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How ecommerce and retail packaging have been affected by COVID-19

Retail packaging IS ALL ABOUT aesthetic and impactful design MAKE THINGS PRETTY SO THAT PEOPLE WILL BE DRAWN TO THEM. eCommerce packaging ON THE OTHER HAND, has a MUCH MORE COMPLEX AND INTRICATE role to play within the market. While retail markets ARE more AIMED AT THE luxury EXPERIENCE ASSOCIATED WITH THE WHOLE JOURNEY TAKEN BY A BUYER – ESPECIALLY WHEN it comes to impulse buyers, eCommerce purchases are driven by consumer needs and wants. A GREAT EXAMPLE OF MAGICAL PACKAGING IS ‘NURAPHONE’ EARPHONES – HEADPHONES. (THEY ARE BOTH AND NEITHER AT THE SAME TIME) – tHE BOX IS MULTI LAYERED AND UNDOLDS AND THEN PRESENTS ITS CONTENTS TO THE BUYER.

There are times when we forget about the importance of packaging – and it’s in these instances that we also fail to sell our products. Luckily if we do this, we can pivot those containers to be the ones that we sell online only – you can learn more about retail packaging about nuraphones by following this link. 

However, when it comes to ecommerce – the predominant role of (cardboard, or plastic – or flexible) packaging changes. Our purchasing decisions are not only based on the colour, size, and shape (or dialect, and words) that are on a package. It appears that consumers shop based almost purely on their needs and wants (their desires), with some influence coming from marketing, reviews, and product influencers. This idea can be verified by split testing, and it has shown that there is some influence, but during these times of complexity – people are spending more time shopping online, which means that the packaging itself plays a much smaller role.

Given the current (stay at home) lockdown of the global society – retail packaging is no longer the most important aspect of the purchasing decision – a damaged product results in a return and refund (and no retailer wants that) so strength and durability are currently winning out over good looks and pretty colours, it still factors heavily into customer satisfaction. Companies that grasp this concept understand the importance of appropriately weighted and strengthened ecommerce packaging, illustrated in the ecommerce model – thoise that embrace this new paradigm will have the opportunity to increase satisfaction and create brand loyalty.

I for instance am much more willing to buy an expensive product from a retailer that properly packages and safely ships my product.

Predominantly brick and mortar retailers will need to make some technical considerations in order to ensure that both packaging and its contents reach consumers/customers in pristine condition. We have been testing a variety of ‘Crush testing’ and ‘ink rub’ testing – in order to ensure that packaging can make it through a rough and tumble distribution process unscathed. Interestingly even though retail packages for store shelves are typically palletized with tens, hundreds, or thousands of units – they are not designed to be shipped at odd angles or to have sharp corners and edges rub against them – they are made to carry weight but their surfaces remain for the most part unscathed. Ecommerce packages on the other end of the spectrum may be sent individually, with no additional protection other than a plain cardboard box (as mentioned in our previous article, these boxes can be made from a variety of different cardboard thicknesses), bubble wrap, or a simple plastic polymer courier bag. 

Packaging not only needs to protect a product in transit, but it should also remain presentable to the client upon its delivery.

Brand-defining packaging can create customer loyalty and allow for a positive unboxing experiences, but as discussed this new ‘stay at home’ lifestyle may mean that retail packaging will need an ecommerce edge – or coating. Focusing on ecommerce can provide a number of benefits, but it does not eliminate the need for high quality, beautiful packaging – I still want to feel special, and pleasantly surprised when I unpack and expensive piece of electronics. Businesses that develop a strong packaging strategy can differentiate themselves in this multi-billion-dollar ecommerce market.