Ecommerce continues to corner the market on how consumers purchase goods in the modern day. Groceries are just about the only thing left that people like to buy in person–and even that has multiple online delivery. But as this online market grows, so to has the demand for appropriately protective packaging. This is where it gets tricky.
If you’re an astronomy buff, you might have heard Earth referred to as a “Goldilocks Planet.” Borrowing from the old story about porridge temps, a goldilocks planet is a ‘not too hot, not too cold” planet that’s just the right distance from a sun to sustain life. And if you’re not an astronomy buff, you still know how rare this occurrence is. After all, no planets have opened up in the real estate market just yet.
How does this all relate to packaging exactly? Well, you could say the search for ecommerce protective packaging is like trying to find a “Goldilocks Box.” A Goldibox, if you will.
For ecommerce packaging, striking the right balance between several design factors has proven to be an astronomical undertaking. The packaging can’t be too heavy, else the shipping rate goes up. At the same time, if the packaging is too light, you lose durability. And nobody wants a to find a broken product upon delivery. But they don’t want it over-packaged with filler or fluff. But there needs to be packing material, of course.
At the end of the day, you’d wish you were dealing with porridge. Maybe even finding a second Earth is sounding like less of a chore at this point.
Designing a catch-all box for ecommerce is almost impossible, especially as the range of products available online continues to grow. When the spectrum goes from perishable foods to expensive, delicate electronics, the demand typically errs on the side of protective packaging. Totally green packaging, or lightly packed cardboard boxes, is a nice idea in theory–and does work great for lots of products–but you’re not going to trust a one-size-fits-all cardboard box for a $600 piece of hardware. For that, you want something rugged. Durable. A box that doubles as storage, not instantly disposable.
A new report from the Freedonia Group agrees. According to an article from Logistics Management, numbers for protective packaging are estimated to grow nearly 5% through 2019 as ecommerce continues to become the shopping method of the realm. What this tells us is that the focus for package design moving forward will be a sort of hybrid between the eye-catching visuals we see at the brick-and-mortar stores, the shippable nature of cardboard, and the rigid strength of presentation packaging.