Customers shop online more than ever before

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The latest report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed nearly a quarter of all non-food purchases were made online in the run-up to Christmas in 2017.

Online purchases are easy and fast to make, allowing many of us to get what we need without leaving the house. It’s convenient especially for those lacking the time to shop in stores or wanting to avoid long checkout queues.

Many retailers offer a wider range of sizes, colours and styles online than they do in stores, giving customers a greater choice and often at a discounted rate.

No wonder retail eCommerce sales in the UK are expected to reach £76.41 billion in 2018! This is £5.66 billion more than predicted for 2017 according to Statista.

The growth of internet shopping offers fresh opportunities but also creates new challenges for many online retailers.

We put together a few suggestions to help you stay on top of things in 2018.


Packaging plays a vital role in protecting your products, but it also serves an important function when it comes to enhancing customer experience.

A recent study by Sealed Air has revealed branded packaging increases positive customer feedback by 64%. Over two thirds of respondents also believe packaging indicates how much retailers care about them.

Nevertheless, 38% of parcels assessed in our unboxing research had no branding on the pack and a staggering 30% didn’t reflect the value of the brand.

Personalised packaging can increase brand awareness through adding your logo and company name to the pack, you can include “thank you” messages inside the box or add social media icons to encourage feedback.

Visuals are important but some retailers go even further by sending their products in scented packaging. This is such a great way to surprise your customers with something a bit different, making their unboxing experience extra special.

Easy returns

Online shopping is easy and convenient but it’s not completely challenge-free; buying clothes can be tricky as customers are unable to try them on. It is hard to judge product material colour just by looking at an image. All this increases the likelihood of products being returned.

Clear Returns estimates that online returns are costing retailers around £20bn each year. Sending your products in returnable packaging will reduce the likelihood of product damage in transit and please your customers as they don’t need to find alternatives to send unwanted items back.

Flexible delivery

Customers like to have options when it comes to product delivery. Ensure you offer Click & Collect as well as next day delivery to increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. And remember, packaging should be fit for purpose to the chosen location and delivery method.

At Macfarlane Packaging, we can help you find the most optimum eCommerce packaging solution for your products. Get in touch:

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Christmas shopping continues to move online: BRC:

Forecast retail e-commerce sales in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2015 to 2018 (in billion GBP)*:

The Real Cost of Returns for Retailers: