Sealed Air is repackaging the digital experience.

Sealed Air uses data and technology to solve complex packaging problems and evolve the manufacturing industry.

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Established

1960

16,500 employees worldwide

Charlotte, North Carolina
www.sealedair.com

80%

of orders can be placed entirely online

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Objectives

Build buyer consideration journeys into the main website search experience

Create a buyer portal to seamlessly place and manage orders in real time

Embed data into the entire packaging journey through smart design and engagement technology

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Results

80% of orders can be placed entirely online

15% of manual order processes are automated

83% of orders placed online by customers engaged in the buyer portal

Changing the story — and the industry

For most people, packaging is an afterthought. It’s recycled, reuse or simply thrown away. For Jenn Grabenstetter, it’s quite the opposite. As the vice president of digital growth and experience at Sealed Air, packaging is her top priority. “It’s not just about making a protective pack,” says Grabenstetter. “It’s about bringing safety, efficiency and sustainability to our customers’ operations at every corner.”

 

Since their original invention of BUBBLE WRAP® brand original cushioning, Sealed Air has built a strong legacy in packaging materials. They’re known for their quality, which they’ve honed down to the chemical makeup of their products. As the packaging provider for virtually every industry, Sealed Air helps customers with anything from purchasing a ream of paper, designing the right container for a new alternative meat product or packaging dinosaur bones for transport to a museum. For Grabenstetter, the constant need for innovative packaging solutions keeps the work interesting. “There are so many challenges and packaging can be a part of the solution.”

Sealed Air helping customers design the right container for a new alternative product.

Now, Grabenstetter has her sights set on how Sealed Air can evolve its customer experience. “We really needed to change our story from being that of an excellent packaging maker to being a partner who’s going to help solve these industry challenges in real time and help transform the industries we work with,” she says. While Sealed Air has long been equipped to design unique packaging solutions, the company needed to create a digital experience that was more targeted, simplified and personalised for its customers.

 

“We knew going digital would make it possible for customers to understand us better,” says Grabenstetter. “The goal was for customers to come to us ready to diagnose, learn and explore without having to wade through a complex set of information.”

Powering relevant website journeys

Grabenstetter started with Sealed Air’s main website. She noticed that because customers from all industries and sizes visit the site, it was often difficult for them to find exactly what they were looking for. “They had to already come in knowing quite a bit about packaging to even start their journey,” says Grabenstetter.

 

To guide customers toward the right packaging solutions, Grabenstetter and her team looked to build buyer consideration journeys. “Rather than just beautifully presenting the total Sealed Air story, we wanted customers to dig into the parts that were going to be most relevant to their industry or type of operation.”

 

The first step was implementing smart search capabilities. Working alongside Adobe Consulting Services, Grabenstetter and her team analysed customer behaviours as they reimagined the website journey on their existing Adobe Experience Manager Sites platform. “Adobe has been great provocateurs of the right types of questions,” says Grabenstetter. “They’ve helped us to come back to our goal of making it simple and effortless for our customers.”

 

Now, live search features intelligently narrow results in real time as customers type, gathering results for similar and synonymous in-stock products. For customers who’ve engaged with Sealed Air before, pre-negotiated prices are added automatically while seller-assisted shopping allows customers to interact directly with a sales representative as they design their packaging solutions. Product recommendations powered by Adobe Sensei provide visually similar products and an integration with Adobe Experience Manager Assets delivers product images for each of these capabilities.

 

The Experience Manager platform has enabled Sealed Air to access. much richer content. “We wanted to be able to present not just great video, copy and imagery,” says Grabenstetter. “We wanted to start building 3D experiences for our equipment and have innovative services like digital printing.” The Sealed Air packaging design labs now bring tangible service experiences to customers online that are a seamless part of the buyer consideration journey — no matter the customer size.

 

Soon, Sealed Air will also be integrating Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target with their existing Adobe Marketo Engage solution to start unleashing more personalisation of the site. Working with other packaging solution qualification tools, Sealed Air will be able to curate a customer’s packaging experience off just a few data points.


“Adobe has been great provocateurs of the right types of questions. They’ve helped us to come back to our goal of making it simple and effortless for our customers.”

 
Jenn Grabenstetter

Vice President of Digital Growth and Experience, Sealed Air


Building the buyer portal

Despite the overall growth of online experiences, the manufacturing industry has lagged behind. Sealed Air was no different. Customers placed orders and solved complex packaging problems over the phone and email. Once those orders were placed, customers had limited information on when they would arrive. “In industrial manufacturing, customers only received a notification when a delivery left the dock and a window of expected delivery,” Grabenstetter says. “It was very much a black box.”

 

Instead of settling for the industry standard, Grabenstetter’s vision was to reimagine the buyer experience. “We have the responsibility of creating the concept of experience at Sealed Air,” says Grabenstetter. “Customers have come to expect real-time data. We’re trying to empower our customers to make it incredibly easy to do business with us” she says.

 

Sealed Air’s concept of experience took the form of a buyer portal, powered by Adobe Commerce. Within it, customers can now place and manage orders and receive real-time updates as they deliver. If a customer frequently needs the same packaging products, they can easily place a repeat delivery from their order history — or contact a Sealed Air expert directly through the portal.

