In days gone by, packaging design was centred entirely around how the product could best be presented in store.

Designers would focus on cues that made their packaging noticeable and enticing at the point of purchase. But in today’s climate, as digital and physical worlds collide, packaging has to work for consumers walking the aisles and scrolling the screens.

The Rise of Online

Online grocery shopping has witnessed huge growth rates over recent years. In 2016, online sales rose by an estimated 15%, while total food retail sales grew by just 1.5%. According to Mintel’s UK Online Report, online grocery sales only accounted for around 6% of total grocery retail sales in 2016, yet the value of virtual shopping baskets is growing at a faster rate than physical ones.

Packaging Design for Ecommerce

With multichannel retailing part of everyday shopping habits, the way the product and packaging come across online is ever more important.

So, what does your brand need to consider when presenting itself online? And how can packaging design help to encourage that sale…

Immediate Impact

Due to constant stimulation from technology in our daily lives, we’ve been deemed the goldfish era, with attention spans less than that of a goldfish.

Our behavioural traits of scrolling aimlessly through news feeds and skimming content are bound to have an impact on the way we shop online. The rise of bitesize media companies and the explosion of short video content are just some examples of the drive to more instantly digestible media consumption.

Packaging Design for Ecommerce DCP

This results in products needing to make an immediate impact. Packaging design for e-commerce requires the daring use of colour and bolder messaging that is more likely to be snapped and shared. And every marketer knows the value of social branding. Take one example from ice cream brand Van Leeuwen, who witnessed a 50% increase in sales due to a strategic packaging redesign focused on ‘looking good on social media.’

Deconstruct Brand Elements

Often in physical stores, sales are impacted by product location and promotions, alternative choices have already been predefined and shoppers can even be enticed by other senses such as touch, smell and taste.

Retailers have invested a lot of time and money testing the effects of online tweaks to purchasing behaviour. There is now visibly a strong focus on mixing up graphics, highlighting key benefits of the product and even perfecting the number of images shown to optimise conversions.

It is not enough to simply photograph the front of pack and hope for the best. The essence of the brand is effectively taken apart graphically to fit smaller device sized screens, where consumers are shopping more and more frequently.

This is where designers and marketers must think about the bigger picture, almost becoming digital visual merchandisers, constantly researching and testing to discover what triggers that crucial purchase.

Packaging still remains one of the most powerful tools to showcase your brand online. In a short space of time, brand’s have come a long way in understanding how to best display products for ultimate impact. It’s clearly an exciting time for brands and designers to experiment with strong visuals and really learn about what drives their market to purchase.

If you want to chat with our team about creating fantastic packaging design for e-commerce give us a call on or send us an email at


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