APAC packaging industry set to ride on e-commerce wave, says GlobalData

The e-commerce channel has been one of the largest disruptions to the traditional packaging industry. The increase in e-commerce in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has already been positioned as a trend. While the customer base for online shopping in India is growing exponentially, China is already a world leader in e-commerce, contributing a significant share to the APAC e-commerce transactions. Hence, the demand for e-commerce packaging solutions has grown consequently while the trend is expected to continue in the future, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Arvind Kaila, Practice Head of Consumer Beverages at GlobalData, says: “The online shopping market in the APAC has evolved drastically during the last decade. Moreover, the onset of COVID-19 is going to further drive the long-term growth of e-commerce as the unengaged consumer segments rely more on online shopping for day-to-day purchases during the isolation or quarantine period. This spurt in ecommerce industry will enable packaging providers to venture into untapped packaging markets and gain from it in the process”.

The SARS outbreak in the early 2000s has been credited with giving Chinese e-commerce a large boost while consumers were staying at home, and Alibaba used the crisis as an opportunity to build the Taobao online marketplace that was a cornerstone of their growth in the last 20 years.

Major supermarkets in the APAC region are already experiencing unprecedented demand for online home delivery services. Bulk formats and packs suited to e-commerce distribution are already growing in popularity.

Changing consumers’ lifestyles towards packaged food and ready-to-eat products is expected to drive the growth of packaging in the APAC.  For Instance, food already accounts for 38% of the flexible packaging market in India. With rise on food deliveries, demand for packaging materials used by online retailers, and takeout joints such as boxes, tapes, labels, corrugated boxes and cartons, which are crucial for doorstep delivery, are likely to go up. Increasing awareness of hygiene and demand for more quality control will lead to rise in demand for safe food packaging.

Recent consumers’ shopping habits may lead to more online sales in the long term.

Kaila concludes: “Packaging companies should take this opportunity to invest more in packaging research, design, innovation, and production practices adapted to e-commerce to optimize its assets for opportunities in growth segments within packaging industry.”

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