 

Sealed Air is already seeing digital engagement. Once customers begin to shift their ordering behaviour to the portal, they’ve moved 83% or more of their orders online. “We’re modernising around how people want to do business and bringing those customer expectations into the manufacturing world,” says Grabenstetter.

 

Beyond the expected features, Grabenstetter and her team also built experiences specific to the manufacturing industry. When a customer builds a checkout basket, often different freight rules apply to products in a single order — a roll of bubble cushioning hasn't got the same rules as a drum of on-demand foam components or a piece of equipment. These products all qualify for different discounts and have different types of delivering minima. Without the right platform, navigating these rules can be a challenge.

 

“We needed to take this really complicated and nuanced freight policy and make it something that people could understand during the checkout process in a seamless consumer experience,” Grabenstetter says. “Adobe Commerce’s design and capabilities helped us to think through and create an experience that’s really specific to our industry.” Now, 80% of orders can be placed digitally. Grabenstetter says that number is growing quickly as more unique requirements are addressed for products that still need off-line support.

 

What’s more, if a customer needs a manager’s approval to place an order, they can send it off for review directly through the portal. Once the order has been approved, it’s automatically placed with real-time notifications alerting the customer of its progress.

 

“The way we’ve been able to integrate Adobe Commerce into our pre-existing enterprise technology stack has been pretty seamless,” says Grabenstetter. “We haven’t run into any major integration roadblocks in our first year, which is a big success.”

 

Adapting to a digital strategy

Creating impactful digital experiences also requires changes to business processes. While Sealed Air tackled changes to business rules, policies and pricing, Adobe Consulting Services helped manage — and accelerate — the design and implementation of the platform. Together, they’ve built and launched improvements to their digital experience every two months — adding new capabilities, functionalities and features that allow them to engage better with new and existing customers.

 

“Adobe has learnt enough about us and our complexity to help in some of our deep problem-solving conversations on how to rethink our business processes for the digital era,” Grabenstetter says.

 

For example, Sealed Air provides packaging materials to some of the largest food producers in the world. When they place orders, they’re not ordering a truckload at a time. Instead, they order large amounts of inventory that Sealed Air keeps stocked just for them to avoid dramatic ripples in the food supply chain. While this used to be a heavily manual process for both the customer and Sealed Air, Grabenstetter’s team collaborated with Adobe to digitise the process so it’s more efficient overall. With each feature release, Sealed Air is now automating about 15% of the manual touches that a typical order used to receive through off-line processes.

 

“The partnership with Adobe has helped us to simplify the digital experience so that we can focus our team’s effort on the internal business transformation,” says Grabenstetter. “We’re not just building great web experiences. We’re changing the DNA of our company to be able to deliver on the promise of being a digital company.”


“The partnership with Adobe has helped us to simplify the digital experience so that we can focus our team’s effort on the internal business transformation. We’re not just building great web experiences. We’re changing the DNA of our company to be able to deliver on the promise of being a digital company.”

 
Jenn Grabenstetter

Vice President of Digital Growth and Experience, Sealed Air


Thinking outside the box

Sealed Air’s digital transformation goes beyond the online experience. They’ve also invested in how to digitise the packaging itself. “It’s been our goal to unlock the potential of packaging as not just a material that does a job and then that job is over,” says Grabenstetter. “We imagine it as an intelligent part of the supply chain that provides value to producers, retailers and consumers.”

 

Sealed Air now embeds digital technology onto packaging and into the chemical DNA of the packaging materials. “If you can digitise it and connect it into the wider Internet of Things, that packaging becomes a messenger as well as a carrier of information and data interactivity,” says Grabenstetter. The company’s prismiq™ smart packaging technology interacts with the equipment in its operational facility to provide reports in real time and highlight where slowdowns occur. Beyond that, it gives meaningful data about leakage or contamination risks throughout a package’s journey that lead to food waste and supply issues.

 

As part of this innovative technology, Adobe is working with Sealed Air to turn packaging data into useful insights. Together, they used Adobe Experience Manager to build the first pilot for an interactive packaging app. With it, consumers can scan a package to reveal bar and QR codes, product dates and time stamps, authenticity approvals and guided tutorials — all with opportunities to engage further. One consumer could scan a package in-store to learn about a product’s journey while another might be prompted to leave a review or join a brand’s social media community for a product they’ve already unboxed.

 

While this empowers customers to engage deeper with products, it also serves as a means for Sealed Air to communicate their sustainability mission, which Grabenstetter describes as “exponential sustainability.”

“We now have an opportunity through interactive packaging to engage more directly with consumers who ultimately make the decision to reuse, recycle or responsibly dispose of their packaging when it has completed its job,” says Grabenstetter. “We have to educate people on how to be responsible packaging consumers. And now we’re actually going to have the package in their homes and their hands as an opportunity to do that.”

 

Using Adobe Experience Manager Sites and Assets, Sealed Air has also created an online design studio. Customers who are creating a digitally printed or a smart-embedded package can work with the designers at Sealed Air to build, test and ultimately produce packaging while managing all their artwork and assets in a completely digital experience.

 

“We are on the precipice of creating this incredibly powerful, active participant in the operational sphere that can translate data throughout its entire journey,” Grabenstetter says. “It is really coming to life in compelling ways and Adobe is a huge part of that.”

 

 

 

 

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