Stora Enso Consumer Board and Packaging Solutions

Redesigning the future with renewable packaging

04/05/2018

Consumers' likes and dislikes on online packaging

​ Today, most of us have access to smartphones and the Internet at all times, and the distances in the global world are decreasing. The digitalized world creates endless shopping opportunities, so you can buy whatever you want, whenever you want. With just a few clicks, you can have it delivered straight to your door.

The question is how do consumers experience packaging when buying goods online. Stora Enso conducted a study focusing on 120 consumers in Sweden and Poland and their packaging journey when purchasing goods online. The participants were asked to use a mobile app to document each and every step of their online packaging journey. In the app, they could easily save pictures, hashtag, vote and rank different packaging features that they liked or disliked. We also met more than 20 e-tailers from these two countries in order to analyze their opportunities and challenges along the packaging process. Here is what we found out.

Transport & pick-up

Our consumer study showed that there are differences between Poland and Sweden in how consumers pick up their deliveries. In Poland, a large share of packages is delivered straight home, while in Sweden most packages are sent to pick-up points. Consumers from both countries are united in the opinion that it is important with a nice first impression of the packaging. To achieve a good first impression, a good packaging design is key. Results show that the design is perceived as good when it is clean and minimalistic, but still clearly branded and personalized. In the transport and pick-up phase of the buyer journey, the consumers appreciate packages that are easy to carry, preferably with handles on big boxes.

Open & reseal

When unboxing, the consumers highly appreciate openings that do not demand tools such as scissors or knifes. They also think it is important with clear instructions for opening, since many boxes has perforation but no clear marking. That makes consumers frustrated.
Another clear pain point is too much package filling and too large boxes. In addition to clear opening instructions, it is also essential with clear return information – it is considered as basic requirement among the surveyed consumers.

Recycle

For easy recycling, there should not be multiple materials combined in one packaging. Consumers dislike plastic fillings in paperboard boxes, as it creates a lot of hassle to take it to different recycling stations. Overall, paperboard is considered more sustainable than plastic bags and fillings. Plastic bags are rarely recycled, but rather thrown into the trash as it is more convenient. Paperboard is more often recycled or given a second life. 

So, what can we learn from this? Keep it simple and stylish! Consumers like packaging that looks appealing at first glance, yet is easy-to-use and does not give them superfluous material to take care of.

The journey of online packaging