E-Commerce Fashion Businesses in Australia: Common Packaging they use and the Pros and Cons
The eCommerce fashion industry has come on in leaps and bounds with statistics showing the industry as one of the biggest eCommerce sectors in the world. In 2018, the fashion industry grew in sales by a staggering 23.3% and generated a revenue of $481 billion with that figure rising to $545 billion in 2019 and an estimated projection of $759.5 billion in 2021.
Ecommerce in Australia has steadily been on the uprise across all sectors and industries in the last couple of years with Australia existing as the 10th largest eCommerce market in the world by revenue. With the COVID 19 pandemic in the last year accelerating its rise even faster, the Australian eCommerce market is valued at $33.1 billion with a growth rate of 8.9% this year.
With the immense benefits of eCommerce which include access to a greater variety of products, ease of purchase; there was never a doubt about its rise though.
The key to the success of the eCommerce fashion business is the packaging. Gone are the days when the packaging wasn’t perceived as necessary but just a layer to protect the product itself. While that primary function of adequately protecting the product remains, packaging has gained importance, evolved into a lot more, and is now rightly viewed as important as the product itself.
First impressions they say last longer and in eCommerce, you only get one shot at impressing that customer who is purchasing for the first time. Proper packing helps to create a beautiful branding experience, add value to your product, and ensure customer loyalty.
Take, for example, a pair of shoes arriving elegantly tailored and packaged from company A and another pair of shoes arriving flimsily packaged from company B. Without question, company A will most likely be the company you reach out to when you want to purchase your next item because of the sense of value the packaging projected to you.
The fashion and clothing industry in Australia has evolved with a lot of brands now having an eCommerce presence thereby creating healthy competition in the sector. Brands realize the importance of proper packaging and utilize different ways to stand out among other competitors including;
- Customization of packaging boxes
Different brands customize their packaging boxes to create a unique unboxing experience for their customers and add a touch of elegance and class to their products.
The use of stickers is a useful stand-out strategy for different businesses because they are versatile, fairly inexpensive, and are available in various colors meaning they can help to add extra complementing color to the packaging.
They can be used to seal a box, brand a package, and attached with a short note that says thank you to your customers for their purchase.
- sample or gift
Brands are beginning to include samples of other products and gifts as part of their packaging for products to gain an advantage over their competitors in the industry.
These gifts and samples are usually selected based on the customers’ purchase history or current purchase. For example, if a customer purchases a shoe, for example, a complementing pair of socks could be added as a gift to the package.
- Educational materials
Some products could prove to be a little difficult for customers to unpack or make use of and brands have gotten creative by including a “how-to” instructive material to help customers get acquitted on how to use the product thereby making it easy for them.
This helps to show that the brands care about their customer, builds trust, and communicates a sense of support even after purchasing the product.
Common packaging boxes used by Fashion Businesses
Corrugated cardboard boxes are the standard and most common type of product packaging used by business owners. Strong, durable, and sturdy, cardboard boxes can withstand pressure high pressure and carry heavy-weight items. They are also very lightweight meaning that they don’t extra weight to your package and are durable and can be recycled.
All products cannot be shipped and packaged in corrugated boxes and of course, you still want to package such items with great quality and branding.
Courier bags such as plastic mailing bags, poly mailers, tamper-proof bags, waterproof bags are a product packaging solution used for light but not fragile products. Flexible, lightweight, easy to store and strong, courier bags make shipping easy and stress-free and also help to give customers a unique unboxing experience.
Additionally, courier bags can easily be customized to fit brands and products which helps to take the customer fulfillment to another level. They are easy to pack and seal as they have a self-seal adhesive strip with a peel and seal mechanism which may not open again after being sealed without damaging the courier bag permanently or a tear strip that allows the bag to be opened without cutting the bag.
Nowadays, compostable satchels are becoming a lot more popular, mainly because of a customer shift towards environmentally friendly packaging. They have a peel and seal adhesive which helps to make it safe. They are sustainable and lightweight, meaning that it does not add extra weight to your product, making it easy to transport.
Compostable satchels have a shelf life of 10 months and they begin to biodegrade once they are made. With about 1/3 of the material made from cornstarch and corn, they break down in your home compost can be eaten by worms.
In recent times, customers have favored environment-friendly packaging with studies showing that nearly 75% of customers are willing to pay more for recyclable packaging. This means that brands that package their products with environmentally friendly and sustainable packages are more likely to appeal to a larger and trending customer base of eco-conscious customers.
Well in comparison, let’s look at the pros and cons of plastic courier bags compared to compostable satchels compared to cardboard boxes concerning their impact on the environment and cost:
Firstly, there is no doubt that all packaging materials have an amount of impact on the environment both in production and the disposal of the used packaging but this comparison is to understand which has the least impact on the environment in the disposal of the used product and to know the cost implications.
Production of cardboard boxes and plastic courier bags requires energy likewise in the production of compostable satchels but paper bags utilize 4 times as much energy, consume 3 times as much water and generate more pollutants in production than plastic bags.
Compostable satchels are easily decomposable creating less effect on the environment because they break down within 180 days and can be eaten by worms in any home compost. Plastic courier bags on the other hand are not easy to recycle and take over 1000 years to break down completely in landfills or may alternatively need to be burnt thereby creating environmental pollution.
The implication of deciding to go for environmentally friendly packaging is an increased cost of packaging. Plastic is the cheapest of all common packaging materials while compostable satchels are 2-3 times more expensive than plastic courier bags and for small-scale fashion businesses or brands that are just starting, affording to go this route may prove a steep too difficult.
Cardboard boxes are cost-saving especially because they are reusable and can be recycled.
Whether you need plastic courier bags, compostable satchels or mailing boxes, we at Awesome Pack got you covered. Check out our range below:
We hope this article has helped your eCommerce business in some way and that remember to check out Awesome Pack's other Packaging and Shipping Blogs.
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Your Local Melbourne Packaging Supplier