shipping ecommerce package

E-Commerce and Your Product Packaging | The Final Moment of Truth


It feels like each day another consumer converts to an online shopping advocate. In five to seven years, it’s expected that 70 percent of consumers will be regularly grocery shopping online (FMI, Nielsen). What’s interesting is that age and generation are no longer factors in online purchases for grocery shopping. FMI and Nielsen reported that 61 percent of millennials, 55 percent of gen-Xers, and 41 percent of baby boomers recently purchased a CPG product online.


generations of online shoppers

Why are so many consumers turning to their phones, tablets, and computers to shop? Online shopping is simple and convenient. It allows shoppers to read reviews, compare prices, and have products quickly delivered. The best part? They never have to leave the comfort of their homes.

All of this creates an opportunity to build brand loyalty IF packages show up intact. While consumer shopping habits are shifting, product expectations are not. The e-commerce supply chain is much more rigorous and causes products to get damaged before they get to the consumers’ doorstep. Nonetheless, consumers still expect their products to arrive in the same condition as they would have purchased them in the store.

The Final Moment of Truth

The final moment of truth occurs when the consumer unboxes their recently ordered product. “Are they happy or disappointed,” asks Fresh-Lock® Senior Manager of Market Development Todd Meussling. “The act of receiving a new package and opening it can offer the same anticipation as a birthday or Christmas gift, but if the contents does not survive the e-commerce supply chain, it can have a negative impact on the brand and the vendor.”

The final moment of truth is possibly the most important piece of both the consumer experience and the online purchase journey. Rarely, if ever, do consumers choose the dented can, crushed box, or damaged package in the grocery store – which is why they’re quick to get frustrated and share negative comments when a product arrives to their house ruined.

opening package from online shoppingWhen damaged products arrive, all the “convenience” of online ordering they hoped for is gone. Now, the consumer must initiate a return, clean up any spilled product messes, repackage the product, and have it picked up when someone’s home. On top of that, if two products are damaged in the shipment, it’s double the work.

All of this leaves the consumer having to reorder the product and wait … again.

“After the final moment of truth comes what I call the judgement phase,” says Meussling. “This is the point where the consumer asks themselves, ‘was this worth it?’”

When the judgement phase frustrates the consumer, they turn to the internet to voice their complaints and specific problems. Available for all to see, these negative comments reflect poorly on a brand, can often deter purchases by future shoppers. See the example from Amazon below – comments like these are not hard to find on packages that commonly get destroyed in shipping. By simply looking at one-star reviews, you usually find product, shipping, or packaging problems.

cherrios on amazon

review on amazonSource:

Passing the Judgement Phase

When you design packages that can survive both the store shelf and the e-commerce supply chain, otherwise known as omnichannel packaging, the consumer frustration that comes from damaged products can be minimized. By rethinking your primary package, you may reduce waste due to damaged goods in shipping, reduce costs associated with order return and replacement, and add sustainability value to your business.

Resealable flexible package can be thoughtfully engineered to withstand the drops, vibrations, and additional touchpoints of the e-commerce supply chain. At the same time, your pouch can present nicely on shelf with a bold, front-facing billboard that stands out amongst competitive products.

No matter the product, Fresh-Lock® has customized zipper solutions that will contain package contents, improve consumer experiences, and extend shelf life.  From food kits to dog treats to pool chemicals, the possibilities are endless. Let’s discuss ways we can help you create a resealable flexible package that can survive the e-commerce supply chain. Contact us online, call 800-265-0705, or check out our recent blogs and webinar to get started.

In our free, on-demand webinar, we explain how to overcome common e-commerce packaging mistakes.

e-commerce packaging fails webinar

e-commerce packaging example

Flexible Packaging and E-Commerce | The Connection and Considerations

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