Modern convenience is transforming retail and by extension packaging
Technical innovation has enabled new companies to enter the market by delivering content to willing consumers at a click or tap. This has radically changed a number of industries, making many products and services obsolete. The same thing is happening now in retail, with more and more people opting to purchase products online and have them delivered rather than travel to a physical location. There is a clear and pressing need for packaging components that can withstand the e-commerce fulfillment process as millennials drive the next stage of shopping evolution.
Our short term goals with regard to e-commerce-ready packaging are quite simple. We seek to create innovative concepts that fit ALL supply chains, including the e-commerce stream. In order to be considered viable for e-commerce delivery, we create products that arrive:
- Without breakage, thereby safeguarding the brand image by eliminating consumer disappointment
- Without the additional cost of protective secondary packaging or higher shipping costs due to the added weight
- With the exact same functional performance
In the near future, our goals as a firm will increasingly take the e-commerce stream into account, as existing product paradigms fall by the wayside. Several initiatives stand out, where we are developing packaging that:
- Offers a completely different shape to optimize logistics and which is not necessarily shelf-sized
- Is more adapted to harsh logistic conditions, especially with regard to closures and pumps
- Fosters e-commerce transactions that involve refills, concentrates, and other products
We were challenged with developing a custom e-commerce certified laundry bottle for Omo Naturals. It had to include a dosing cap and spout in time for November 11th, 2017 (China’s official “E-commerce Day”).
We had to ensure everything was totally impact-resistant. That depended on the system being analyzed as a whole, including the closure/pump and bottle. They could not be considered independently. The cap became a primary shock absorber, and it had to be long to be efficient without breaking.
We used tomography to reverse engineer bottles in a 3D environment. We compared the FEA standard with our observations of existing bottles and developed a clear predictive simulation of our new design. We also simulated drop testing for flat closure impacts as well as at a slight angle. We discovered that our new design using a closure of the same weight could withstand 20% higher stress and not break before bottle collapse. The system could be trusted to perform with no leakage and without added weight.
What We Learned:
In terms of basic mechanics, when creating an e-commerce packaging solution, the whole pack system has to be considered holistically.
RPC Bramlage Division has unique modelling expertise to simulate performance during the design phase.
As a company, we have already performed ISTA 6 “Amazon” testing to validate e-commerce performance.
Our joint custom development for e-commerce packaging:
E-commerce-certified laundry bottle, dosing cap, and spout.
The importance of impact and drop testing
These sorts of tests are designed to emulate real-world conditions when packages may encounter jolts, jars, and impacts. The level of safety of the interior product is assessed in order to determine how reliable the packaging is when subjected to violent conditions. Drop tests are carried out in controlled conditions to note the effect of minute changes in angle, height, trajectory, and other variables. By rigorously subjecting prototype designs to drop tests, packaging can be analyzed, improved, and ultimately optimized for e-commerce.
Next steps in e-commerce
We are currently reviewing our portfolio of 2000+ standard items in order to propose a catalogue of available ISTA-certified standards. This will provide our customers with rapid time to market solutions and confidence that the design is totally e-commerce ready!