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Stay up to date on e-commerce packaging: the mailbox-friendly packaging

The rise in digital switchers marks a shift toward more online purchases. This shopper group has increased its online purchases in all retail categories since the pandemic and intends to move its purchases online permanently.

Three main trends characterize this shopper group:


  1. They are price conscious

  2. They want to be delivered quickly

  3. They strive for maximum convenience


Since the pandemic, "Digital Switchers" have discovered the convenience of home delivery. In a survey on the permanent shift of spending to the Internet, "Digital Switchers" were more than twice as likely to say that the newly discovered "convenience of home delivery" motivated them compared to the average shopper. This is more important than the "discovery of lower prices," which is a primary motive for the average shopper.

(Source: Metapack E-Commerce Benchmarking Study 2023)


Optimization of last mile delivery

Online retailers are trying to optimize last-mile delivery. Customers who work in a home office buy more than average on the Internet. But what if you're not at home all the time? One option is the expensive option of on-time, last-mile delivery. The other option is delivery to the mailbox. The shipment is safe and can be conveniently taken out of the mailbox in the evening. The buying experience and enjoyment can be just as great as it is when you receive a parcel.


Mailbox-friendly packaging favors another purchasing trend that increases customer loyalty: Subscription models. Products that are purchased regularly can be obtained by subscription from almost all online retailers.


Development of a special product line for mailbox-compatible shipping

There is a trend for suitable products, usually in addition to a conventional product line, to develop a special product line for mailbox-compatible shipping. According to Berndt+Partner Consultants, the changeover can be worthwhile for a branded company with an online share of as little as 10%. Certainly, the individual case has to be considered and a consultation is helpful. A look at the pages of the leading online retailer shows that these parallel solutions are on the rise.


The standardization of the packaging suitable for mailboxes

Since mailboxes and their openings are standardized throughout Europe (EN 13724), it is obvious to match the packaging suitable for mailboxes. The European standardization organization CEN has published the technical specification CEN/TS 17523, which deals with the physical properties and characteristics of the packaging of small and light mail items delivered to the house mailboxes.


This technical specification enumerates several advantages of mailbox delivery:


  • The "letterboxable" packaging of postal items meets the needs of the market

  • First delivery means lower costs for delivery services and fewer emissions

  • The ability to stack packages reduces the space required in warehouses and delivery vehicles

  • Standards facilitate automation by allowing manufacturers to adapt their solutions to a larger base of standardized shipment sizes

  • Reducing packaging materials and using environmentally friendly packaging reduces the impact of CO2 in the atmosphere.


Of course, the important issues for the online customer of "fast and on-time delivery" and convenience are addressed by the mailbox-friendly packaging.


The importance of precise adhesive application and monitoring

The format, more wide than high, sometimes also has its pitfalls. Small flaps and thus small gluing areas require precise adhesive application. With the Baumer hhs PX 1000 adhesive application valve, one of the strongest and most precise on the market, this is easily achieved even at high production rates.


In the field of packaging and product distribution, the importance of precision and quality cannot be overstated. Well-glued packaging is critical to the safe transportation and presentation of products, ensuring that they reach the consumer in pristine condition. When packaging is not glued or not glued properly, it can lead to significant product destruction or loss, which in turn leads to significant customer dissatisfaction. In a market that thrives on customer satisfaction and repeat business, such a scenario can damage companies' reputations and financial stability.


However, breakthroughs in technology are meeting these challenges. The introduction of the new GDX 1000 monitoring sensors has taken adhesive monitoring to a new level. These sensors are capable of monitoring significantly smaller amounts of adhesive with unprecedented precision, improving overall package quality and reducing product damage or loss due to poor bonding.


In addition, the new ULT400XL sensors are capable of continuous monitoring over a greater read distance, even on stiffer corrugated boards processed on multi-point gluers. By immediately detecting insufficient glue or improper gluing technique, companies can take immediate corrective action, minimizing the risk of product damage and increasing customer satisfaction.


Convenience naturally also includes convenient return shipping, although this is less frequently required, especially for subscription solutions. Here, Baumer hhs offers a solution for the PSA order for reclosure tailored to this market of letterboxed packaging and shipping bags.



E-commerce companies and packaging manufacturers should therefore take a close look at concepts for mailbox-compatible packaging. Baumer hhs, the specialist for the production of fiber-based packaging, is at your side with expert advice.


Thomas Walther

Corporate Strategy & Innovation Baumer hhs