Silver surfers ride the online shopping wave in Central Europe

Thu, 30. December 2021
eCommere, eCommercepackaging, consumertrends, research, onlineshopping, sustainablepackaging
by Newsroom

  • Annual Mondi consumer trend research shows year-on-year growth in online shopping by consumers in Germany and Poland
  • Silver Surfers (age 55+) are a growing eCommerce consumer segment: nine out of ten shopped online in 2021; 49% bought more online than last year and 5% shopped online for the first time
  • Demand for sustainable packaging highlighted, with more than three quarters of online shoppers preferring eCommerce packaging that is reusable for returns or easily recyclable
  • Positive ‘unboxing’ experience inspires repeat purchases 

The latest market research on eCommerce shopping and packaging trends in Germany and Poland, commissioned by Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, shows that consumers of all ages continue to buy online and are in favour of eCommerce packaging that is ‘green’.

Online interviews with 3,085 consumers in Germany and Poland conducted on behalf of Mondi during the fourth quarter of 2021* showed that an impressive 90% of the surveyed population shopped online in 2021. The data was gathered during the annual peak season for online shopping, between Black Friday and New Year’s, a period in which holiday presents were often bought online due to – once again – the pandemic. In addition to regular online shoppers of all age groups, a rise in the senior generation of shoppers who have entered the digital malls is visible and they seem to enjoy the online experience.

Mondi Silversurfer Supremebox

Silver Surfers are here to stay

‘Silver Surfers’ are, and will continue to be, important contributors to eCommerce growth. In 2021 the growing demographic of consumers aged 55+ in Germany and Poland have been buying even more online than they did in 2020. Safety and health reasons during the pandemic motivated 41% of this group to shop online in 2021, but Silver Surfers also say they shop online for convenience (39%), the chance to buy things not available locally (45%), and to get a better overview of brands and offers (52%).


Sustainability expectations driving purchasing behaviour

As shopping online becomes routine, more people of all ages in Germany and Poland prefer packaging that is practical and sustainable. A strong majority of respondents want packaging to be reusable for returns (79%), easily foldable (69%) and recyclable (82%).

Environmentally responsible packaging can be a driver of sales, according to the research. Almost half of surveyed consumers (48%) would be willing to pay up to three Euros extra to receive their online purchases in environmentally friendly packaging.


As a supplier of multi-material sustainable eCommerce packaging solutions, we’re delighted that online shoppers are showing a strong preference for packaging that is fit-for-purpose and considers the impact on our planet. We support companies and brands by partnering with them to produce packaging solutions, such as boxes, mailers or paper bags, that are sustainable by design: made from paper and with the minimum amount of packaging that still ensures products arrive safely at the doors of online shoppers. What’s increasingly important to consumers is how they can reuse or recycle that packaging afterwards.

Daniela Dorner, Mondi Group eCommerce Director

Unboxing becoming brand loyalty influencer

‘Unboxing’ is the latest example of packaging’s importance to brand loyalty and sales. Awareness of this trend has been increasing over the past three years, and today close to half (44%) of surveyed online consumers have experienced the joy of unboxing, which is particularly valued by people in Poland (50%). More than half (58%) of consumers in Poland say that a nice unboxing experience would convince them to order again from the same online store.

Mondi Silversurfer Carrierbox

Packaging has an influence on online consumer behaviour and ‘unboxing’ is the ultimate packaging experience. Fuelled by social media, unboxing is so far mostly a topic of conversation among younger people, but it will be interesting to see how this trend develops given how popular online shopping has become across all generations.

Armand Schoonbrood, COO Mondi Corrugated Solutions

* The data used is based on an online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH in which 3,085 persons participated between 8 and 15 December 2021 in Germany (n = 2,082) and Poland (n = 1,003). The results have been weighted and are representative for the respective population (18+).



Julia Madeleine Rohracher
Mondi Group eCommerce Communication & Marketing Manager
Mobile: +43 664 2449992
Email: [email protected]


About Mondi Group

Mondi is a global leader in packaging and paper, contributing to a better world by making innovative packaging and paper solutions that are sustainable by design. Our business is integrated across the value chain – from managing forests and producing pulp, paper and plastic films, to developing and manufacturing effective industrial and consumer packaging solutions. Sustainability is at the centre of our strategy and intrinsic in the way we do business. We lead the industry with our customer-centric approach, EcoSolutions, where we ask the right questions to find the most sustainable solution. In 2020, Mondi had revenues of €6.66 billion and underlying EBITDA of €1.35 billion.

Mondi has a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange (MNDI), and a secondary listing on the JSE Limited (MNP). Mondi is a FTSE 100 constituent, and has been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series since 2008 and the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index Series since 2007.

About Mondi Group eCommerce

Mondi Group offers a full portfolio of eCommerce packaging solutions and products that are fit for purpose, innovative and sustainable by design. We are setting new standards in the industry with our expertise in sustainable materials and product design. Driven by an agile and customer-centric mindset, our extensive network of in-house designers and engineers develop award-winning eCommerce solutions together with our partners. Our focus is on decreasing total packaging costs, reducing waste, and meeting end-consumer needs through a combination of our sustainability expertise and full portfolio of multi-material solutions, including kraft and functional barrier paper, paper bags and corrugated solutions.