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Ecommerce Retail: Challenges and Opportunities for CPG Related Distribution Packaging



There are many evolving challenges and opportunities for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) related distribution packaging as the global retailing industry rapidly shifts its emphasis from the traditional brick-and-mortar strategy to ecommerce and omni-channel (cross-channel business model) retailing. Ecommerce and omni-channel related retail poses the unique challenges of CPGs arriving in bulk and then undergoing inventorying, picking and shipping typically as individual products towards customers’ order fulfilment. As business strategies continue to evolve and take advantage of how technology is shaping consumer trends, former traditional aspects of the classic supply chain are starting to take on new roles and responsibilities. The role of distribution packaging is paramount in the new ecommerce and omni-channel strategies. As businesses make the shift in retailing strategies, it is apparent that the demands on distribution packaging become critical towards delivering the goods in a desired form to the end customer - it needs to meet the functional requirements of containment, protection, utility and communication. Consumers expect their products to be delivered on time and free of any damage, so the packages need to optimally contain and protect the products. Consumers expect companies to minimize their carbon footprint and use sustainable packaging materials that can be recycled. Finally, packaging must communicate a tremendous amount of information through the distribution channels in terms of product information, location through the supply chains, and eventually, marketing and product information to the customer. This paper (1) compares traditional, ecommerce and omni-channel logistics strategies; (2) discusses evolving omni-channel retailing strategies; (3) confers the challenges faced by distribution packaging specifically in ecommerce logistics; (4) highlights the implications of evolving disruptive ecommerce business strategies on distribution packaging; (5) identifies the opportunities to increase value through strategic distribution packaging; and (6) summarizes the evolving pre-shipment distribution packaging test standards.


ecommerce, consumer packaged goods, distribution packaging, retailing strategies & pre-shipment testing.Text


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