New Normal Of Online Shopping Increases Demand For Eco-Friendly Packaging

September 17, 2020

Two Sides U.S. Packaging Preferences Survey reveals consumers’ current thinking on packaging materials

Two Sides North America recently released a study of 2,000 U.S. consumers to explore their preferences, perceptions, and attitudes toward eco-friendly packaging. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on retail sales has been dramatic, with more consumers shopping online than ever before. Online spending is projected to surge by 18% in 2020, accelerating the need for online retailers to enhance their supply chains, increase packaging and order fulfillment efficiency, and speed-up deliveries. According to the survey, packaging is becoming a driving force in consumer purchasing decisions and consumers are willing to change their shopping habits and attitudes to shop more sustainably.

One big takeaway: 70% of consumers studied prefer products ordered online to be delivered in appropriate fitting packaging (not too big for the size of the product inside).

Just a few inches of extra empty space can have a huge impact on consumers’ perceptions and a retailer’s bottom line. The average shipping box is 40-60% empty space. Packsize Right-sized Packaging on Demand® creates custom cardboard boxes for every product shipped. Right-sizing requires less corrugated fiberboard, removes or reduces the need for void filler, improves less-than-full-case average cube utilization, and reduces the overall carbon footprint. For every 1 million square feet of corrugated cardboard used, Packsize customers typically experience a 40% box reduction, 60% less void fill, 26% reduction in corrugated.

Let’s look at some more consumer trends:

  • More than half of consumers (57%) studied prefer products ordered online to be delivered in paper/cardboard packaging, and two-thirds (66%) believe paper/cardboard packaging is better for the environment than other types of packaging.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) are willing to spend more on a product if it is in eco-friendly packaging, and more than a third (36%) said they would consider avoiding a retailer who is not taking steps to reduce their use of non-recyclable packaging.
  • When asked to rank their preferred packaging materials (e.g., paper and cardboard, glass, metal, or plastic) based on 15 environmental, practical, and visual/tactile attributes, paper and cardboard packaging ranked highest on 11 to 15 attributes, including home compostability (69%), better for the environment (66%), and easier to recycle (51%).

With an ongoing commitment to Smart Packaging for a Healthy Planet®, Packsize understands the impact green packaging practices have on the environment, communities, and continued business success. Utilizing flat stacked

z-Fold®, made from responsibly managed and renewable resources, Packsize helps its customers reduce their carbon footprint while gaining more warehouse space and significant corrugated cost reductions. Packsize recognizes the importance of continuous improvement in packaging and shipping operations. That’s why customers are provided with the most advanced, eco-friendly automated packaging in the industry, with the proven speed and reliability to handle the most complex demands of a fulfillment operation, while significantly reducing labor, shipping, and material costs.

The Two Sides Packaging Preferences Survey reflects the growing changes and challenges in the retail world brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Only time will tell the long-term effects, but it’s clear that shopping online is the new normal, and the ranks of environmentally conscious consumers is increasing. This growing awareness of sustainability is causing retailers to rethink their packaging strategies to become more efficient and transparent.

For the full survey: “U.S. Packaging Preferences 2020” go to:

To learn how to solve the sustainability challenges within your packaging supply chain, contact Packsize today.

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