Aylesbury BOX Company | Packaging in a Digital World
The online world of unboxing has elevated the desire for stylish e-commerce packaging design and print. From gaming to cosmetics, how your packaging appears on a YouTube video is of vital importance.
ecommerce packaging, cardboard boxes, printed packaging, postal boxes, unboxing, sustainability, packaging, cardboard recycling, corrugated cardboard, bespoke boxes, packaging design, box company,
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Packaging in a Digital World


Packaging in a Digital World

The rise of digital technology led to many believing that the paperless office would be the norm in the 21st Century. Would this lead to paper mills and packaging manufacturers in the UK going out of business?

According to packaging data collated by Ibis World, there are currently 1,442 UK packaging companies. Many of these receive supplies from the county’s 47 operational papermills. Whilst there has been a decline in demand for certain items, such as newspapers and other printed publications, orders for others, including corrugated cardboard boxes have soared.

Why has the Demand for Cardboard Boxes Increased?

A steady increase in e-commerce orders had been recorded for years, that was until demand rocketed in the pandemic. With restrictions on where we could go and what we could do, the majority of households were ordering online.

UK e-commerce statistics collated by The Circular Board reveal a 121% increase in online grocery sales in January 2021 compared to January 2020. Gardening equipment and electrical items were also highly desirable internet purchases. Every day, millions of cardboard boxes were being packed, shipped and delivered to UK homes.

Restrictions have been eased, but there hasn’t been a downturn in demand. The convenience and favourable price comparisons of home deliveries have made online shopping a habit in many households. E-commerce now accounts for over a quarter of all retail sales and this is expected to reach a third by 2025.

For all packaging suppliers like Aylesbury Box Company, the last two years have been non-stop. The outcome has been the rapid expansion of facilities across the box manufacturing side of the paper industry. We’ve been investing in new premises, equipment and staff to ensure we can fulfil orders and maintain realistic lead times.

What’s Driven the Rise of Printed E-commerce Packaging?

When Aylesbury Box Company first started producing cardboard boxes for deliveries, the majority were standard sizes without print. If printed packaging was requested, it was typically handling instructions; ‘This Way Up’ and an arrow.

It is a different story for e-commerce packaging. Postal boxes are, in many cases, the only tangible connection between a customer and a brand. The packaging has to engage the recipient, as well as protect the goods. Strong branding, clever design, illustrations, messages and social profiles all work to help build brand awareness and customer loyalty.

The online world of unboxing has also elevated the desire for stylish e-commerce packaging design and print. From gaming to cosmetics, how your packaging appears on a YouTube video is of vital importance. Win over the influencers and they can greatly extend your reach.

When we talk about printed packaging, it is important not to forget the internal design. Many brands are keeping external printing to the minimum, but adding the wow factor to opening the box with striking internal colours. That makes for a memorable unboxing experience.

What’s the Environmental Impact of E-commerce Packaging?

Consumers are more aware than ever of the environmental impact of their purchases. For this reason, they are paying greater attention to the sustainability of packaging.

Fortunately, cardboard boxes are produced from a high percentage of recycled fibres, with virgin materials coming from responsibly managed forests. Kerbside collections of cardboard are available to most householders, so it is easy to recycle all those postal boxes. Printed information and interactive features are now widely used on packaging to encourage cardboard recycling.

Once collected for recycling, boxes are processed for use in the next batch of corrugated cardboard. This is the part that consumers play in helping to maintain our industry and our planet.

Designing bespoke boxes for e-commerce deliveries can further enhance the environmental credentials. Best fit solutions reduce the need for fillers which helps streamline the packing process. Bespoke boxes optimise the size and weight of packages, which often reduces shipping costs and the number of delivery vehicles on the road. This lowers carbon emissions; another environmental tick.

E-commerce Packaging in the Digital World

So, digital technology has played a role in the evolution of packaging design and the story continues. By being adaptable, packaging companies can remain relevant to the changing demands of brands and consumers.

For information and advice on sustainable, printed, e-commerce packaging, contact Aylesbury Box Company on 01295 436888 or enquiries@abcbox.co.uk

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