“Just Ship It!” is what I like to envision them yelling as they slapped the label on the box; the beginning of the package’s journey to my door. Normally, I’d expect an Amazon purchase to arrive in the requisite brown corrugated box, another one for the pile! This time was different. To my surprise, the Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner I had impulsively purchased online arrived in the same package you’d find in the store. The box looked vibrant and glossy, with nary a scratch or a scuff from the package’s journey from the fulfillment center in Wilmington, OH to my home in South Carolina.
It's not uncommon for me to be excited about the arrival of a package to the house. But then again, don’t we all get a little excited when a package arrives, like an adult version of Christmas morning? My excitement was more related to this product’s packaging than its contents. Distribution of e-commerce deliveries in store packaging is not something I’d encountered before but it was surely a welcomed surprise. The box was covered with high quality pigmented inks over the whole box as opposed to the lower-end monochromatic corrugated inks you’d normally find on only limited parts of a typical e-commerce box. The gloss and resistance qualities of the coating, again covering the whole box, provided the package with luster and a high-end feel.
For those focused on products to improve ink receptivity and on the raw materials for the formulation of said inks and coatings, this may be a reassuring sign that packaging still matters. Product packaging that catches the eye and perpetuates a certain brand feel has been the domain of brick and mortar retail, but perhaps this is the symbol of things to come. If the ongoing expansion of e-commerce (expected to be 30% of retail by 2030) is supported by boxes that are printed and coated with high-end inks and coatings, which were thought to be under threat from this changing retail landscape, then I think we’d be all the happier to support.
Over the last few years, Amazon had made strides towards sustainable and specifically frustration-free packaging (for more information, click here). Shipping products in primary packaging, as opposed to secondary packaging in the form of another outer box, could be one way to cut down on packaging waste and reduce consumer frustration.
When in doubt, ship it out,