Keeping up with e-commerce trends

Online retail in the UK is big business – in 2017 it was valued at an incredible £13.7 billion.

Busy lifestyles and a faster pace of living are two of the key factors.

With rising sales come a rise in consumers’ expectations, so it’s important that mail order companies can meet this increase in demand.

Consumers are no longer willing to wait even a couple of days for delivery, and 30 per cent are happy to pay an additional fee for next-day delivery. 

This means that companies need to have the storage space, staff and efficiency to meet this quick turnaround time. By automating their packing processes, companies can meet growing demands while saving time and money. 

Autobag 850S being used to load a mail-order bag with a box of shoesSpace

Space is key in a warehouse - additional space means you store more stock. Investing in a packaging solution with a small footprint, such as the PS 125 OneStep or Autobag 850S, enables companies to save space while increasing the efficiency of its packing line. 

Retailers also have to consider their void-fill options, and with a range of packaging products to choose from, including air pillow, loose fill chips or paper, it’s important to remember that many of these packaging options will take up valuable warehouse storage space. AirPouch Express 3 machine blowing up Geo-Tech Biodegradable Void-Fill Airpillows

Compared to other materials, inflate-on-demand air pillows can be stored uninflated in bulk, which reduces the amount of storage space required. The material is fed into an AirPouch® machine directly from the transit carton and is then inflated ready to be used as void fill. This enables warehouses to store fewer boxes while benefiting from an increase in protective packaging material. 

Autobag Original Mail Order Fulfillment Bag with printed labelTime

Time is money - and with next-day delivery now more of an expectation rather than a luxury, companies need to save as much time as possible through their packing processes. 

There are flexible packing systems that can print address labels directly on to mailbags, offer a wide loading area and fast bag size changeover, and with packing systems such as the Autobag 850S providing speeds up to 4-5 times faster than hand-packing, companies can benefit from a significant increase in turnaround time. 


Online retail doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, so companies have a great opportunity to increase sales and maximise profits. However, quick turnaround and a significant increase in the number of deliveries required means a rise in shipping costs. However, retailers can make cost savings by investing in a lightweight protective packaging material that minimises the size and weight of the overall package. 

Air pillows are naturally lightweight due to their nature, so they provide companies with a cost-effective void-fill solution and, as the machine that inflates the pillows has a small footprint, it can be easily integrated into a warehouse, fully optimising space.

Bagging machines can substantially increase the number of orders packed per hour and require less manpower, so sizeable cost savings are ensured. 

Online retailers often offer a diverse range across multiple product lines and therefore require mail order fulfilment systems that are efficient, robust and pack a range of goods. By investing in the right mail order fulfilment system, online retailers can meet growing customer expectations while saving significant costs and improving its overall efficiency in the process. 

To find out more about Automated Packaging Systems’ range of packing solutions, please visit:

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