Digital transformation in the packaging industry and eCommerce are growing trends and, therefore, so is the demand upon packaging companies. 40% of men in the US, aged between 18 and 34, say they would ‘ideally buy everything online’ and 33% of women of the same age range (source). Companies like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba don’t just lead the way in eCommerce but enable thousands of traders to sell their own goods online — all of which have to be packaged and shipped. However, a huge number of packaging companies remain solely doing business through traditional channels and have not tapped into the place where their customers are: the internet. You can use an eCommerce platform to grow your business. We’ve worked together with BCS to bring you the information you need to make the most of this opportunity.
Selling to eCommerce Customers
The benefits of eCommerce for businesses is huge, which is why such a massive range of businesses are utilizing the opportunities that online retail grants. For B2C businesses, eCommerce presents a way to reach a huge number of people, even targeting advertisements at customers who are likely to be interested in their products. eCommerce businesses that work purely online don’t need to employ staff on checkouts and in-store and can focus their efforts on their sales and delivery channels making it a more cost-effective channel.
A critical component of every eCommerce business, however, is packaging and choosing a B2B packaging supplier. This is an opportunity for box plants and packaging companies. Growth consultants have predicted that, by 2020, the B2B eCommerce market will be worth $6.7 trillion (source). That’s a statistic that’s hard to ignore. Selling to eCommerce businesses, and making the most of this growing industry, will allow you to develop your own business.
To do this, you need to be able to deliver the right packaging specifications to fulfill the demands of eCommerce business customers. eCommerce businesses will often produce small amounts of a variety of things, particularly with platforms such as Etsy allowing crafters of handmade items to sell their wares online. This demands small quantities of many different sized boxes. In order to meet this demand, you’ll need to produce fully custom boxes in short runs. (A box making machine such as the Boxer will allow you to achieve this.)
As an eCommerce business owner that’s choosing your packaging company, there are a complex array of factors you must consider. The demands of your business will be unique, so it’s important to identify if the packaging company can tailor their boxes to you. Look for a company that offers custom box dimensions and shapes, so you can always find a packaging solution that suits your product. Also, consider whether the company offers custom printing and branding. This allows your packages to be recognizable, acting as advertisements, and helping your customers remember your brand.
With eCommerce companies being such an important customer base, packaging companies need to also consider selling online. This is an opportunity you should get behind before your competitors beat you online…
Selling Via eCommerce
Businesses in eCommerce are fantastic opportunities for any box plant or packaging company to win new customers and maximize sales, but in addition, eCommerce can be another sales channel! Increasing your company’s visibility online, and taking orders digitally, lets your business reach new markets and new customers with a high return on investment. More and more customers are researching products online so it’s time to go to where your customers are.
As a packaging company, your customers are selling through eCommerce; these people are familiar with this method of not only selling online but also buying online. These are people who feel comfortable with the smooth and efficient process of eCommerce and prefer this from all their vendors, including packaging companies. If you can utilize this, you can meet the demands of a huge customer base.
The traditional sales channels such as ordering over the phone or via fax are now seen as antiquated — a world away from what the modern day business owners are accustomed to. Online commerce presents an easy and hassle-free process. It cuts out the middleman who needs to answer the telephone, reduces human error in order taking, and makes for an easier buying process for your busy customers.
Choosing your Platform
However, when choosing an eCommerce platform, it’s crucial you look for one that is made for B2B custom. As mentioned, B2B sales (particularly to eCommerce businesses) have unique requirements that are different from B2C; your eCommerce platform must cater for these. A platform that supports the management of multiple SKUs and specifications will be important. It’s also vital that it can manage multiple price lists because every negotiated contract can be different. These are very different requirements compared to what’s included in a B2C platform.
eCommerce has provided an ecosystem of new trade. Not only does it cater to customers who need packaging products and services, but also to packaging companies themselves. It’s an opportunity as a packaging company to grow your business and increase your customer base. With the staggering predictions for B2B eCommerce by 2020 (a $6.7 trillion industry), it’s clear that the digital market is here to stay. The time to invest is now. Transform your sales, and reap the benefits of what you sow.
Discover what you can learn from the success of the Alibaba marketplace model.