‘Comfort buying’ to drive up damaged deliveries this Black Friday

Research from DS Smith reveals nearly half (48%) of Brits say they plan to spend more time at home due to the cost-of-living crisis pointing to a new trend of ‘comfort buying.’ Four in 10 (38%) say that instead of going out, they will spend on small luxuries, rather than bigger expenses, over the festive season.

The data also shows that with the comfort buying e-commerce trend comes an increased risk of damaged deliveries including candles, wine and glassware, as these products are much more likely to be fragile. In the past year alone, 38% of UK shoppers received an average of four fragile deliveries that arrived damaged – twice as many as other e-commerce deliveries.

The financial impact of damaged deliveries is significant. Total spend on damaged fragile goods could amount to £124m – causing annoyance among 31% of online shoppers who’ve received damaged packages, as well as disappointment (29%) and frustration (24%).

The impact of receiving damaged items is substantial, four in ten (40%) consumers claim they would be hesitant to shop with a retailer again if a product arrived damaged – while 18% said they would never do so again.

Gavin Mounce, E-commerce Design Manager, DS Smith, comments,“No one wants to receive damaged goods and this Black Friday’s trend for comfort buying shows just how important it is for packaging to withstand the demands of modern shopping so that when people buy fragile things, they’re not left disappointed on delivery, and businesses are not left footing the bill for replacements.”

He continues, “This is why we put packages through their paces – we drop, shock, crush, shake, and bash them to see how they fare, and what we find is that the answer is not in more packaging, but in more clever packaging. That’s the kind of innovation our designers are focused on, as well as finding ways to make every item as circular as possible – designing our wate and pollution from the start, and keeping materials in use for longer.”

DS Smith’s DISCS™ technology, named after the types of testing it performs (Drop, Impact, Shock, Crush, Shake), replicates a product’s journey to ensure packaging is fit for purpose so that the product is safe while in transit and avoids excess packaging.

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