current pandemic, more and more consumers are turning to the convenience and safety of ecommerce for many of their shopping needs. In many cases, this means that companies need to think about their ecommerce packaging and make some adjustments to adapt to the online shopping world.

The recent global crisis has introduced millions of people to the world of online shopping, but even after the crisis has ended, online shopping will continue to gain traction. According to a survey by CouponSurvey in 2019, Millennials stated that they conduct more than half of their shopping online. Baby Boomers and Gen X also report purchasing a significant portion of their shopping budget is handled via ecommerce.

As a manufacturer, there are several steps you can take to make your products more accessible via ecommerce and to make your packaging more appropriate for ecommerce channels, including the following:

1. Easy-Open Options Are Crucial
In a retail storefront, you often want packaging that is tamper-resistant or tamper-evident to protect your product from theft and damage. With ecommerce packaging, consumers prefer packaging that’s easy to open. It still needs to be protective during shipping, but you don’t have to worry as much about heat sealing, RF welding or other sealing options with ecommerce packaging.

In fact, major retailers such as Amazon have certification for packaging that is designated as “frustration-free.” If your product meets Amazon’s criteria, this designation will appear in your product description and this could entice consumers to purchase your product over another item. We can design custom clamshell packaging, blister packaging or other types of packaging that is easy for consumers to open.

2. Make Returns As Easy As Possible
Along the same lines as creating easy-open containers and packages, you also want to create packaging that’s easy to return. Many retailers are enticing customers with free shipping and free return policies, and consumers are far more likely to purchase an item if it is easy to return.

If your packaging has to be cut open or damaged in order to get into your product, this not only makes it more difficult to return, it also no longer provides an adequate level of protection during the return shipping. Even if your product returns undamaged, you’ll be dealing with the additional expense of putting the item in a new package before it can be shipped out to a different customer.

3. Sustainable Options Entice Customers
Consumers, especially Millennials, often make choices based upon the sustainability of your ecommerce packaging. Getting back to that Amazon frustration-free packaging certification, this certification also speaks to the sustainability of the packaging as well as the ease of opening.

If you have designed new packaging that reduces material use or you use easily recyclable materials, this can drive customers to choose your company’s product over the product from a company that doesn’t bother to advertise their sustainability. Virtually all of the materials we use at Indepak are recyclable. Plastics such as PET, PETG and HDPE are accepted by virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States and we can create many types of custom plastic packaging using these materials.

4. Inform Your Customers
This tip is more about your website than your ecommerce packaging, but it’s still an important factor with online sales. In a storefront, an attractive package can entice consumers and help to make a sale, but that’s often not as important with ecommerce as people are looking at your product pictures and making a decision based upon those pictures and the product information.

Ensuring that you have high-quality photography that shows off your products to their best advantage and that you include as much information about the product will help consumers make a decision that leans in your favor. This is particularly true with Baby Boomers and Gen X, two generations that tend to do quite a bit of research before making a purchase.

5. Engage The User
People love going to storefronts not only for the ability to purchase an item immediately but also often for the experience of shopping. Online shopping might seem impersonal and less exciting, but there are ways you can engage the user and grab their attention and make shopping online as exciting as shopping in a brick and mortar store.

For instance, you need to build a fantastic website that is not only is easy to navigate but entices people to stay on your site and learn more about your company and your products. Your website truly needs to shine, and you need to ensure that the user experience is just as positive on tablets and smartphones as on a regular desktop computer. Millennials and Gen Z both shop frequently on their smartphones and more and more of the older generations are moving that direction. Website speed is also important. If images and information are slow to load, consumers might become frustrated and go elsewhere.

When it comes to ecommerce packaging, be sure that your packaging helps to build your brand identity. You might use the same basic packaging style, label style and logo throughout so that your company logo is immediately recognizable to customers. We can help ensure that your packaging is attractive to consumers and fits perfectly inside secondary packaging, such as subscription boxes or Amazon boxes, etc.

When we first started Indepak, back in 1967, plastic packaging was a fairly new option. We were on the cutting edge of packaging back in the 60s, and we are always adapting to fit the needs of a changing world. This includes creating custom ecommerce packaging solutions, as well as finding the most sustainable way to provide those solutions.

Through the decades, we have worked with a wide range of industries, including the specialty foods industry, the electronics industry, the medical & pharmaceutical industries. We’ve also designed ecommerce packaging for a myriad of retail products and personal care items. When it comes to custom plastic packaging, we can provide you with innovative options that fit your needs and your budget. Give us a call today and let’s get started on your packaging project.