5 Reasons Your eCommerce Packaging Is Falling Short

Reasons why your eCommerce packaging is falling 

Every delivery should enhance your brand reputation. With one-third of consumers rejecting a purchase because of unsustainable packaging, first impressions really do count (Sustainability and the Consumer Report, Drapers 2021).

At Smurfit Kappa, we pride ourselves on staying at the vibrant forefront of innovative new developments in eCommerce packaging. We are always looking for exciting ways to help brands and businesses of all sizes stand out online and guarantee superb unboxing experiences.

As your dedicated packaging experts, we utilise our insights into current market trends to create bespoke, fit-for-purpose packaging solutions that are sustainable, cost-effective and 100% geared towards exceeding consumer wants and needs.

We’ve researched the latest trends in eCommerce packaging and have uncovered 5 reasons why your eCommerce packaging is falling short of consumer expectations.

Let’s take a look:

Reason 1: It’s complicated 

Why is your packaging not appealing to your target market? Perhaps it’s just too complicated.

According to the Mintel Global Packaging Trends 2023 Report, “Clear and simple communication will be essential to connect with fatigued consumers.”

A study by the Paper and Packaging Board revealed that 72% of consumers stated that a product’s packaging design influences their purchasing decision. eCommerce brands are moving toward minimalistic and efficient packaging designs.

Wild radish minimalistic packaging design sample box 

This includes using fewer materials, embracing reusable packaging, and optimising package size and shape to minimise waste and reduce shipping costs.

Minimalist packaging is a cost-effective way to promote your business and your products without appearing low quality or having poorly designed packaging, which could discourage future customers.

Simple yet appealing packaging design provides easily accessible clear information, which is far more likely to get the attention of your target audience.

Reason 2: It’s not personal

With the advancement of digital printing technology, businesses offer personalised and customised packaging solutions to create unique customer experiences and enhance brand recognition. This can be helpful for newer companies embarking on their customer journey, or help established brands rekindle and grow their relationship with their target market.

Personalised message ecommerce packaging design example 

Personalisation also encourages social sharing. Customers are more likely to share their personalised packaged products or feature them on their social media channels, which promotes brand loyalty and boosts brand recognition.

Reason 3: It’s not smart

In 2023 there is an increased focus on functionality. Smart packaging is undoubtedly the smart route for brands looking to attract an audience focused on using technology to streamline and improve their eCommerce experience. As technology continues to evolve, eCommerce packaging is getting smarter.

This includes the use of QR codes and NFC tags for easy tracking, improved customer engagement, and product authentication.

esmart packaging design example 

Packaging technologies enable and support more intelligent, informed, and convenient user occasions. Brands and packaging manufacturers are combining materials, components, and digitally-enhanced technologies to create next-generation purchase and user experiences.

According to the Mintel Global Packaging Trends 2023 Report, “the high occurrence of QR codes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has lowered the usage barrier of this technology. However, avoid the temptation to dazzle with interactivity that delivers nothing beyond a gimmick.”

Consider, instead, how Smart packaging can add value by providing the correct information/support at the right moment.

Reason 4: It’s not easy

If there’s one thing consumers despise, it’s having to faff and fret with packaging. Consumers want convenience and easy-to-use packaging.

This desire for a fuss-free process means eCommerce companies gravitate towards easy-to-open and conveniently resealable packaging to enhance customer satisfaction and support repeat purchases. Consumers also have high expectations of being able to return items without hassle.

easy to return packaging sample box 

This goes beyond a generous returns policy, and easy-to-return packaging is rapidly becoming an expectation among consumers. Customers return products for many reasons, so making the process quick and painless is essential.

Your eCommerce shop can quickly build up customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases by impressing your audiences with how easy your products are to send back.

Reason 5: It’s not sustainable or honest

Sustainable packaging is on the rise worldwide and many people are choosing brands who share their concerns about climate change and the environment.

Companies that resort to “greenwashing” tactics to boost their brand by making unsubstantiated claims to deceive consumers into believing that a company's products are environmentally friendly only result in causing consumers to lose faith in these brands. Businesses must be able to back up their sustainability claims with credible, concrete sustainability results.

In addition to spotlighting their achievements and strengths, brands and packaging manufacturers will have to be more transparent about their weaknesses and how they plan to address them.

Consumers are pursuing transparency through clearer labelling, specifically, what labelling claims mean for the greater good.

sustainable packaging sample box 

Packaging has become the messenger for socially responsible initiatives and actions. Whether targeting environmental, social, or human conditions, brands are tapping into on-pack messaging to communicate their ethos toward social responsibility and sustainability.

Smurfit Kappa is proud to be one of the world’s leading providers of sustainable paper-based packaging. Our innovative, sustainably produced products are 100% renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. Read about some of our extraordinary milestones in our 2022 Sustainability Report.

Also read: Accelerating ‘The North Face’ sustainable packaging goal through collaboration

How far is your packaging falling short?

If your eCommerce packaging falls into any of the above areas, you need to re-evaluate your packaging. That’s where the team of packaging pros at Smurfit Kappa come in. We’ll assess your current packaging and devise a bespoke strategy and the ideal solution to any packaging problems you might be experiencing.

Using our eSmart process, we guide companies through up to 12 key areas relating to the optimisation of e-retail processes, supply chain efficiency and delivering a superior consumer experience.

Find out more about our renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable custom eCommerce packaging products and services.

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