With a whopping 96% of all Americans with internet access doing at least some shopping online, and more than half of Americans preferring to shop online, CPGs are struggling to outline a strategy for securing a share of this fast-growing market.
“E-commerce is very new and we are taking baby steps,” said one Senior Packaging Specialist for an OTC pharma company. “There is a great deal of learning going on, and we’re all trying to make the right decisions,” said a VP Packaging for a food company.
Major concerns are damage prevention and package reduction. The study outlines some key considerations:
- Think of packages in units instead of cases.
- Design the primary package carton to function as the shipping container for larger consumer goods. Beware of Ship In Own Container (SIOC) packages that promote theft on the doorstep.
- Contribute to the efforts of sustainability: e-commerce has shifted the responsibility of waste disposal to the consumer and is generating a significant increase in curbside waste, which consumers do not like.
- Imagine a returnable consumer tote system, similar to milk delivery 50 years ago, delivering a tote of new products and retrieving the empty tote.
- CPGs are evaluating solutions to increase efficiency; for example, digital print-on-demand, single product wrapping, bundling, kitting, flexible packaging, and minimizing product leaking.
- Look for options in ceiling mounted conveying equipment to alleviate floor space constraints.
- OEMs are being encouraged to offer machinery that is integration-ready able to collect data and share it.