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What UK consumers think of ecommerce packaging


The next DeliveryX report – Packaging 2023 – will look at how UK retailers are changing their packaging for the good of the planet, personalising it and ensuring it portrays their brand story. The report, which is available to pre-register for, will also cover the very important opinion of consumers.

The report highlights that packaging for ecommerce purchases has in many ways become the new store-front for brands, a critical part of their overall image and a key touch point in the customer experience journey.

What consumers think of ecommerce packaging must therefore be at the front of all etailers minds. Especially as a recent PWC survey found 43% of consumers plan to increase online shopping in the next six months.

And what UK consumers are purchasing online could have a huge impact on the type of packaging, and its design. Fashion remains the largest ecommerce category in the UK worth £36.2bn last year, followed by electronics (£21.6bn); beauty, health and personal care (£11.4bn); and furniture (£5.1bn).

A shopper purchasing a small bottle of face cream will expect very different packaging from one ordering a desk for home working. The right type of packaging is very important to consumers. RetailX’s consumer survey on the subject found more than half of UK consumers (52%) think “secure and suitable” packaging for a valuable product is crucial.

Unsurprisingly, protection is a highly sought after aspect of packing with 40% of respondents believing its crucial and 51% rating it important. Also with an increase in returns of items bought online, the ability to reuse and reseal packaging to send back unwanted purchases is important to more than half of UK consumers (52%) and crucial to 34%.

Increasingly conscious consumers are also looking for packaging to be recyclable or even made from recyclable material in the first place.

Paying for the privilege
What is interesting about the growing sustainability demands of consumers and the need for packaging that is fit for purpose is the generational divide of shoppers willing to pay for it. Half of Boomers (aged 59 – 77) are willing to pay extra for packaging, whereas only 36% of Gen Z (aged 11 – 26) are willing to do the same. There is some agreement over the amount they would cash out for – the majority of each group are happy to add an additional 88p to their ecommerce purchases for good packaging.

Secure and sustainable packages may be high on the list of what consumers want, but more than ever they are looking for an enhanced customer experience. This includes any marketing material, real-time delivery notifications and also packaging. A recent study found 52% of online shoppers that receive their order in bespoke packaging are more likely to return to that same company in the future.

This can apply to the secondary box it arrives it – look at ecommerce giant Amazon adding a smile to their boxes, or meal subscription provider HelloFresh ensuring even the external packaging is as good looking at its inserts.

What is on the inside of the box is another chance to surprise and delight the customer, especially with the growing trend of Unboxing, which is also covered extensively in the report.

This feature appears in the soon to be published DeliveryX Packaging 2023 report. Pre-register for it now to discover:

  • If returnable packaging could be the future of a more circular offering?
  • How Boohoo, H&M and L’Occitane’s are approaching packaging
  • An exclusive interview with HelloFresh

Read More

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