By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: October 28, 2019
Amazon can be great for building a brand. Statista reports 183 million unique visitors per month on Amazon. eBay and Walmart are the next leading sites by traffic, each with about 90 million unique monthly visitors. This ability to expose so many consumers to a brand is a great asset that can accelerate revenue realization.
But this e-commerce channel places different demands on the supply chain. Indeed, traditional retailers and brand owners have worked over the decades to build tight supply chains that deliver products to store shelves in an efficient way with minimal breakage to products or brands. For example, products arrive in stores in corrugate boxes with dividers to prevent product damage. And each shipper has been designed with a specific column strength to allow for stacking and efficient travel through the logistics network.
Contrast this to how a consumer receives a package from Amazon. Perhaps they get a bottle of lotion packed in a plastic bag, rattling around a box with some air pillows to cushion the product. This is a new supply chain requiring new thought.
For products fulfilled by Amazon, there are packaging requirements that are meant to streamline the process and reduce returns. See our article, “Make your package Amazon-friendly”, for more on these requirements. But these rules are designed more to protect Amazon’s brand rather than your brand. Indeed, while a poly-bagged shampoo bottle may comply with Amazon’s rules, that product may still leak in transit, which is a terrible experience for the end consumer. Furthermore, wholesalers can buy your product and offer it on the Amazon Marketplace, fulfilling orders themselves to skirt Amazon’s packaging recommendations.
So, to protect and elevate your brand, you should contemplate the e-commerce environment and make sure your packaging is fit for shopping and fulfillment.
Instead of browsing shelves in stores – where a consumer can pick up and examine a package – online shoppers are looking at small, 2-dimensional images. You should consider how well your package displays in a virtual plan-o-gram or in iPhone browsing. This can have implications on colors, logos, and typefaces.
Packaging can be made more robust for e-commerce. For example, induction innerseals can be designed into the packaging process. Or for trigger sprayers, locking mechanisms can prevent dispensing while in transit, and anti-backoff designs can prevent the entire dispensing assembly from loosening. And for certain situations, it may be smart to have both a shipping closure and a dispensing closure, which the customer affixes upon receipt. Another example is with plastic bottles; while more robust than glass for e-commerce, plastic bottles need the right structure to prevent paneling with air transit. Overall, there are many considerations for robust fulfillment.
Packaging for e-commerce – not just to Amazon’s standards but to enhance your brand – requires expertise. Berlin Packaging is ready to help. We supply thousands of SKUs and can custom design packages and graphics to meet your exact needs. We have provided solutions for e-commerce fulfillment for years and direct-marketing companies for decades.
Whether you’re using plastic, glass, or metal containers and closures, we will see you from concept to commercialization.