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Fancy Unboxings, The Eco-Friendly Way

Now more than ever, successful e-commerce businesses have to rely on “unboxing-worthy” packaging to keep customers excited about their products. In Amanda Mull’s article for The Atlantic, she talks about the trend of “unboxing” videos and how “expensive-looking” packaging can enhance the entirety of the shopping experience.

This trend was further magnified during the pandemic, when consumers grew more accustomed to getting everything delivered to their door. If every e-commerce company continued to create such “expensive-looking” packaging for every order placed, the environmental costs would be unimaginable, and consumers have already started worrying.

How can e-commerce businesses continue to create “expensive-looking” unboxings and communicate their environmental responsibility to consumers?

The Problem with Good Packaging

In her article, Mull brings up the core issue in our obsession with good packaging: “in a time when educated, worldly people—the same ones who likely have enough disposable income to be prized consumers—are growing more concerned about climate change and expressing support for the measures necessary to stop it, why do they also gush about how expensive thick paper feels?”

With the “expensive” packaging trend, then, comes the question of accountability. As consumers begin to wonder about the environmental impacts of the product packaging they’re so eager to unbox, businesses should be responding with more responsible packaging options.

So why are we still seeing so many unsustainable packages and mailers?

Finding the right eco-friendly packaging is not always an easy task, especially one that can still be worthy of a grand unboxing. In fact, this is what packaging designers currently have to navigate: perfecting the balance between expensive-looking and sustainable.

E-Commerce Packaging Without The Waste

Emmy Corman, Package Design Engineer at Dollar Shave Club, shared the challenges that today’s e-commerce packaging need to address:

  1. To be less wasteful by using less materials or reusable packaging.
  2. To offer a new type of “shelf presence” with better graphics or branding; or to elevate the unboxing experience.
  3. To optimize returns via the small parcel shipping environment, which is a concern brick-and-mortar retailers don’t face.

Corman raises three crucial points that every e-commerce business needs to consider when designing their product and shipping packaging. As an e-commerce company that doesn’t make their own products, Dollar Shave Club is one of the most well-known success stories about just how much good packaging can do for a company.

While their packages are extremely well-designed, they also don’t neglect to account for the environmental impacts of shipping out products to monthly subscribers. Working closely with Conformer, Dollar Shave Club was able to fully customize their 100% recycled and recyclable mailers, resulting in a winning design that drastically separated them from their competitors.

When finding shipping packaging and mailers, it’s important to know you’re working with a company that understands what online shoppers want. Conformer’s mailers are uniquely made for e-commerce businesses, helping them save time, storage space, shipping costs, and the environment.

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