Packaging Insights

3 easy ways for eCommerce brands to overcome the paper shortage.

August 4, 2022
minute read
Decorative blue ribbon paper swirling

Shortage – a word that’s everywhere nowadays. Whether it’s labor shortages at your local retail destination or options at the grocery store being fewer than ever, this year, we’re all feeling the effects of a shortage in one way or another. For the eCommerce market, paper shortages are having a significant impact, particularly when it comes to packaging. 

“As we emerged from the lockdown period, demand for printing paper and direct mail services increased faster than supply was able to rebound.”

Source: Phoenix Group

As eCommerce continues to grow rapidly and the call to eliminate single-use plastics from packaging grows louder, the need for paper-based packaging alternatives has skyrocketed. Supply chain disruptions related to the pandemic and world conflict have only added to the situation. With the resulting scarcity of raw materials, online businesses are left clamoring for a solution.

Let’s explore how we can solve this problem by being proactive, creative, and sustainable with packaging.

Conquer the eCommerce Packaging Shortage in 3 Easy Steps.

Take charge and use the shortage to your advantage. Make the most of this opportunity to develop long-term solutions that will far outlive the current predicament. Although the status quo has been disrupted, there are still options available for businesses to make the most of this year’s peak holiday season – and beyond.

1. Plan Ahead.

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you’re already keeping on top of potential supply chain issues. If you already know what supplies you need and they’re in stock, this is your sign to order ahead – and in larger-than-usual quantities. Given the market, investing in essentials will pay dividends for your business.

It’s no secret that the beginning of the pandemic created an unexpected rise in eCommerce sales, given restrictions on in-person shopping. This surge is ongoing. “Online sales in US retail jumped 40 percent year over year in 2021,” according to research and analysis conducted by McKinsey & Company. Based on their data, they expect this exponential growth to continue beyond the initial pandemic-induced shopping boom.

Businesses need to be prepared to meet a growing need. Due to Seaman Paper’s mix of domestic and international paper factories and an extensive stock line, we are well-positioned to supply colorful and on-brand void fill to meet this market growth.

makeup in an ecommerce box packaged with red SpiroPack
SpiroPack adds an unexpected pop of color and fun to your packaging

Inner packaging and void fill solutions are our focus, and we have several available products to choose from that can elevate your packaging:

  • SpiroPack – a mess-free and space-saving alternative to crinkle paper or packing peanuts
  • SatinPack – rolls and sheets of heavyweight tissue that not only adds protection to your product but also add a real burst of color inside your orders compared to plain kraft packing paper
  • SatinWrap – 68 FSC-certified solid color tissue papers or any of our designer prints, including 20 stock holiday designs to make your holiday unboxing feel even more special

2. Brand Inside the Box. 

With paper prices on the rise, custom tissue can be a savvy way to save on shipping. Seaman Paper’s ability to custom print removes the need for thank you cards or other brand marketing that would typically be included on separate pieces of paper.

Get creative – include logos and graphics on your tissue fill for a lightweight, brand-focused package. We can even help you seamlessly provide an omnichannel experience to your customers by printing QR codes on tissue.

custom printed uggs tissue paper showcasing their sustainability messaging
See how Uggs printed their product sustainability story

Reduce lengthy lead time for customized corrugated boxes by opting for unprinted outer packaging. Let’s face it – porch pirates are a thing, particularly around the holiday season. Branding inside the box deters porch theft and keeps the contents a surprise for the intended recipient. 

The premium appearance of custom tissue fill isn’t only a great way to impress customers – data shows it can even reduce return rates. As eCommerce grows, so do return rates, which can be a huge expense for businesses. Up to 40% of online purchases are sent back. Reducing or avoiding returns altogether is an important factor when it comes to lowering your overall costs.

3. Don’t be tempted by plastic packaging.

Not all void-fill solutions are created equal. Case in point – have you ever tried unboxing an item covered in generic, static-filled packing peanuts without making a mess? It’s not exactly an experience that thoughtful brands would want to leave their customers with.

A woman disappointed with her eCommerce box full of plastic packaging
Don't be tempted by plastic packaging

Plastic options may fulfill short-term needs, but the negative long-term effects are no small matter. The majority of consumers prefer to buy products with paper packaging.

“Most Americans agree that the design of a product’s packaging (72%) and the materials used to package a product (67%) often influence their purchase decisions… For two thirds, paper and cardboard packaging makes a product more attractive than other packaging materials (67%), and similar proportions agree that paper and cardboard packaging makes products seem premium or high quality (63%).”

Source: Ipsos

With Seaman Paper’s wide and readily available selection of inventory, it’s possible to stand by sustainable values, even in a paper shortage.

Take charge of your packaging today.

To stand out from the ever-growing competition in the eCommerce field, brands need to select hassle-free packaging that does its job reliably and sustainably. Don’t get stuck with delays or put your customers at risk – invest in paper packaging solutions at Seaman Paper today.

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