DS Smith Survey: Manufacturers Need to Brace for Online Holiday Shopping Boom, Consumer Demand for Sustainable Packaging

DS Smith Survey: Manufacturers Need to Brace for Online Holiday Shopping Boom, Consumer Demand for Sustainable Packaging

  • New research shows most Americans plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online
  • Consumers looking for fast, free deliveries and sustainable packaging options

With the pandemic upending holiday trends, DS Smith released a new survey today that shows retailers and supply chains need to be prepared for a rush of online shopping and high consumer demand for effective packaging.

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DS Smith’s new survey results show the rise in online gift-buying this holiday season. (Photo: DS Smith)

The results – paced by 75% of consumers saying they plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online – offer fresh guidance to help manufacturers, suppliers and others in mapping out their business strategies amid a health care crisis.

“The rapid growth of e-commerce that has occurred during the pandemic, combined with the busy holiday shopping season, is putting unparalleled pressure on the behind-the-scenes logistics operations. Poorly designed packaging that doesn’t perform in this rigorous supply chain can create additional issues, like shipping delays or gifts arriving damaged,” said Mark Ushpol, managing director of packaging at DS Smith.

Two-thirds of those surveyed (66%) say they are anxious about in-store visits this holiday season because of COVID-19, and about the same (62%) expect to shop more online this year than in 2019 – and manufacturers have to be ready to respond with efficient and sustainable options.

“It’s never been more important that gifts arrive safely and securely,” Ushpol said. “With our high-performance packaging solutions, we can provide a strong box, able to withstand the many touchpoints along the delivery journey, while optimizing package size to reduce empty space, therefore contributing positively to sustainability principles.”

For online shoppers, most (68%) will rely on home deliveries. And they have high expectations for that, with more than a third (36%) saying they won’t buy again from a brand online if a package arrives damaged or if it arrives late. Taking a step further, nearly 9 in 10 consumers (88%) expect companies to replace damaged gifts at no expense.

While shoppers don’t want damaged gifts, a DS Smith survey from August proved that wasted space in packaging also is a pain point. Nearly all consumers (93%) reported they have received packages with wasted space, and nearly three-fourths (73%) have received packages that were twice the size or more than needed. All this wasted space has left a bad impression, as 54% reported they would think twice before ordering again from a company that had excessive space in their packaging.

Sustainable options also are important, with 25% of consumers in the latest survey saying they are more likely to purchase gifts from companies that use sustainable packaging options and 19% more likely to purchase gifts from companies that use less packaging.

In getting the gifts outs to friends and families, consumers chiefly plan to turn to

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Brace Yourself, Because Butt Fashion Is Back

bellahadid/Instagram, kyliejenner/Instagram, Getty Images

Remember back in the early ’00s when butts were all the rage? They were the topic of hit songs, a focus when talking about celebrities, and a feature that was frequently highlighted when it came to top fashion trends. Well, it turns out they’re coming back — you know, style-wise (our anatomy hasn’t changed) — with peek-a-boo thongs and rear-graphics slowly starting to resurface.

If you can easily recall round one of this craze, we’re sorry. You might have to momentarily relive some of the most cringe-worthy days of your youth until it all blows over. However, if your 2020/21 self is fully on board with butt fashion, thanks to its pioneers like Hailey Bieber and a decent portion of Gen-Z, that’s cool, too. There are plenty of ways to follow along.

RELATED: Apologies in Advance, But Holes Are the New Polka-Dots

Aside from scooping up G-strings from Skims (Shop It: $14; skims.com) or Savage x Fenty (Shop It: $23; savagex.com), which you can casually pull up above your waistband, we’ve found a few printed, embroidered, and bedazzled butt pants you’ll want to add to cart. Not ready to go full-out just yet? Try some back-of-the-leg details for a more subtle version of the trend.

NICCE Women’s Maze Joggers

Shop It: $75; nicceclothing.com

Kappa x Juicy Couture Ella Pant

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Shop It: $150; revolve.com

Raf Simons Embroidered Cotton-Twill Wide-Leg Trousers

Shop It: $194 (Originally $649); matchesfashion.com

Still Here Black + White Tate Jeans

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Shop It: $280; bandier.com

GCDS Logo-Panelled Tracksuit Bottoms

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Shop It: $304; farfetch.com

Versace Embroidered Roses Jeans

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Shop It: $725; versace.com

Weekday Corrina Sweatpants

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Shop It: $50; weekday.com

Telfar Brown & Off-White Velour Lounge Pants

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Shop It: $515; ssense.com

adidas Originals Sweatpants in Red with Oversized Trefoil Logo

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Shop It: $60; asos.com

Intoxicated Embroidered Track Pants

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Shop It: $116 (Originally $290); farfetch.com

For more of the latest trends, tricks, and style news, head to Future of Fashion.

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Photos show boarded up windows in top shopping districts as retailers brace for potential Election Day fallout



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article



Microsoft may earn

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Must Read: Retailers Brace for Potential Post-Election Violence, How Royal Fashion Blogging Turned Into a Big Business

Saks Fifth Avenue on Nov. 1, 2020 in New York City.

Saks Fifth Avenue on Nov. 1, 2020 in New York City.

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Tuesday.

Retailers brace for potential post-election violence
Stores across the country are boarding up their windows in anticaption of election-related unrest. “Business owners’ nervousness about the election is unsurprising given the events of 2020 and the national mood,” writes Alissa Wilkinson for Vox. Industries that provide boards reported that plywood demand has surged nearly 40%. {Vox}

How royal fashion blogging turned into a big business
Meghan Markle and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s impact on fashion has created an opportunity for their legions of fans to make money off chronicling everything they wear. Caroline Hallemann dives into the big business of royal blogging by chatting with the company behind Kate’s Royal Closet and Meghan’s Mirror, as well as RewardStyle founder Amber Venz Box, in a new piece for Town & Country. {Town & Country}

Inside hair’s ongoing cultural appropriation and racism problem
Instances of cultural appropriation continue to crop up on the runway and in fashion campaigns, specifically related to hair. Jennifer Weil spoke with professors who study Black history and civil rights to shed light on ways brands can avoid racist snafus in a piece for WWD. The experts interviewed all stressed an urgent need for education and dialogue. {WWD}

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