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The role of the folding box in online retailing

Editors have it tough! Every day my doorbell rings, and always just when I want to concentrate on my work in peace: Sometimes it's Hermes, then it's DHL or DPD. My whole family orders almost everything only on the Internet and then has it delivered to the front door, from here I take over. Everything except groceries - for that we still drive personally to Real, Netto, Kaufland or the nearest organic market. But it would be nice not to have to stand in line or carry bottles anymore... This service is not yet worthwhile in the Swabian province, only in the big cities. But don't worry, we're working on it, say Amazon Fresh, Prime Now and Allyouneedfresh.

What is left behind are mountains of packaging material, folding boxes, cartons and foils, waiting for someone to take pity on them and drive them to the recycling center.

Finger paints in a folding boxTriangular folding boxPrinted folding box

The naked truth is: brick-and-mortar retail is crumbling away, and only those who have managed to build up an online rail (multi-channel) parallel to their brick-and-mortar business can look to the future with optimism. All predictions indicate that online retail will continue to grow very strongly in the near future. Online retailers turned over almost 25 billion euros in Germany in 2015, a good 13 percent more than in the previous year. E-commerce thus remains one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. But what significance does this development have for folding cartons?


The folding carton is the number 1 packaging material for online trade

Consumers who shop online pay close attention to product quality, freshness, deliverability, selection, and reliable service - all of which labels and folding cartons must provide. The folding carton is not only the most important product protection, but also the central brand ambassador, both when pictured in the online store, on the shelf, and with the consumer at home. Folding cartons made of cardboard or corrugated board are the number one packaging material for online retail because they can be easily imaged in the web store, because they best meet logistical requirements, and because the cardboard makes them the most sustainable packaging material.

These theses are confirmed by a study conducted by the renowned EHI Retail Institute on behalf of Pro Carton, the marketing association of the European cartonboard and folding carton industry. Marketing managers of leading retailers in Germany were surveyed. Folding cartons are preferred over all other packaging by 80 percent of those surveyed. The question asked was which product packaging meets the shipping requirements particularly well. According to the survey, respondents consider pouches (56 percent) and blister packs (40 percent) to be far less suitable. At five percent, glass was at the very end of the scale.

Why do respondents prefer to send folding boxes?

Mainly for four reasons: They can be photographed well and thus optimally displayed in the online store. Folding boxes protect their contents and do not damage other products in the shipment. They can be used as an all-in-one solution, meaning they can be used as product and shipping packaging in one. And they go down well as gift packaging.

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