Viewpoint: Reducing waste packaging requires enlightened customers

Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3

Packaging is a particularly hot topic at the moment as a growing number of consumers recognise that much of the casing around the products they buy is arguably unnecessary. The major supermarkets have reacted to growing customer discontent and demand for more sustainable practices and now all have various initiatives in place to reduce or remove single use plastics among other things.

But consumers are particularly fickle and in many cases hypocritical with their actions when it comes to the issue of waste and sustainability. While they vocally argue against certain packaging they are often then unwilling to accept the alternative.


Packaging: thinking outside the box

There is no doubt that when ordering goods online the glossy packaging that is used for stand-out on the supermarket shelve is unnecessary. As long as the food is sufficiently protected during delivery to the home then the packaging that performs the marketing aspect of the product is arguably redundant. You would think this was the case and that consumers would be overwhelmingly okay with this argument.

But according to Bernstein Research 61% of shoppers expect the product packaging they see online to be the same as what they see in their local retailer and 47% expect the product image online to match the product packaging that arrives on their doorstep. Particularly telling was the finding that only 9% of people surveyed were willing to accept packaging that was a different colour or packaging type.

Clearly the actions that retailers are undertaking to reduce waste packaging has to be massively welcomed but there should also be some recognition that while these moves will be applauded by the more socially conscious shoppers the major grocers still have a major challenge on their hands when taking some of their more tardy shoppers on the sustainability journey.

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider

K3 Retail partners with businesses to provide connected technologies based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 so retailers can reach their goals now and in the future. In a size that best fits future plans wherever you need it – Cloud, Hybrid or On-premise. Our solutions drive more than 800 international retail brands from Charles Tyrwhitt and The White Company to Ryman and Sue Ryder, Hobbycraft, Wasabi and Ted Baker, K3 Retail is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and the UK’s leading Microsoft Dynamics retail partner.