How E-commerce Packaging Has Changed With Online Sales

Top view of warehouse worker holding an ecommerce package on a desk

With the rise of online sales, the e-commerce packaging market has undergone significant changes. Initially focused on protecting products during shipping, packaging now serves many purposes due to the widespread adoption of online shopping.

What is E-Commerce Packaging?

E-commerce packaging generally refers to the original and additional secondary and tertiary product packaging. Since these products are not purchased in-store, packaging design must cater to added durability and handling during transportation.

Customer Experience

In e-commerce, it’s important to build a strong customer relationship. This means all aspects of packaging for e-commerce should enhance the customer experience and reinforce brand identity. By incorporating rich, branded designs, you can improve brand perception. Additionally, focusing on user-friendly design will make unboxing a breeze for customers.

The rise of unboxing videos on social media clearly demonstrates that customers highly appreciate visually appealing and easy-to-open packaging. This gives brands an excellent opportunity to create a memorable impact on consumers. With e-commerce conversion rates being lower than retail conversion rates, brands must take advantage of any factor influencing brand loyalty.


As consumer awareness about environmental issues grows, businesses recognize the importance of sustainable packaging. There is a clear shift towards using recycled material or biodegradable materials to align with eco-conscious consumer values and reduce their carbon footprint.

Ascendia states, “70% of consumers agree that addressing climate change is more important now than ever.” A proactive approach to e-commerce packaging demonstrates a commitment to the environment and appeals to a growing market of environmentally conscious consumers.

Also, omnichannel marketplaces let customers decide if they want products to ship in original packaging. The idea is to create less waste during the shipping and handling process. It also lowers labor costs since less products will need to be repackaged.

This means that a product’s original packaging must be sturdy as well. This can present challenges if e-commerce packaging solutions can’t accommodate these needs.

Protection and Durability

The journey from warehouse to doorstep is fraught with handling and environmental challenges that can put e-commerce packages at risk of damage. Packaging must be robust enough to withstand these challenges to ensure that items arrive in pristine condition. This need for durability and protection has led to brands adding more protective packaging in their original product packaging to safeguard products throughout the entire shipping process.

Broken or damaged goods will have a negative impact on the overall user experience and brand perception. This is particularly important for sensitive industries like food and beverages, where there is a risk of spilled goods or contamination if packaging design is poor.

Automation in the Supply Chain

With an increased reliance on automated packaging systems, packaging materials must be suitable for rough treatment in automated handling.

Notably, 86% of brand managers have already adjusted their online sale packaging, primarily to ensure efficient automated handling and protect the items during transit. E-commerce packages, in particular, differ from traditional retail packaging as they often contain a mix of fragile and sturdy products. This calls for innovative solutions that cater to this unique requirement. This demands a delicate balance between efficiency and the need for product safety with e-commerce packaging solutions.

Work with the Right Partner for E-Commerce Needs

Finding the right balance between these core issues in e-commerce packaging can be challenging. Fortunately, T.H.E.M. has experience working with top brand-name companies across different industries to meet their goals.

Let T.H.E.M. fulfill your e-commerce packaging needs!