Holiday Shopping Boom Drives Sustainable Packaging Demand
December 2, 2020
the pandemic upending holiday trends, DS Smith released a new survey today that
shows retailers and supply chains need to be prepared for a rush of online
shopping and high consumer demand for effective packaging.
The results – paced by 75% of consumers saying they plan to do at least half of
their holiday shopping online – offer fresh guidance to help manufacturers,
suppliers and others in mapping out their business strategies amid a health care
“The rapid growth of e-commerce that has occurred during the pandemic, combined
with the busy holiday shopping season, is putting unparalleled pressure on the
behind-the-scenes logistics operations. Poorly designed packaging that doesn’t
perform in this rigorous supply chain can create additional issues, like
shipping delays or gifts arriving damaged,” said Mark Ushpol, managing director
of packaging at DS Smith.
Two-thirds of those surveyed (66%) say they are anxious about in-store visits
this holiday season because of COVID-19, and about the same (62%) expect to shop
more online this year than in 2019 – and manufacturers have to be ready to
respond with efficient and sustainable options.
“It’s never been more important that gifts arrive safely and securely,” Ushpol
said. “With our high-performance packaging solutions, we can provide a strong
box, able to withstand the many touchpoints along the delivery journey, while
optimizing package size to reduce empty space, therefore contributing positively
to sustainability principles.”
For online shoppers, most (68%) will rely on home deliveries. And they have high
expectations for that, with more than a third (36%) saying they won’t buy again
from a brand online if a package arrives damaged or if it arrives late. Taking a
step further, nearly 9 in 10 consumers (88%) expect companies to replace damaged
gifts at no expense.
While shoppers don’t want damaged gifts, a DS Smith survey from August proved
that wasted space in packaging also is a pain point. Nearly all consumers (93%)
reported they have received packages with wasted space, and nearly three-fourths
(73%) have received packages that were twice the size or more than needed. All
this wasted space has left a bad impression, as 54% reported they would think
twice before ordering again from a company that had excessive space in their
Sustainable options also are important, with 25% of consumers in the latest
survey saying they are more likely to purchase gifts from companies that use
sustainable packaging options and 19% more likely to purchase gifts from
companies that use less packaging.
getting the gifts outs to friends and families, consumers chiefly plan to turn
to the Postal Service (30%), followed by 27% using a private shipping service,
such as UPS or FedEx. To help this, DS Smith’s packaging experts have shared a
series of tips for packing correctly to reduce wasted space and avoid breakage:
Re-use newspapers and magazines as cushioning – lightly/tightly scrunched
works most effectively.
Try to find boxes that snuggly fit your present. Take note of the dimensions of
any gifts – either by checking when you buy online or using an app on your phone
Use at least one inch of cushioning around the item—top, bottom and all four
sides — to fill in any air spaces. Then, shake the box. There should be very
little movement when you shake it.
Put a label on a package to indicate if it’s heavy or fragile to help reduce