North America E-Commerce Packaging Market - Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2020-2025)
North America Ecommerce packaging market is expected to reach 12.5% during the forecast period (20202025). The rapidly increasing growth in the online purchasing behavior of consumers drives changes right from product design, to packages change, picking, fulfillment, and shipping. Product protection is considered as one of the most important issues.
The exponential growth of ecommerce, combined with the technological advancements in the packaging material options, is primarily changing the way most of the companies are choosing the right solution. The main consideration points are the performance, cost considerations driven by material improvements, packaging needs, delivery systems that create ondemand packaging, and sustainability.
In the United States, ecommerce continues to grow at a dramatic pace, putting pressure on traditional retail. Consumers spent USD 601.75 billion online in 2019, up by 14.9% from USD 523.64 billion the prior year, according to the US Department of Commerce. That was a relatively higher growth rate than 2018 when online sales reported by the Commerce Department rose by 13.6% YoY. Additionally, sales of consumer packaged goods, long confined to traditional retail channels, are exploding online, with growth rates, in many cases, in excess of 50% YoY.
With the out break of COVID19, the demand for ecommerce packaging in the region is witnessing a significant increase, due to the increasing demand for medicine, food, and other essential goods. The market demand for ecommerce packaging manufacturers will only grow, with people increasingly leaving the house only for essential purchases, i.e., groceries or medication, and many are turning to ecommerce for their retail needs.
According to Adobe's Digital Economy Index's latest data, the US ecommerce increased by 49% in April, FY 2020, compared to the baseline period in early March before shelter in place restrictions came into effect. Online grocery helped drive the increase in revenues, with a 110% boost in daily sales between March and April. Meanwhile, electronic sales were up by 58%, and book sales have doubled.
Key Market Trends
Plastic Packaging is expected to Witness Significant Growth
When it comes to efficient packaging, plastics often enable manufacturers to ship more products with less packaging material. This process of light weighting can play an essential role in boosting the environmental and economic efficiency of consumer product packaging. Moreover, blister packaging is ideal for small consumer electronic goods. This type of plastic packaging high lights the electronic accessories and further provides a degree of tamper resistance, while still being convenient and easy to open.
Many companies are developing new products to cater to the ecommerce market in the region. For instance, in January 2020, the US based Sealed Air Corporation launched a new version of Bubble Wrap brand packaging material that is made with at least 90% recycled content. In January 2020, Coveris launched 100% PP structure shrink films that support the circular economy by minimizing material waste. Moreover, the Better Packaging Co. produces bags and envelopes made from renewable plant materials, which can be composted at home.
As consumers are becoming more familiar with the environmental impacts of packaging and waste, it is becoming critical for brands to reflect their concern for this issue. Millennials make up a good portion of the industry’s consumer base, and they are showing a preference for purchasing from companies that focus on sustainability.
As a result, the ecommerce companies in the region, such as Amazon, are adopting sustainable way of packaging by introducing various initiatives. Over the past decade, Amazon’s initiatives, including Frustration Free Packaging (FFP), eliminated more than 810,000 metric ton of packaging material and eliminated the use of 1.4 billion shipping boxes, by promoting easy toopen, recyclable packaging and shipping products. The increasing emphasis on FPP might hinder the market for lasting packaging in the future.
Consumer Electronics Segment to Witness Significant Growth
According to the Consumer Technology Association, the retail revenue from consumer electronics/technology sales in the United States in 2019 was USD 406 million, and it is expected to reach USD 422 million by the end of FY 2020. With the increasing demand for consumer electronics worldwide, the demand for protective plastic packaging is expected to increase during the forecast period.
Among the specialized plastic packaging systems for consumer electronics and media, shrink packaging or shrink wrapping and stretch wrapping are very common and widely used. Compared to shrink film and bags, stretch wrapping offers large energy savings and does not require the availability of fuel. Compared to shrink bags, in particular, it simplifies inventory. Additionally, several mobile phones are packed and shipped using plastic material. Though several manufacturers are drifting toward sustainable packaging options, the role of plastic films and wraps on the boxes is evergrowing.
For instance, the Mavic Air 2 drone that was launched in April 2020 is packaged with the smart controller and the smartphone display, in carton boxes that come with protective plastic shrink wrap, to avoid damage during shipping.
Moreover, Kingston's HyperX Savage EXO, which was launched in 2019, is packaged between layers of clear blister pack inserted in the box. The plastic, screwless, slategray case protects the drive's internals.
The North America ecommerce packaging market is moderately fragmented, owing to the availability of several players providing ecommerce packaging solutions with many companies developing expansion strategies. Vendors in the market can gain sustainable competitive advantage through innovation in design, technology, and application.
In January 2020, Sealed Air Corporation, which is the inventor of Bubble Wrap, launched a new version of Bubble Wrap brand packaging material that is made with at least 90% recycled content.
In January 2020, Amcor PLC announced its partnership with Moda vacuum packaging systems in North America and Latin America. By combining Amcor’s shrink bag and roll stock film for meat and cheese with Moda’s system, producers can gain operational efficiencies and drive total cost savings.
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