E-Commerce Requires Different Approach for CPGs, 3PLs and OEMs

A new study by PMMI Business Intelligence, “2018 E-Commerce: Think Inside the Box”, encourages all stakeholders to think differently.

With a whopping 96% of all Americans with internet access doing at least some shopping online, and more than half of Americans preferring to shop online, CPGs are struggling to outline a strategy for securing a share of this fast-growing market.

“E-commerce is very new and we are taking baby steps,” said one Senior Packaging Specialist for an OTC pharma company. “There is a great deal of learning going on, and we’re all trying to make the right decisions,” said a VP Packaging for a food company.

Major concerns are damage prevention and package reduction. The study outlines some key considerations:

  • Think of packages in units instead of cases.
  • Design the primary package carton to function as the shipping container for larger consumer goods. Beware of Ship In Own Container (SIOC) packages that promote theft on the doorstep.
  • Contribute to the efforts of sustainability: e-commerce has shifted the responsibility of waste disposal to the consumer and is generating a significant increase in curbside waste, which consumers do not like.
  • Imagine a returnable consumer tote system, similar to milk delivery 50 years ago, delivering a tote of new products and retrieving the empty tote.
  • CPGs are evaluating solutions to increase efficiency; for example, digital print-on-demand, single product wrapping, bundling, kitting, flexible packaging, and minimizing product leaking.
  • Look for options in ceiling mounted conveying equipment to alleviate floor space constraints.
  • OEMs are being encouraged to offer machinery that is integration-ready able to collect data and share it.

For more information about the size of the e-commerce market, consumer preferences, logistics concerns, etc., download the FREE Executive Summary here. PMMI members can access entire report here.

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