DS Smith: Oversized Packaging Hurts Business

Packaging that is too big annoys customers: this is the conclusion of a recent survey by DS Smith.

Oversized packaging and the resulting waste annoy customers on the one hand and harm retailers on the other. According to a survey by DS Smith, 57 percent of consumers rank oversized packaging as the biggest annoyance when shopping online. This did not leave customers’ assessment of the sale unscathed, with 26 percent expressing disappointment with the retailer in question. For 56 percent, this also called into question the sustainability of the product. Customers were also annoyed if the goods were damaged despite the packaging; 47 percent of those surveyed would be undecided about further purchases from this supplier. On the sales side, 25 percent believed in positive effects for the business figures if better materials were used. 80 percent expected positive effects regarding questions of sustainability.

On average, the consumers surveyed received one parcel per week, which is in line with the figures of the Bundesverband Paket und Expresslogistik (German Parcel and Express Logistics Association), which recorded 4.51 billion courier, express, and parcel shipments for 2021. This represents a growth of 11.2 percent compared with the previous year, 2020, with deliveries to private consumers in particular increasing by 16.6 percent.

From the retailers’ point of view, the issue of packaging is ambivalent. As many as 40 percent of respondents stated that they had often used packaging that was not really suitable. The main reason for this is that it is cheaper to buy packaging in large quantities. For a majority of company representatives, packaging is an important area of investment (51 percent). When asked whether the business would benefit from investing in better packaging, nearly three-quarters of respondents answered affirmatively (25 percent strongly, 49 percent partially). When asked if investment in packaging would help sustainability efforts, as many as 80 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative.

Stefano Rossi, CEO of DS Smith Packaging, comments, “Consumers want less packaging. With raw materials more expensive than ever and the environmental benefits significant, customized packaging is more important than ever when shopping online.”

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