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This is a growing problem, with e-commerce rapidly becoming a much bigger slice of the business pie. U.S. online sales grew approximately 14 percent in 2017, while traditional sales climbed by 6 percent. Yet few companies have fully adapted their product packaging to e-commerce.
What might your company be sacrificing in terms of current and future product profitability? Likely far more than you have imagined.
Packaging designed for product presentation in stores is very wasteful in e-commerce. For example:
Costly printed cardboard to display attention-grabbing graphics, which have no utility in e-commerce
Air in boxes
Need for popcorn, bubble wrap, or other inserts and components
Blister packaging to prevent in-store theft
These wasteful elements also tend to frustrate e-commerce consumers, who must dispose of the excess materials and deal with the hassle of cutting through blister packaging — which is completely unnecessary when product is delivered directly to the consumer, rather than presented on a store shelf.
Poor consumer experience with packaging can negatively impact consumer loyalty and market share. That hurts the top line and further erodes earnings.
As important, in e-commerce packages must move through many more touch points on the way to the consumer than is common in traditional retail. If a company’s product packaging was designed for stores, rather than for parcel and less-than-truckload shipping, the company is probably bleeding off profits on each step of the journey, from product damage and retailer chargebacks for noncompliance.
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