The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) forecasts that the global population will grow from 7.7 billion in 2019 to 9.7 billion by 2050, and the life expectancy at birth will surge from 72.6 years in 2019 to 77.1 years by 2050. The burgeoning population is expected to purchase an enormous quantity of consumable and non-consumable products, which are available on online platforms and retail stores. With the rising shift toward digital platforms, owing to the growing internet penetration, people will rapidly shift toward retail e-commerce platforms.
Moreover, the increasing affordability of smartphones, on account of the rapid technological advancements in the consumer electronics industry, will help the retail e-commerce packaging market exhibit an exceptional CAGR of 12.1% during the forecast period (2020–2030). According to P&S Intelligence, the market was valued at $23,987.7 million in 2020, and it will generate $74,873.0 million revenue by 2030. At present, the mounting investments being made by e-commerce firms for the innovation of packaging products are becoming a major market trend.
In comparison to air cushions, envelopes, tapes, and bubble wraps, e-commerce companies have used boxes in larger quantities due to the extensive demand for products that require durable and high-strength packaging. Moreover, the mounting focus of e-commerce firms on sustainable products, to adhere to the government regulations on environment protection, will also increase the consumption of boxes, globally. Currently, packaging companies are using leftover materials to manufacture new products to mitigate pollution and increase their profits by reducing, recycling, and reusing different materials.
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The end user segment of the retail e-commerce packaging market is classified into cosmetics and personal care, consumer electronics, furniture and home furnishing, food and beverages, fashion and apparel, and others, such as automobile, home and garden, healthcare, office supplies, and toy. Among these, the consumer electronics category accounted for the largest market share in 2020 because e-commerce platforms provide numerous offers and discounts on consumer electronic products. Additionally, the availability of customer support also fuels the demand for electronics as some traditional brick and mortar stores do not offer this service.
In recent years, companies providing packaging materials for the retail e-commerce sector have engaged in mergers and acquisitions to expand their presence and cater to the needs of end users. For instance, in June 2021, Smurfit Kappa Group plc acquired Cartones del Pacifico SAC, a Peru-based company offering paper packaging solutions, to expand its presence in the Americas region. Other packaging material companies focusing on mergers and acquisitions include Rengo Co. Ltd., Sealed Air Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America, and International Paper Company.
Geographically, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) retail e-commerce packaging market generated the highest revenue in 2020, owing to the booming population, growing e-commerce sector, and surging focus of people on the latest technologies. In 2020, China held the largest share in the APAC market due to the soaring popularity of online shopping, owing to the availability of lucrative discounts and increased convenience and security offered by such platforms. Whereas, the Indian market is expected to demonstrate the fastest growth in the region, on account of the flourishing e-commerce industry in the country.
Thus, the booming world population and the mounting investments being made in the development of innovative packaging solutions will accelerate the usage of packaging materials in the retail e-commerce sector.