New Sealed Air Survey Reveals Why and How E-Commerce Retailers Need to Rethink Their Packaging

New Sealed Air Survey Reveals Why and How E-Commerce Retailers Need to Rethink Their Packaging

Packaging Plays Key Role in e-Commerce Experience, Impacts Retailer Reputations

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New Sealed Air Survey Reveals Why And How E-Commerce Retailers Need To Rethink Their Packaging

Monday, November 3, 2014 - 9:10am

CONTENT: Press Release

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., November 3, 2014 /3BL Media/ – With continued growth in e-Commerce, retailers need to take a closer look at their packaging for fulfilling online orders, according to new data from the Sealed Air 2014 Packaging for e-Commerce Success survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Sealed Air. Packaging not only tells consumers how much a retailer cares about them and the environment, but it’s also critical for protection of retailer reputations. In fact, 58 percent of Americans say that if they receive a damaged or broken product from an online order, they would either consider purchasing from a competitor or would not purchase from that retailer again. The survey was conducted in August among over 2,000 U.S. adults (aged 18+).

Packaging expectations also extend to the length of time consumers are willing to wait for order fulfillment. A full 78 percent of Americans think their orders should be packaged and processed for shipment within 24 hours after their online purchase. The average amount of time Americans think is acceptable for processing an online order for shipment is 23 hours.

“In order to gain an edge in the world of e-Commerce, retailers should be looking at every step of the online customer experience, and a key part of that is packaging and online order fulfillment,” said Ken Chrisman, president, Product Care division of Sealed Air. “With competition heating up in the retail industry, companies can differentiate themselves through better packaging solutions that enhance the customer’s experience with their products and even drive repeat business and positive retailer reputations.”

How much does packaging actually influence consumers’ e-Commerce experiences with a company? According to the survey findings, packaging plays the following role in consumers’ perceptions of their online orders:

  • Tells them how much the retailer cares about them and their order (66 percent)
  • Reflects the value of the shipment – the better the packaging, the better the product inside (48 percent)
    • This viewpoint is more prevalent in younger purchasers – those ages 18 to 34 years (59 percent) are more likely to say this than those age 35+ (44 percent)
  • Reflects a retailer’s environmental commitment (34 percent)

The role of packaging is actually increasing, likely driven by the rapid growth of global e-Commerce. Nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) Americans say they are more conscious of packaging materials and design today than they were five years ago. Along with the rise in e-Commerce, environmentally-friendly packaging has been in the forefront of many consumers' minds. According to the survey findings, 94 percent of Americans believe there are environmentally-friendly packaging solutions, and 77 percent say that a company's packaging should reflect their environmental values.

Consumers have varying views on what constitutes environmentally-friendly packaging. More than three quarters (78 percent) say it can be easily recycled or made from recycled materials (75 percent); 63 percent believe it can be reused for other shipments; 55 percent say it biodegrades or composts; and 31 percent believe it prevents them from having to return a damaged product. 

“Sealed Air has been developing environmentally-responsible packaging solutions for many years, such as our Korrvu® packaging, which is curbside recyclable, and paper cushioning that uses 100 percent recycled content material,” stated Chrisman. “In addition, Sealed Air products, such as Bubble Wrap® cushioning, Instapak® foam and Fill-Air® cushions, reduce damage and can be reused several times in future shipments and continue to provide excellent protection.”

Other topics covered in the Sealed Air 2014 Packaging for e-Commerce Success survey include top e-Commerce purchases, impacts of broken or damaged products, views on over-packaging and consumers’ top packaging pet peeves. For more information about the survey and to download an executive summary, visit


Survey Methodology
The Sealed Air 2014 Packaging for e-Commerce Success survey was conducted online within the United States in August 2014 among 2,010 adults 18 years and older by Harris Poll. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population.

About Sealed Air
Sealed Air Corporation creates a world that feels, tastes and works better. In 2013, the Company generated revenue of approximately $7.7 billion by helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals in the face of today’s biggest social and environmental challenges. Our portfolio of widely recognized brands, including Cryovac® brand food packaging solutions, Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning and DiverseyTM cleaning and hygiene solutions, ensures a safer and less wasteful food supply chain, protects valuable goods shipped around the world, and improves health through clean environments. Sealed Air has approximately 25,000 employees who serve customers in 175 countries. To learn more, visit

About The Harris Poll
Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods. Contact us for more information.