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Kite blog

The impact of Covid-19 on the world of ecommerce.

By Jake Kirk • Thursday 10th September 2020

As one of the UK’s leading Packaging companies, we explore the effect Covid-19 has had on ecommerce, advising on important considerations for any company now taking their business online.

Since the announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that Covid-19 was officially classified as a global pandemic, many things we took for granted changed without warning, and in many ways, without choice.

Implementation of the lockdown was an unprecedented test that ‘UK PLC’ has not faced the like of in post-war times, with retailers scrambling to ensure sustainability of their businesses. A pattern of ‘adaptability’ that seemed to emerge quickly was triggered by non-essential bricks and mortar companies being forced to close until further notice. In fact, even the current post-lockdown world there remains a question around how much confidence has returned and how much we are now going back into stores. The ‘new normal’ for retailing may be less about wholesale change and more about diversification and evolution.

With the population effectively consigned to staying indoors, people were not only forced to re-evaluate their shopping habits many of us took to the internet to spend money on improving our homes, gardens, health, and hobbies. A consequential effect of this was certain related industry sectors experiencing booming sales, moreover increased demand was happening almost entirely through online channels. Driven by the need to adapt and survive in a lockdown world, this lead to companies having to move fast and either establish an online presence or push all their efforts towards exploiting an existing ecommerce presence, which may previously have only played a small part in their business strategy.

According to analysts at Edge Retail Insight, the surge in online shopping caused by Covid-19 is expected to grow 19% in 2020, with many consumers stating they will continue to use brands they found online during Covid-19 and many saying they now feel more confident shopping online and so intend to continue.

With an apparent surge in ‘online’ activity for many businesses, some of whom have little or no experience with ecommerce, it is vital that to understand the key areas critical to the success of an online business compared to a bricks and mortar one.  

As one of the UK’s leading packaging companies there are some key areas Kite have discussed below and areas that they believe need to be carefully considered when it comes to choosing your packaging.

Safety

Warehouse based pick, pack and despatch operations are often the hub of an ecommerce business. It is vital that products are stored and handled in the correct way, whether they are secure in containers or stretchwrapped, adherence to simple best practices is key to safety. Following on from this, safety on the road is also a vital area, if companies are despatching increased volumes of pallets into the freight networks, it is their responsibility to ensure the pallets are safe and do not lead to road accidents.

Space

Other challenges for fast growing online companies is lack of space, whether it be the office, the carpark, or the warehouse. When you have an ecommerce company, an organised and fully optimised warehouse is key. This can be supported by purchasing packaging products that arrive flat packed and/or are space saving. Additionally, the correct design for pick, pack and despatch areas is crucial, for example using dedicated packing benches with attached roll holders and shelving. Looking to compact mobile equipment that can be used around the warehouse can create an extremely efficient and organised space.

Brand reputation

It is becoming more common to see people unboxing purchases they have received online and shaming companies for using excessive amounts of packaging. How to approach the application of packaging can really make or break a brands reputation. Looking at companies such as Kite can help, who have a focus on environmental ranges of products and a packaging company that wants people to use less packaging. We also provide tailored bespoke packaging solutions, supporting a company in their efforts to stand out from the rest with an extremely cost-effective way to get products to market.

For more information on us, please click here. 

Jake Kirk

Jake Kirk

10th September • 2020