The online survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, revealed e-commerce and packaging preference trends during the 2020 holiday season, showing that over two in five Americans received more packages delivered to their home for the holidays this year compared to last year. What’s more, consumers will continue to online shop in 2021, even more than in 2020. Consumers also demonstrated a strong preference for paper packaging over plastic and would be more likely to purchase from online retailers and brands who offer plastic-free packaging choices at checkout than online retailers who don’t.
Highlights of the research include:
• As expected, e-commerce thrived in the 2020 holiday season: Nearly all Americans, 91%, had packages delivered to their home this holiday season. Over two in five Americans (44%) received more packages delivered to their home for the holidays in 2020 compared to 2019.
• Americans prefer paper over plastic packaging - and are more likely to purchase from companies who do, too: Over three quarters of Americans (78%) wish more brands used paper packaging (e.g. cardboard boxes, paper mailers, paper fill inside the package) instead of plastic packaging (e.g. plastic envelope, plastic pillows inside the box, bubble wrap). What’s more, over two thirds of Americans, or 68%, would be more likely to purchase from online retailers and brands that offer plastic-free packaging choices at checkout than online retailers who do not.
• E-Commerce doesn’t seem to be dying down in 2021: 67% of Americans plan to do more online shopping (e.g. household items, groceries, gifts) in 2021 than in 2020.
• Sustainable shipping and packaging can increase the bottom line for retailers beyond the holiday season: 72% of Americans would be more likely to purchase again from brands that shipped sustainably (i.e. used less plastic, used the right sized box for the item being shipped) this past holiday season than brands that did not.
• Thought your delivery boxes were unnecessarily large and wasteful? You weren’t alone: About a third of Americans noticed that the shipping/outer packaging was larger than needed given the item size (32%) for the packages they had delivered to their home for the holidays this year. In addition, 30% said that bubble wrap and/or other forms of plastic were used for protection inside the box more often than they had seen in the past for the packages they had delivered to their home for the holidays this year.
• Online grocery delivery and meal delivery services could see a boom this year: Nearly half of Americans, 46%, plan to order more food online (e.g. groceries, meal kits) to be delivered to their home in 2021 compared to 2020.
“Plastic protective packaging accounts for over one-third of the plastic packaging used in e-commerce. Additionally, COVID-19 is exacerbating an already bad situation,” said Omar Asali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ranpak. “Ranpak seeks to address this issue head-on by giving retailers a better packaging option: paper.” “Our business is rooted in providing manufacturers with sustainable, paper-based packaging systems that deliver speed, efficiency and performance,” said Asali. “We hope these insights are useful for our customers as they continue to evaluate their shipping and packaging strategies throughout 2021.”
The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Ranpak from January 5-7, 2021 among 2,030 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.