A Packaging Perspective: A Breakthrough in eCommerce Design

By Laura J. Goodman, MS Senior Scientist at NA Fabric Care

Online shopping will only continue to gain momentum in the years to come, enticing consumers by offering them access to better prices, more selection and shorter shipping times. However, as the online shopping landscape becomes increasingly more congested, companies are pushed to innovate how they approach their e-commerce business, specifically focusing on how to adapt to meet the needs of shoppers around the world.

A survey by Futerra of more than 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and UK revealed that 96 percent of people feel their own actions, such as donating, recycling, or buying ethically, can make a difference. It should come as no surprise that 88 percent of these consumers are searching for, and want brands, to help them make a difference. This confirms what we already knew – brands have a key role to play in changing consumer behavior.

TideOne major environmental concern as a result of a booming eCommerce landscape? Most obviously, an increase in the global carbon footprint due to a rise in the number of shipments made daily. Among other consequences, the use of plastic and nonrecyclable materials. In attempts to combat this, the P&G Fabric Care eCommerce Innovation Group has reimagined its more than 50-year-old detergent by designing Tide Eco-Box – a package focusing on the unique challenges and opportunities that the eCommerce environment presents, specifically focusing on the four key consumer interactions: unboxing, preparation, use and disposal.

To soften the environmental impact of shipping liquid in eCommerce, the Tide Eco-Box contains an ultra-concentrated formula that provides a lighter shipping footprint by arriving as a shipping-safe cardboard box, eliminating the need for secondary boxing or bubble wrap. It also streamlines plastic use – if everyone that bought 96 loads in a plastic bottle switched to the Tide Eco-Box, we could save 1,4000 tons of plastic annually (enough to cover 5,000 football fields).

Tide Eco-Box is also designed to efficiently go from P&G, to the user’s home, to the recycler to be formed and filled again, all without the extra packaging and bubble wrap of a typical bottle. The design ultimately requires 25 percent fewer delivery trucks for e-retailers to deliver the same number of loads.

Additional Tide Eco-Box features include:

  • Tide’s Eco-box revolutionary packaging is created with 60 percent less plastic and 30 percent less water;
  • The concentrated Tide detergent formula is made with 100 percent wind power electricity and designed to clean in energy-saving cold water cycles;
  • Tide Eco-box is 100 percent recyclable through a partnership with Terra-Cycle;
  • The Eco-Box contains an ultra-compacted formula, which cleans the same number of loads with 30 percent less water weight;
  • Because Tide Eco-Box contains less water, the Eco-Box weighs less than today’s bottle with an equivalent number of loads (*vs Tide Original liquid laundry detergent in a 150oz. bottle);
  • Shipping-safe packaging helps prevent laundry detergent liquid leaks on the way to consumer homes and provides a lighter shipping footprint by eliminating layers of packaging; and
  • No-Drip twist tap and stand to raise the box and allow for clean, easy detergent dispensing and a ramp inside the box to help you use every drop of detergent.

As we know, brands have an opportunity to mold and shape consumer behavior. Tide Eco-Box is an example of a breakthrough in eCommerce design that should be used to inspire and encourage other companies.

About the Author

Laura Goodman is a biologist and a 20-year veteran of Procter & Gamble with expertise in Skin Care, Feminine Care and Fabric Care. She is responsible for communicating the science and innovation behind Tide, Gain, Downy and Bounce. Goodman collaborates with a global network of scientists and other experts on ingredients and methods that clean and care for garments while promoting a safe and sustainable future.