“Alexa, What Trends Will Impact My Ecommerce Packaging Strategy?”

Friday, February 16, 2018

Woman placing a purchase online.

Many brand owners are telling us that they are repurposing packaging from the shelf to ecommerce channels with little change. While this approach is quick, it poses several potential risks: threats to brand engagement, an increased number of supply chain touch points and the potential for shipping damaged and/or leaking product, which can result in a negative consumer experience. How do you develop an ecommerce packaging strategy and avoid these missteps? Understanding consumer behavior trends and retail shifts that impact the consumer experience is an ideal place to start. (Read part one here.)


“There has been 90% similarity in packaging online versus offline. But now there’s enough volume [of eComm consumers/sales] to invest in different packaging. The pendulum will swing.”
Director of Packaging Development for Household Products



Man browsing ecommerce interface.

With smart home assistants, the future of retail has arrived.

From Amazon Echo to Google Home and Apple’s upcoming HomePod, sales of smart speakers and digital home assistants have exploded. Forrester Research forecasts that smart home devices in the U.S. will reach 244 million in 2022, up from 24 million in 2016.

These connected home devices have made digital shopping easier and day-by-day, they are more integrated into consumers’ everyday lives. According to Walker Sands Future of Retail Study 2017, one in five consumers have made a voice purchase through Amazon Echo or another digital home assistant, and another third plan to do so in the next year.

How these devices shift the way consumers interact with brands will be exciting to watch. As Dunhumby Ventures suggests in VentureBeat, “at what point does ‘Siri, tell me the weather’ or ‘Alexa, play music’ become . . .‘What aisle can I find the peanut butter on?’ or ‘Does this shirt come in small’?”

As more consumers accept purchasing integration via smart home assistants as the norm, there will be tremendous opportunities for brands to personalize consumers’ experiences and with it, more complex supply chain challenges.

With smart home assistants, retailers and brand owners have another opportunity to make the consumer’s purchasing and repurchasing experience (think Amazon Dash buttons which serve as shortcuts for Amazon Prime members to reorder their favorite products) as seamless, convenient and easy as possible. But remember that blurred and changing channels impacts packaging, and if the packaging fails, that affects the consumer’s positive seamless shopping experience and puts brands at risk.


Read more on consumer trends and retail shifts impacting ecommerce packaging strategy.


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