Five eCommerce buying behaviour trends for 2023

22 January, 2023
4 minute read
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New data spotlights the core online shopping behaviours and what brands can do to offer a better economic and environmental experience.

The popularity of online shopping is soaring, with three-quarters of people Mondi recently surveyed shopping online at least once a month, spending on average €12 to €120 a month and driven by low prices, convenience, and direct delivery. 

With a combination of demands to fulfil, first impressions of a brand are crucial in a saturated market. So how are attitudes to the packaging of goods changing, and what are the outcomes when expectations are not met?  

The new data spotlights the core online shopping behaviours that drive the purchasing power behind the ever-growing eCommerce marketplace, where fashion is the most robust product segment, followed by homeware, electronics, and beauty products. It also sheds light on what brands can do to offer a better economic and environmental experience. 

Source: A study of customer sentiment in five eCommerce markets: Germany, Poland, France, Sweden and Turkey, conducted by RetailX, November 2022 

Five shopping behaviour trends for 2023

Mondi’s fourth annual consumer trend survey uncovering how often customers shop online, what and why they are buying, and how much they spend, digs more profound than ever before. Conducted by RetailX, with 1,000 consumers each in France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and Turkey, it includes, for the first time, an analysis of generational differences in online shopping patterns. 

Five key trends were revealed, helping to predict what will shape the booming eCommerce packaging market this year. 

Trend #1 Protection of goods and sustainable packaging

Two of the primary customer requirements go hand in hand. There is a demand for the protection of goods, all while seeking sustainable and reusable packaging options. This is mainly for returns, which is becoming a commonplace habit, more so in fashion. A study by the National Retail Federation predicted $761 billion worth of clothing returns in 2022, amounting to more than 20% of all online purchases*.  


of consumers cite easy-close packaging for returns as an important factor

  • 94% of consumers cite the protection of goods as their most important factor, especially for valuable goods.  
  • Considering higher consumption, the convenience of easy-close packaging for returns increased from 74% in 2019 to 88% this year.
  • Environmentally friendly packaging (84%) and packaging that is easy to dispose of (80%) were the next essential factors. 


Trend #2: Too much packaging is costing brands more  

From the packaging size to the fillers inside, overpackaging is wasteful and costs brands more than just materials. It plays a significant role in the overall purchasing decision, with inadequate packaging putting the consumer off from buying again. 

  • Oversized packaging annoys 86% of consumers, up from 79% in 2021.
  • Excess internal stuffer packaging annoys 78% of customers.  
  • In fact, too much packaging is a brand kill. More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents across the five countries said that overpackaging would put customers off buying from that retailer.

Trend #3: The unboxing moment is a memorable experience

Aside from sustainable materials and the protection of goods, product packaging is more than just functionality and quick unwrapping. The concept of unboxing is a joyful moment, and brands will be remembered for the experience they provide. 

  • The awareness of ‘unboxing’ is increasing across many markets. In Poland, for example, 66% of consumers had heard of ‘unboxing’ compared to 32% in 2019.
  • 78% of those surveyed said that a unique unboxing experience inspired by standout product packaging would convince them to order from the same retailer again. A considerable increase from 46% in 2021.

Trend #4: Consumers are willing to pay extra for packaging that meets their needs

In knowing the perils of packaging, consumers are willing to pay a small premium to have their goods delivered in packaging that better fits their size, functionality, and disposal needs. 


of consumers are willing to pay for packaging

  • Consumers are increasingly willing to pay around €1 extra for more suitable packaging.
  • Across all five markets, 72% of consumers are willing to pay for packaging, with Generation Z (80%) and Millennials (74%) being the most likely to agree.
  • More people are willing to pay for best-fit packaging. 81% of people of Poland said they would, up from 48% in 2021. In addition, this number increased to 70% in Germany, up from 56% in 2021.  

Trend #5: Millennials are driving the market 

Millennials (those born between the early 80s and late 90s) are the core base of customers, both shopping online and spending more, alongside having some of the strongest sentiments regarding packaging demands. 

  • Millennials are the most likely generation to shop weekly at 37% and most likely to buy online at least once a day (8%).  
  • They buy the most significant share of groceries (44%) and cosmetic products (43%).
  • This generation of shoppers is most likely to rate various packaging characteristics as crucial to them, citing the highest willingness to pay extra for packaging that suits their needs.

Developing sustainable solutions to meet behavioural trends

Regular research allows Mondi to provide innovative insights into consumer behaviour to co-create unique solutions with customers to meet the demands of the growing eCommerce marketplace.

At Mondi, we have our customer’s goods covered with an eCommerce portfolio, from base materials to converted solutions - packaging strategies and solutions that match their needs and are sustainable by design.

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