Ecommerce and online shopping changed the world. Customers do not require a physical store to buy goods and there are boundless options for online consumers. Everything from furniture to food can be bought online. Of course some products present more challenges when it comes to online shopping but this has not stopped the growth or demand for ecommerce transactions. And the growth of online shopping has meant a huge windfall for the packaging industry. Packaging companies have seen a boom, everything from custom cardboard boxes to retail packaging have been in high demand.
However, there has been one massive difference between ordering products online versus buying them in store and that difference is delivery time. For the majority of retail shopping buying a product in a store has meant almost instantaneous gratification. But buying a product online meant that the consumer has had to wait, sometimes weeks to receive a small cardboard box with a simple product. But now there are changes coming to this industry. Amazon Prime, for example, offers two day delivery. But the service only started in Canada 2013. And it’s not just Amazon decreasing delivery times. Companies around the world are trying to figure out how to speed up product delivery. One of the biggest reasons why these changes are occuring is quite simple. Delivery times are strongly correlated with people’s decision to purchase a particular product. The faster a product promises to arrive the greater chance the consumer will pick that product over one that will take much longer. So what does this all mean for the packaging industry?
One of the fastest industries to adopt fast delivery is the grocery industry. Grocery stores are everywhere. They are fundamental to every city or location and chances are there is a grocery store within a few kilometers of your home. One of the most difficult logistics problems to solve has always been the last mile problem. The most expensive part of the delivery process is the last leg in which a product must be shipped from a local distribution centre to your home. However, technology is trying to change all this and with the emergence of faster delivery options popping up the grocery industry is also trying to capitalize on this trend. But with this trend there are a number of pitfalls and issues when it comes to packaging. Increases in grocery deliveries means that new cardboard box solutions will be needed. One of the biggest problems is durability. The use and reuse of the same boxes means that designs will need to be updated. Boxes will need to be stronger. Also, designers will have to take into consideration how boxes are picked up and handled. Plus branding will become a large factor. Perhaps marketing promotions can be designed onto the box itself. There are many possible options.