A new report by global paper and packaging company Mondi Group sheds light on key consumer trends and their impact on e-commerce packaging in 2024 and beyond.

The report, based on a survey of 6,000 consumers across Europe and Turkey, offers insights for online retailers seeking to optimise their packaging strategies.

Social commerce boom and fashion dominate online shopping

The report highlights the growing importance of social commerce, with nearly half (44%) of respondents having purchased through social media platforms in the past year.

Facebook and Instagram emerged as the preferred channels while TikTok holds promise, especially for fashion brands targeting younger demographics.

Interestingly, the survey reveals a resurgence of Instagram’s popularity compared to TikTok, suggesting a potential shift in consumer behaviour.

Cost-conscious consumers seek convenience and value

While shopping frequency has dipped slightly due to economic pressures, a significant portion of consumers (38%) maintain their online shopping habits.

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Notably, cost remains a key driver, with millennials and Gen Z actively seeking better deals.

Convenience factors such as time savings and home delivery continue to be major motivators for online shopping, highlighting the need for seamless buying experiences, particularly when integrated with social commerce platforms.

Sustainability remains a top priority

The report emphasises the enduring importance of sustainable packaging solutions.

An overwhelming majority (88%) of respondents prioritise packaging quality and protection, with a significant portion (60-70%) valuing environmentally friendly materials.

The sustainability factor resonates most with boomers, followed by younger generations.

The report also explores the growing ‘recommerce’ market, suggesting that consumers might prefer reusable packaging for reselling activities.

Balancing protection and sustainability

The concept of smart packaging goes beyond just functionality.

Paper quality, resealability, and recyclable content are all crucial, but the unboxing experience plays a significant role in shaping customer perception.

Nearly half (47%) of respondents expressed frustration with excessive packaging, underlining the importance of eliminating unnecessary materials and ensuring user-friendly opening mechanisms.

The future of e-commerce packaging

Mondi’s report highlights that understanding post-purchase behaviour is essential for optimising packaging strategies.

The report delves into consumer recycling habits, revealing a surprising gap between generations.

While Boomers prioritise recycling, younger consumers are less likely to do so. This highlights the need for better education and clear labelling on packaging to encourage proper disposal practices.

Additionally, the report emphasises the growing importance of designing packaging for reusability and compostability.

Meeting consumer expectations for eco-friendly solutions while ensuring product protection and a positive unboxing experience, will be key for online retailers to thrive in the years to come.