In 2017, e-commerce grocery sales were ~$3tr and are poised to grow to ~$5tr in 5 years. This growth rate of ~20% per year is 4x faster than brick and mortar grocery sales, and is only set to continue.
Despite this, the need for instant gratification continues to conflict with increased consumer concern about the environmental effects of our convenience culture. E-commerce is therefore creating opportunities and challenges in equal measures, and is why ensuring current product packaging is transformed into e-commerce ready solutions has never been so important.
Recent industry developments
Things have changed. The internet brings improved customer experience, and the comfort of ordering from your own home. Thanks to improved delivery times and logistics, e-commerce penetration rates are demanding attention.
Not surprisingly, the topic is on the strategic agenda for many companies. Retailers and brands are now embracing the change, and are experimenting with different models. JD and Amazon with a diverse basket offering and own distribution, Walmart and other European retailers with click and collect, large brands with DtC options, and new brands like Boxed and Aeon Co with predictive modelling.
This change from brick and mortar to omnichannel and e-commerce brings along many complexities, an increase in supply chain complexity, a more complex customer journey, and increased concern about environmental effects of the packaging waste associated with this channel.
This has implications on packaging design requirements. Amazon is taking the lead in shaping packaging requirements with ISTA to develop certification processes to evaluate the ability of products to resist damage from various environmental forces that may occur during the e-commerce product journey to customers. And whereas 5 years ago, the conversation was mostly around secondary packaging, today the discussion is increasingly around how primary packaging can be redesigned.
Packaging companies are therefore rethinking packaging, collaborating wtih a network of partners to deliver new, innovative, sustainable e-commerce-ready packaging solutions.
So why attend E-PACK Europe 2019?
The growing e-commerce market and the changing consumer are disrupting the traditional supply chain and end-value propositing of the products, with tremondous implications for the packaging industry. Whether you are a brand, retailer, co-packer, film manufacturer or designer, you should join us at E-PACK Europe 2019. It is the leading European summit on e-commerce packaging, and the best place to meet, network, learn and jump-start collaborations and partnerships with major, innovative and disruptive players in the industry.
This year's programme includes panellists and industry experts covering the full value chain, from pacakging solution providers like Amcor, to retailers and brands such as John Lewis and IKEA. The agenda will cover all the hottest topics in the industry, including sustainability and recycling, supply chain innovations, omnichannel considerations for brands and retailers, and innovative technologies and materials to transform packaging.
The conference takes place in Berlin on 25-26 March 2019, and I hope to see you there! Book your ticket now here.
VP Corporate Strategy