There are times when I surf online and see everything I need … or, think I need at the time. With ecommerce growing as a way to purchase products – even food, beverages and pharma products – what does it mean for packagers?

It means a different way to package your wares, most likely. Products being plucked off the shelf and those bought online need varied features that set them apart from the rest. On-shelf presence includes differentiating the pack and adding well-thought-out graphics and attributes in a way to ensure consumers eye your bottle, pouch, box or can over another. Or does it? Maybe it is now what’s on the outside rather than what’s on the inside of the shipped product.

With online shopping, much of it has to do with price. Surfing online does bring out the bright and shiny things, but most ecommerce buyers will seek out the best price, and brand loyalty be damned.

My local postal service told me last week – after I called because my mail is delivered now 3 hours later than it used to be – that mail delivery is late due to boxed deliveries from the likes of eBay, Amazon, meal delivery kits and the like. And, it’s not going away.

Speaking of eBay, the new television ad points to delivery boxes going “beige” (evidently, a dig to Amazon’s shipping boxes), and to "fill your cart with color." In the ad, the giant online marketplace points to its big and brightly colored logo, colored tape and colored decals on well, beige boxes. It seems plain, but it IS different and does stand out. As well, the ad touts purchasing “things you want” rather than “things you need” as a bonus of eBay shopping.

We are now seeing the evolution of online retailers pushing their shipping boxes as part of cool packaging. Who would have thought that mailer packaging could outshine the packaging of the product inside? Well, it's twofold. eBay's ad with its line "fill your cart with color" wants consumers to focus on their colorful products – not necessarily the box it comes in. Maybe that is the ticket: Push the products and don't focus on the box it comes in. Evidently, the box is the same color as the competitor's.

So how do you plan on shopping now, and in the future? Will you stick with the plain beige boxes or go with a beige box and colored decals?