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

In case you missed it: catch up on the first in a series of e-commerce coverage for the packaging industry.

E-commerce series 1
E-commerce series 1

Originally posted 10/3/2018

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.

To see all ten articles in this series, click here.

Interested in the latest developments with e-commerce in Europe? E-Pack Europe, March 25-27, 2019. Click here. Readers receive a 10% discount with the code EPS19PMMI.

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