Ecommerce packaging in 2018

trends  March 8, 2018

The number of online purchases continues to increase and at the same time a greater diversity of products is being offered. These developments have an impact on packaging and within this, various elements are becoming an important consideration for ecommerce businesses in 2018.


Firstly, it is important that demographic changes are taken into account. For example, the growth in the number of single-person households is creating greater demand for smaller packaging and an ageing population is increasing the demand for packaging that can be opened easily[1]. When these factors are taken into account, customer satisfaction will increase.

The size of the package is more matched to the volume



Not only is the delivery of parcels becoming more sustainable, but it’s also the packaging of these parcels where the environment is taken into account. The packaging of parcels is increasingly being recycled and the size of the package is more matched to the volume.  An example of the latter is done by the company Neopost in partnership with Docdata[2]. Together they developed a machine that packages parcels in customized boxes. This reduces packaging material and is good for the environment.

Another development in regard to packaging materials is the return of packaging material. The company RePack supplies packaging that can be returned through the letterbox[3]. Subsequently, the packaging can be recycled. This development is also known as the ‘closed loop’ formula.



Consumers do not only expect safe packaging for the product, but its attractiveness is also becoming increasingly important. This can be done, for example, by using colours, striking packing tape or by the shape of the packaging. An important element in this is the personalization of the packaging. Personalized packaging not only popular among consumers, but it also ensures recognition of the brand. One way to achieve this personalization is through the use of a Quick Response (QR) code on the packaging. These codes are mobile- or machine-readable codes used for storing information that can be viewed by scanning it with a smartphone camera. QR codes can be considered a starting point to interactive packaging with Augmented Reality (AR) technology, as they are a fast method of connecting the offline world to the online world. When a QR code is present on a package, this creates an extra experience for the consumer.


[1] Logistiek (2018), Trends verpakkingen ecommerce in 2018.
[2] NOS (2016), Verpakkingsbedrijf wil af van loze ruimte bij internetpakjes.
[3] (2017), Van verpakte lucht naar schone lucht.
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