Robust Online Shopping Activity, Millennials Spending Power to Propel Growth
US demand for retail e-commerce packaging is projected to expand driven by continued robust growth for online shopping, which has revolutionized the shopping experience due to its convenience and ability to provide a wider selection than brick and mortar stores. The ease of viewing and comparing products via computers and mobile devices will continue to boost growth for e-commerce retail sales, as will the expanding spending power of millennials, who comprise the largest demographic for online shopping. These factors will fuel solid prospects for related packaging needed to contain and protect merchandise through multiple handlings via high volume distribution and delivery networks.
Key Findings in the Retail E-Commerce Packaging Market Study:
Boxes, Labels, Mailers to See Fastest Gains
Through 2020, the fastest growth is expected for boxes, labels, and mailers. Opportunities for boxes will be boosted by package volume increases coupled with the presence of custom boxes used to differentiate brands, promote a premium image, and create excitement for “unboxing.” However, the use of dimensional weight to calculate shipping costs will moderate gains for corrugated boxes, leading some firms to downsize boxes or use mailers for smaller items or products that are not fragile. Gains for labels will reflect package volume expansion and the increasing prevalence of value added product types, particularly integrated labels. Advantages of light weight and low cost will fuel strong advances for mailers, with poly mailers expected to enjoy the best prospects.
3PLs to Benefit from Outsourcing of Fulfillment Functions
The largest market for e-commerce packaging is traditional e-commerce retailers, dominated by Amazon. Gains will be similar to the overall average, propelled by continued robust prospects for e-commerce retail sales. Competition from third party fulfillment and logistics firms (3PLs) and an increased web presence among brick and mortar retailers will prevent faster advances. 3PLs will represent the fastest growing e-commerce packaging market through 2020 and beyond. Opportunities will be helped by the growing trend of outsourcing fulfillment processes to firms with expertise in supply chain functions and to limit additional costs associated with warehousing, staffing, and other fulfillment functions. In the brick and mortar retailer market, increases will be aided by the growing share of company sales generated via e-commerce and the focus on developing infrastructures for an omnichannel approach.
Widening Range of Goods Gaining Acceptance in E-Commerce Channels
Apparel and accessories will be one of the fastest growing merchandise applications, with advances aided by stellar gains in product sales resulting from wide selection and the easy return policies offered by many merchants. Above average prospects in home furnishings will be boosted by expanded purchases of large items and rising household formation rates among millennials. Food and beverages, an area in which consumers have so far been slow to adopt online shopping, will represent one of the fastest growing applications for e-commerce packaging, reflecting changes in shopping patterns, especially among younger consumers, and the need for specialty packaging with perishable items. Robust gains are anticipated in areas in which e-commerce purchases have not had much of a foothold until relatively recently, such as pet food, laundry products, and other household items.
This Freedonia industry study analyzes the $2.5 billion market for retail e-commerce packaging in the United States. Product segments covered include protective packaging (e.g., air pillows, bubble packaging, paper fill, loose fill), boxes, mailers, labels, tape, and insulated shipping containers. Markets include traditional e-commerce retailers, third party fulfillment and logistics companies, brick and mortar retailers, specialty retailers, and other markets (e.g., US Postal Service, online marketplaces). In addition, the study covers merchandise applications for e-commerce packaging. The leading customers for e-commerce packaging are also discussed. The study also evaluates company market share and competitive analysis on industry competitors including Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, Intertape Polymer, Packaging Corporation of America, Pregis, Sealed Air, 3M, and WestRock.