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Webinar preview: “Unboxing the Future: eCommerce Packaging Innovations”

#Webinar preview: “Unboxing the Future: eCommerce Packaging Innovations”

Package delivery.
(All image credits: Mondi Group eCommerce).

20 Oct 2023 — The changing behaviors of online shoppers and ongoing technological advancements require businesses to adapt to safeguard their future operations. The e-commerce packaging of businesses and online brands will continue to serve as the initial interaction point between brands and their customers, asserts Armand Schoonbrood, executive lead at Mondi Group eCommerce. 

He tells us that packaging must consistently deliver the expected brand experience. In a world where the shopping experience is increasingly digital, the physical aspect of the unwrapping experience has to remain positive. 

When asked about challenges for developing easy-to-handle, cost-efficient e-commerce packaging, Schoonbrood says the main challenges are finding the balance between design, performance, raw materials used, fit to logistic requirements and pricing.

“Identifying this sweet spot can be a challenge, but we see our customers’ challenges as our challenges and invest time in understanding their needs. Every product shipped faces different challenges that need to be solved,” explains Mondi Group’s eCommerce’s executive lead. 

“Our role is to be a co-creation partner, supporting with our expertise, from paper to converted solutions and our testing services from ISTA lab and ThinkBox to paper labs. We always aim to drive down the overall cost for our customers by offering solutions that are fit for purpose, with the right choice of materials, ensuring the protection of the goods during shipment and creating a positive unwrapping experience for consumers.”

Packaging Insights will be speaking with Nedim Nisic, the director of Mondi Group eCommerce, in an online webinar on November 1.  

 Armand Schoonbrood, executive lead at Mondi Group eCommerce.Schoonbrood advocates for fit-for-purpose pack solutions to reduce overpackaging.Offering retailer support
Consumers have distinct preferences and expectations regarding packaging, with Mondi tracking these views in its annual e-commerce trend report and sharing the insights with its customers. 

“Some key findings from our latest report indicate that 94% of consumers cite the protection of goods as most important, especially when it is a product of high value,” says Schoonbrood. “The second trend highlights that oversized packaging annoys 86% of consumers, and 78% of customers dislike excess internal packaging.”

Over two-thirds (67%) of respondents said overpackaging would put them off buying from the brand. Packaging that is environmentally friendly (84%) and easy to dispose of (80%) were the next most important factors in the e-commerce trend report. 

“With fit-for-purpose packaging solutions that are sustainable by design, retailers can avoid wasteful and inefficient overpackaging,” stresses Schoonbrood.

“To support retailers in creating optimized online packaging, we have designed a process to address every aspect of modern packaging and given it a home in our ThinkBox. This is where retailers can meet experts, find inspiration and originate design solutions.”

Monitoring progress
Mondi aims to be sustainable by design and prioritizes the “3E” factors: Efficiency, ecological, easy handling, during fulfillment and for the end consumer. 

“This approach guides us in recommending the most suitable solutions that are purpose-built and use minimal materials. In addition, we have a sustainability framework in place, the Mondi Action Plan 2030, that sets out the actions we need to take to meet our sustainability goals by 2030,” says Schoonbrood.

“Our focus on circular-driven solutions, created by empowered people taking action on climate, enables us to have the most positive impact through our business. Each action area is underpinned by commitments and targets with milestones in 2025 or earlier to monitor and communicate our progress.”

E-commerce developments
Woman designing on laptop.Mondi Group eCommerce is expanding its internal research and design network for more innovations.

Over the past decade the e-commerce industry has seen remarkable growth, with consumers increasingly turning to online platforms for their shopping needs. 

“According to Statista, the global e-commerce market is expected to exceed €5.3 trillion (US$5.6 trillion) by 2027, with online shopping set to account for 20% of retail globally — a trajectory demonstrating a fundamental long-term shift in our economies and lifestyles,” highlights Schoonbrood.

“E-commerce has consistently been closely intertwined with macroeconomic and technological changes, spanning from the inception of the internet to significant events such as the global financial crisis of 2007, the increasing adoption of mobile devices, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2022 is a prime example [for changing market and technological developments].”

The industry experienced negative growth for the first time, mainly due to supply chain disruptions because of the war in Ukraine, rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis reducing people’s disposable income, finds Mondi’s research.

“However, it would be surprising if e-commerce’s continuous expansion as a significant portion of the overall retail industry were to halt. With new generations becoming more digitally savvy and AI enhancing the allure of online shopping, online spending is expected to constitute a larger share of consumer expenditure progressively,” says Schoonbrood.

Future outlook
The e-commerce packaging industry remains young and is subject to continuous evolution. 

“Therefore, we must remain agile and innovative. To achieve this, we expand our internal research and design network, invest in laboratories and prioritize the training of our technical designers,” asserts Schoonbrood.

Mondi is keen to further engage our customers by offering workshops and fostering collaborative initiatives.

“Additionally, we are committed to ongoing investments in market research and consumer studies, as we firmly believe that a deep understanding of the needs of online shoppers will significantly enhance the quality of the e-commerce packaging solutions that we ultimately design.”

Packaging Insights’ webinar titled “Unboxing the Future: eCommerce Packaging Innovations” will be broadcast on November 1 and viewers can register here.

By Natalie Schwertheim

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