Consumers want retailers to address overpacking

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Monday 22 October 2018

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Nearly a quarter (24%) of consumers are still opening goods ordered online that are overpacked, according to new research by Macfarlane Packaging.

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Consumers are calling for more sustainable packaging

Overpacking remains a current focus and major challenge for retailers as they balance the need to ensure their product arrives undamaged while simultaneously managing customer demands for more sustainable packaging, Macfarlane said.

Its survey asked shoppers to assess packaging performance across a range of online retailers. More than 200 responses were received, with 60% of these covering the fashion, homes and garden, and health and beauty industries and for products ranging from a single lipstick to large garden furniture.

Home and garden was the highest ranked sector consumers believe retailers are using too much packaging for (41%) with health and beauty at 30% and fashion the lowest at 10%.

Macfarlane Packaging marketing director Laurel Granville said: “Fashion apparel doesn’t get damaged easily and it’s quite easy to pack but we’re finding that home and garden retailers have a real challenge to balance ensuring that they’re protecting their product, so it arrives in good shape, but also that it’s not completely overpacked.

“It’s clear that it is also important that retailers work with partners to help reduce the packaging to address the environmental concerns of their customers.”

Additionally, the survey found that 31% of packaging had no branding on the pack, inside or outside, while respondents felt that 29% did not reflect the value of the brand.

“There are lots of opportunities for printing and marketing both inside and outside the pack and to use new technologies to deliver messaging through printed media,” said Granville.

“Retailers are trying to achieve the same experience for customers whether they buy in-store, online or through an omni-channel approach, so they need to make sure that their packaging delivers at the doorstep.”

Macfarlane Packaging is part of Macfarlane Group, which is headquartered in Glasgow and employs more than 800 people at 29 sites, predominantly in the UK and Ireland.

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