A survey by UK-based Macfarlane Packaging has found that there have been significant improvements in online retailers’ use of protective packaging.

The second 'annual unboxing' survey asked shoppers about multiple areas of product packaging from 165 online retailers.

The research also found that there is still a considerable scope of improvement to enhance a customer’s shopping experience through the proper usage and presentation of product packaging.

Macfarlane Packaging marketing director Laurel Granville said: “Britain’s online retailers have clearly listened to their customers and are increasingly harnessing the power of good packaging.

"Online retailers are taking big steps to improve the experience for their customers, reduce damages and, therefore, returns."

“We know from our customers and from recent research how important consumers view their unboxing experience and it’s great to see retailers responding in this way.

“By making their packaging fit for purpose, online retailers are taking big steps to improve the experience for their customers, reduce damages and, therefore, returns.”

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Under this year's survey, 20% of packages were described as unfit for purpose by shoppers, an improvement from 30% last year.

Complaints of receiving damaged products also fell to 7% this year from 10% last year.

Approximately 21% of respondents also reported receiving ripped, damped, dented and opened packages.

The increased use of tear strips in packaging also reduced the number of consumers reporting packages being difficult to open from 24% to 5%.

The survey also found 30% of packages had no returns information, which was reported to be 55% last year.

Granville added: “Although our survey reveals a commendable improvement from online retailers, it also lays bare the considerable scope that exists for the sector to capitalise on the potential for packaging to be a real differentiator for them.”

Image: Macfarlane Packaging survey shows considerable improvement of packaging by UK online retailers. Photo: courtesy of Macfarlane Group UK.