The past year has been tough for many businesses. Experts believe we will not so much ‘return to normal’ as find ‘a new normal’ – but what will that look like? It’s hard to know right now, but e-commerce is sure to be a part of it.
Industry insiders estimate COVID-19 fast-forwarded the impact of e-commerce on sales by three years in just three months in early 2020. Staying home – and ordering online – has become the new going out. Even as the high street begins to re-open, all the indicators are that it will take some time for footfall and sales to return to pre-COVID levels.
The pandemic has boosted the e-grocery business too. Findings from PwC’s latest Global Consumer Insights Survey show that, during 2020 lockdowns in Europe, 28% of people living in urban areas used online shopping as their main channel for buying groceries – a 10% leap compared to before the pandemic. Some 80% of the consumers who started buying groceries online during lockdown indicated they planned to continue to do so when restrictions were lifted.
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic is not the only factor contributing to a rise in e-commerce sales. Changing lifestyles, busy schedules, and a desire to research thoroughly before committing to a sale are all reasons why consumers are increasingly choosing to buy online – and why businesses that once relied on in-store sales are now exploring omni-channel presence or moving wholesale into the online space.
With more and more packages entering the domestic delivery arena, there has never been more pressure on the packaging industry to step up and offer businesses – some of whom will be new to the direct delivery model – packaging solutions that are fit for purpose and fit for the future.
Meeting consumer expectations
Consumers have made it clear that they expect goods they have bought online to arrive in perfect condition, but that they don’t want excessive, wasteful or non-recyclable packaging used to enable that.
Striking the right balance between protecting goods and limiting the amount of materials used has now become imperative for businesses selling online, as has minimising the impact of their operations on the planet. Opening packages has, for many, replaced the traditional in-store experience – and so the experience needs to be a positive one. For those that get it right, the potential to boost brand awareness and reputation is huge.
Adequate protection, as few materials as possible, fully recyclable, and inspiring joy on opening – we’re asking a lot of packaging right now. But the good news is that there are options out there that can rise to the challenge.
Even in the transportation of temperature-sensitive goods such as fresh, chilled or frozen food, perishables, pharmaceutical products, ready-to-eat meals, or recipe kits, there is no longer a need to compromise.
Thermal packaging – or temperature-controlled packaging – was once the domain of expanded polystyrene, but now businesses can choose from more environmentally-friendly, recyclable options to use as insulating void filler.
But, even if it can all be recycled, haven’t we all still unpacked small items from large boxes stuffed with void filler, and thought: ‘What a waste!’? Well, thankfully, there is an alternative.
Introducing ThermaLITE by PALLITE®
PALLITE®’s latest innovation – ThermaLITE – is a lightweight and cost-effective solution for e-commerce businesses wanting to offer their customers the best of all worlds.
It can be custom sized to best fit individual products, reducing or eliminating the need for void filler. As few materials as possible – check.
The honeycomb cell design traps air in pockets between layers of paper board. Both paper and air are poor conductors of heat, meaning temperature-sensitive goods maintain their temperature for longer. Found throughout nature, honeycomb structures are known to be pound-for-pound stronger than steel. Adequate protection – check.
All PALLITE®’s packaging products are made from recycled paper from sustainable forests and are 100% recyclable after use by end consumers. ThermaLITE has been designed to fit within a circular economy. Good for the planet – check.
Consumers prefer paper and cardboard packaging – that’s a fact. So, choosing PALLITE® is a positive step towards pleasing your customers. Inspiring joy though? Well, that’s over to you…