FBA Blog

E-Commerce and Packaging

With mid-term elections now behind us, most of the national attention will focus on holiday shopping and the impact inflation will have on this year’s shopping spree. Many economists are predicting tough economic times as inflation is driving the cost of goods to record-levels. One retail analyst, Blake Morgan, predicts holiday gift spending in the U.S. to drop by $30 billion, as 58 percent of consumers cut back on non-food spending during the holidays. The biggest drops could come in clothing and footwear, with 25 percent of people expected to cut back in those areas.

With that said, many retailers have record stockpiles of inventory and are looking to move products through the supply chain. Major retailers like Amazon, Target and Walmart have already initiated heavy discounts. As Black Friday approaches, shoppers can expect major discounts on electronics, appliances, and clothing. Retailers will be pushing to move low-cost items through their channels, rather than focus on high-cost, luxury items and high-demand electronics (Xbox).

As e-commerce has grown to represent almost 15 percent of total retail spending over the past few years, expect more of the same for the 2022 holiday season. Shoppers are searching for the best deals and using the power of the internet to compare prices. More than 70 percent of adult shoppers now use e-commerce to make purchases online. In addition, shoppers are using the chat feature to acquire further discounts and coupons as added value. Retailers are offering these automated and live chat discussions as replacements for store clerks. You might notice that where chats used to be a small static icon located at the bottom of the page, they are now live and appear as a pop-up screen as soon as you open the site.

Globally, packaging for e-commerce represents $64 billion in sales. Of that, corrugated boxes have the largest share at $51 billion, followed by flexible packaging at $11 billion. Everyone agrees waste must be taken out of the supply chain and large boxes with small products must be redesigned to remove fiber and air. Everyone also agrees these occurrences are fewer and fewer, given programs like SIOC (ship-in-own-container) and others. Corrugated boxes have infinite design capabilities, multiple strength characteristics, multiple branding opportunities and renewable fibers that make them the most extraordinary packages available for brand-owners and CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies.

After the kids finish playing with the corrugated boxes (instead of their toys) at Christmas, let’s be sure to empty, flatten and recycle those boxes in the recycling cart. The fibers from these boxes are used up to seven times to make new boxes. The balance that exists between renewable fiber from trees and recovered fiber from recycling makes the U.S. corrugated industry the “poster child” for sustainability. Let’s do our part and join the millions of consumers who recycle corrugated boxes and Invest in Our Planet (Earth Day 2022).



FBA President & CEO