E-commerce Packaging Trends & Strategies

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: June 27, 2022

Unique Design Consideration for the E-commerce Channel.


E-commerce rose dramatically during the pandemic and is expected to continue growing even when COVID-19 is behind us. Consumers appreciate the safety, convenience, variety, and competitive pricing online platforms provide.

Omni-channel retail is moving beyond web-based retailers to include B2C and D2C, social media sites with online marketplaces, smart device apps, quick commerce, and more. E-commerce packaging has unique design and logistical considerations that are driving new trends and strategies.

Design for Durability

E-commerce products may be handled up to 3 times more than packaging sold through traditional retail and therefore need to withstand rigorous conditions and rough treatment. Partnering with suppliers, like Berlin Packaging, with a responsive QSD (quality service division) and APASS (Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network) certification can help resolve problems, prevent waste, and reduce costs. There are thousands of e-commerce-ready stock packaging options available today. Custom design solutions can also help combat unique e-commerce challenges, including leaking, breaking, and denting.

According to Studio One Eleven’s Shar Puskala, Berlin Packaging Director of Program Management & Operations, “Drop testing from various heights and other extreme scenarios must be included for any packaging to make sure it will survive this new supply chain.”

  • Moda pumps – Berlin Packaging Exclusive E-commerce-Ready Pumps
  • Honest Laundry – Studio One Eleven Custom Design Prevents Leaking
  • Jack Black – Durable Trigger with Down Locking System

Screen Impact

E-commerce packaging not only needs to be designed for physical impact but visual impact as well. Packages need to perform well when viewed on a computer monitor, tablet screen, or smartphone. Consider how your design will look on a white background, as a small thumbnail image, or when displayed next to dozens of other products on an e-commerce site. Bold colors, unique silhouettes, and custom design elements can help a brand get noticed on shelf and online.

Studio One Eleven® developed a custom bottle and label design for Zenwise with e-commerce in mind. The rounded square shape differentiates from conventional round forms with a unique concave shoulder that creates an ownable equity element for the brand. The bold, black color stands out on retailers’ shelves and consumers’ computer screens. The label graphics complement the bottle with a clean, fresh white background that pops off the black bottle, and bold color bars quickly communicate the product benefit for easy shoppability.

Unboxing Experience

E-commerce provides a very unique opportunity to create a robust and memorable user experience. The unboxing process has become increasingly important, especially among younger consumers. How the secondary package opens, the way the product is presented inside, the use of personalized messages, and more can create a special product experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Think about the secondary package design from the outside in, considering the pack format, exterior graphics, interior graphics, packing materials, and more.

  • Onnit Labs Secondary Packaging Opens Like a Gift
  • American Vintners’ Valentine’s Day Collection with Unique Octagonal Case and Fun Graphics

Eco-Friendlier Solutions

Today’s consumers care about the environment more than ever, and e-commerce can sometimes be at odds with their sustainability goals. All the cardboard boxes, plastic packing puffs, Styrofoam peanuts, and other packaging materials create excessive waste that often ends up in landfills (or worse, Earth’s waterways).

Using recycled or recyclable boxes and packing materials can reduce your brand’s environmental impact. Consider packaging that can be reused or repurposed to cut down on waste. And explore ways to eliminate materials, like email-only receipts or paperless invoicing. Lighter packaging that requires less energy to ship can also make a difference.

  • Naked Wines Lightweight Bottles


Ready to get started? Request a Packaging Consultation

The brands mentioned in this report are trademarks of their respective owners. Inclusion of these brands in this report is not meant to imply an association with or endorsement from the respective trademark owners.