News Shopping Reinvented E Commerce And Pet Care Packaging



Shopping reinvented: E-commerce and pet care packaging
11th June 2019

By Nicola McNey

Nicola McNey, sales manager and segment specialist for DS Smith UK, looks at how one can make savvy choices with packaging

There’s no denying that consumer shopping habits are moving increasingly towards e-commerce. According to a YouGov survey of 2,317 British pet owners in June 2018, 9.4% of pet food was purchased online in 2018. This figure is set to rise, largely due to growth in the market and the wide variety of brands and products now available.

This shift in purchasing habits presents a wealth of opportunities for pet care businesses when it comes to their e-commerce packaging.

Design is key to loyalty
Well designed and high-quality packaging is key to driving brand loyalty in the competitive marketplace and many forward-thinking brands are adopting clever design features to ensure their brand experience extends to consumers’ homes.

This includes printing on the inside of the pack to re-emphasise the brand message upon opening and using augmented reality to bring brand and product information to shoppers’ fingertips.

Fit for purpose
It’s not just the aesthetics of e-commerce packaging that offers an opportunity for pet care brands to stand out from the crowd. Ensuring packaging is fit for purpose – by protecting it and making sure it is easy to open and reseal when necessary – keeps shoppers happy, builds loyalty and drives success. It’s crucial to get this right. 

For example, did you know there are up to 50 touch points in the e-commerce supply cycle? That’s potentially 50 opportunities for a package to be handled by a machine or by human hands, during which a package and its contents can be damaged.

A YouGov survey commissioned by DS Smith has shown that more than a quarter (28%) of British pet owners cite pet food arriving safely and undamaged as the most important element when purchasing online. This highlights the importance of investing in high-quality packaging that can withstand the rigours of the supply chain to ensure products are delivered safely and undamaged to consumers. This provides the best possible experience to encourage repeat purchases.

DS Smith’s unique testing process, DISCS, ensures that pet care products aren’t damaged within the e-commerce supply chain. This innovative technology carries out tests based on Drop, Impact, Shock, Crush and Shake, replicating the product journey to determine whether a pack can withstand ‘real world’ conditions, so brands can be confident that their packaging will arrive with pet owners in perfect condition.

Sustainable packaging is the future
In today’s environmentally conscious society, the sustainability of packaging is also high on the agenda and consumers now look unfavourably towards brands that use excess packaging. In fact, one in five pet owners say they would try a different brand of pet food to their usual purchase if the product’s packaging was sustainable and easy to recycle.

Yet, on average, 55% of each e-commerce box is empty.

To help solve this challenge, DS Smith works with brands using its Made2fit technology to create right-size packaging and cut down dead space. This not only makes the e-commerce experience more convenient for shoppers, it lowers operational and shipping costs and helps with the reduction of damage as it means less moving and shifting of the product in transit.

Packaging that delights
When shopping online, the first physical interaction a customer has with a product is when it arrives at their home – this means ensuring that the packaging tells your brand’s story in a meaningful and impactful way is of paramount importance.

Pet care brands should act now to ensure their packaging is keeping up with shopper habits and arriving in optimum condition. In an increasingly competitive environment, it has never been more important to deliver the best experience to delight shoppers and secure brand loyalty.

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