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Macfarlane Packaging Unboxing Survey Results

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Macfarlane Packaging Unboxing Survey Results

Are you an online retailer? Then this could be interesting to you. Our parent company Macfarlane Packaging recently announced the results of their annual ‘unboxing’ survey, revealing how customers feel when receiving parcels from their online retailers.

Whilst there have been considerable improvements from last year, the survey shows that online retailers can do more…

Is your packaging the right size?

Are the dimensions of your boxes or mailing bags appropriate for what you’re packing? Customers reported to Macfarlane that 20% of parcels received were either too big or too small. Not only does the customer can incur cost when returning, it also risks damage in transit and when the parcel is too big it increases waste.

A companies sustainability is well known to influence the customers repeat purchasing habits. Get this right to reduce costs to you and the environment while improving your reputation! Our blog on how to make your packaging more sustainable could be quite useful for this.

 Is your pacakging fit for purpose?

Although damaged products reduced by 3% this year, 21% of customers reported that packages were damaged on arrival. Some were “damp, ripped, dented (and even) opened” (1)which could be due to poor packing/handling or even a compromise in board grade. Reviewing your packaging operations will ensure the right quality products are being used in the right way. For example checking the board grade of your boxes is important, as the lower the board grade the more easily it damages. An easy way to improve your customer experience!

Is your packaging easy to open?

The demographic in the U.K. is changing. The good news is customers report only 5% of packaging was difficult to open compared to 24% in 2016, an amazing result! According to Macfarlane this is due to the amount of people using tear strips on their parcels… something we have spoken before about before in our blog, which discusses the importance of making your packaging inclusive.

Does your packaging fit in with your brand?

38% of customers said no branding was on any part of the parcel, which could be responsible for the customers who thought the packaging didn’t ‘reflect the value of the brand’. This shows how important it is for eCommerce businesses to make your packaging look good! Several articles discuss influencing the reputation of your brand & repeat purchasing through well designed packaging. Colin Haddley, director of strategy at Heinz says they “built credibility up over decades through packaging and design,” (2). If you are an online retailer with no branding on your packaging, get in touch!

Is your packaging returns ready?

Probably one of the most telling findings from survey was that 30% of parcels had “no returns information” (1). Again, although this has improved since last year by 25%, Macfarlane’s original report stresses how important this is to customers, with 74% saying that this influences whether they do or do not purchase from an online retailer.

For more detailed considerations please see the link below for access to Macfarlanes full report “(1)”.


(1) Macfarlane News

(2) Importance of branded packaging