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Almost half of consumers won’t shop again if packaging doesn’t meet expectations, Mondi finds

Image © Mondi

The latest study from sustainable packaging and paper company Mondi has highlighted that a negative unboxing experience is likely to stop shoppers returning to a brand, with overpackaging being the most referenced grievance, nearly half (47%) said it could put them off buying again.

In comparison, 45% of respondents – to the survey of 6,000 consumers – said they would not buy again from a brand whose packaging is challenging to recycle.

Customers prioritise packaging quality and eco-friendliness, with 88% valuing protective packaging and a substantial portion considering recyclability important. Regional differences exist, with Turkish consumers showing a high demand for resealable packaging. 

The growth of recommerce markets indicates a consumer preference for reusable packaging, meaning that ecommerce retailers need to consider post-purchase behaviour and align with sustainability demands in the circular economy.

Traditionally, returns have been free since this encourages purchases. With rising costs and as related sustainability issues rise, 39% of survey respondents say they don’t want to pay for returns, with Millennials and Gen Z most accepting to bear this cost.

The report also looked at consumer online shopping behaviour. “We felt compelled to share more than just packaging trends to shed light on spending habits, shopping frequency, social commerce use, and behaviour related to recycling and reuse,” said Nedim Nisic, Mondi Group eCommerce director.

“The result is a treasure trove of data useful for every ecommerce company, not only those trying to satisfy consumers’ packaging demands but to influence the entire experience. We also wanted to promote collaboration among the packaging industry, ecommerce platforms, and other key stakeholders to meet consumer expectations and sustainability efforts.”

Social Commerce behaviour drives a significant amount of purchases
The report found almost half (44%) of consumers have bought via social commerce in the past 12 months, with Facebook and Instagram accounting for the majority of purchases, while TikTok ranked at 20%.

The trend is particularly strong among Millennials and Gen Z, who predominantly spend on fashion. The younger cohort spent most of their money on fashion products (approximately 60%) in the last 12 months, compared to cosmetics, grooming, sports and leisure, technology, and homeware, which all sit between 30-40% combined.

Decline in online shopping overall frequency and Gen X looking for best pricing
Despite a decline in shopping frequency due to economic constraints, 38% of consumers maintain their online shopping habits, driven by the search for better prices and value. The frequency of shopping online has fallen a little in 2023. This is likely to be due to shoppers continuing to head back to the store as buying behaviours have returned to more of a pre-pandemic norm, as well as perhaps shoppers cutting back their online spending as they have had to cope with the increased cost of living. But they still shop online regularly, with a quarter doing so at least once a week.

The timesaving and home-delivery conveniences of online shopping are particularly attractive to all cohorts, and Gen X is known to be the most cost-conscious compared to other generations.

Nisic added: “This survey indicates that social commerce is becoming more mainstream and fashion is clearly a growth driver. We see online retailers focusing heavily on the digital shopping experience and a seamless experience with social media channels is a must going forward.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

This latest report also includes country-specific results for six major markets, including Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Turkey.

The report has been created in English and will be translated and published into further languages (German, Turkish, Polish, French) within the following weeks.

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