The rise of ecommerce is redefining the buying experience for consumers. It’s also helping businesses reach more customers and capture new sales opportunities.
That’s why said Ken Chrisman, President, Product Care at Sealed Air Corporation, says companies need to incorporate solutions that help them enhance supply chain efficiency, as well as expedite – and better protect – the shipment of their products.
Chrisman shares insights on ecommerce trends, best practices for supply chain optimization, and why companies are excited about the recent introduction of Bubble Wrap IB, the “un-poppable” version of Sealed Air’s popular Bubble Wrap protective packaging.
MCM: A lot is said about ecommerce opening up opportunities for businesses. Is this something of a double-edged sword in that it can also add a great deal of complexity?
Chrisman: It’s true. The rise of ecommerce is increasing opportunities for businesses and, not surprisingly, comes with challenges.
Most importantly, you need to make sure your products get there fast and safely. According to a recent Sealed Air survey, nearly four in five (78 percent) Americans think retailers should ship their online orders in 24 hours or less, and only 17 percent of consumers are willing to wait between 24 and 48 hours.
Also, consumers, more than ever, care about what a brand signifies. Two-thirds of all Americans (66 percent) believe the packaging of their shipment shows them how much the retailer cares about them and their order.
They also believe that packaging reflects a retailer’s environmental policy and commitment, so businesses need to be resourceful – in terms of the amount and type of materials they’re using and the level of protection they are providing for their shipments.
MCM: What products are the most challenging to ship?
Chrisman: Electronics are among the most challenging items to ship, due to their fragility.
We’ve recently begun working with a major retailer who needed help shipping televisions quickly and efficiently, while also promising damage reduction. With our technology, virtual testing and proven protection, we were able to reduce this customer’s damage significantly.
MCM: Speaking of making shipping easier, new Bubble Wrap IB was recently introduced in North America. Can you tell us about it and why it doesn’t make the “popping” sound of traditional Bubble Wrap?
Chrisman: Bubble Wrap IB is an ideal cushion packaging material for companies that want to enhance their ecommerce and supply chain efficiency. It uses specially designed air channels that transfer shock away from products and provide superior cushioning protection. Our Barrier Bubble technology extends this protection for long ship cycles and warehousing.
Unlike other bubble-packaging technologies, which are pre-inflated prior to shipping, new Bubble Wrap IB is inflated on premise and on demand by the customer, using a simple-to-operate machine, the NewAir I.B. Express inflatable cushioning system.
Using the machine, customers can inflate the flat sheets of Bubble Wrap IB, enabling them to inflate only what they need, minimizing material usage and storage space required.
With Bubble Wrap IB, companies can create their packaging on site to fit their precise needs, helping them to reduce freight costs, simplify order fulfillment and optimize the efficiency of their shipping facilities.
MCM: How are companies in North America reacting to Bubble Wrap IB? Are you seeing significant interest?
Chrisman: Yes, we’re seeing a great deal of interest. We’re hearing from companies that are very excited that Bubble Wrap IB is available to them and how it can help generate valuable financial performance and sustainability-related benefits over competitive bubble packaging technologies.
These benefits include better damage reduction, better cube optimization, better fulfillment velocity, and better customer experience.
In extensive testing, Bubble Wrap IB’s specially designed bubbles delivered 30 percent more protection power than competitive bubble technologies.
With patented material and inflation technology, Bubble Wrap IB provides superior protection in compact bubble heights, helping to reduce material usage, box size, freight costs, and resource consumption without sacrificing the cushioning protection people have come to trust with the Bubble Wrap brand.
The large bubbles that form Bubble Wrap IB provide maximum protection, enabling companies to minimize the amount of packaging layers they need while spending less time wrapping products. This helps companies to gets packages out the door more efficiently.
Creating right-sized packages that offer exceptional protection, Bubble Wrap IB enables companies to develop consumer-friendly packaging options, helping to enhance brand reputation and the customer experience.
As we look ahead, we know that ecommerce will continue to have a major impact on consumers and business. We are confident that Bubble Wrap IB will play a key role in helping successful companies reduce freight costs, minimize damage and optimize the efficiency of order fulfillment.