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Optimizing packaging in a changing retail environment

Things are not what they used to be! With a drastic shift in customer expectations thanks to same-day delivery service from Amazon and hand-picked groceries delivered right to your door, businesses have to think differently about their strategy in this new era. 

One strategic area that has become increasingly in flux is product packaging. Do you deal with product packaging? Read on for some tips to shake up your strategy and save more. 

Design is king

Have you looked at your instagram or facebook ads lately? Companies are targeting fresh design styles and a trend towards minimalism. Partially playing off of the new millennial demographic, companies are mirroring what’s seen around them and simplifying. Even fast food companies are doing this with their new, sleek designs.

So as you think about your product, think about the packaging. In addition to conveying the contents and description on the product packaging, think about the design. Look at what other brands are doing. Stay relevant.

In addition to the outside of the packaging, customers are especially interested in the experience of unboxing the product. Some even take photos and videos of them opening the product to share on social media. Make sure your branding hits every step of the process to ensure a clear message throughout. You want them to swoon. 

Shippability

There are many statistics I could throw out here to show how rapidly the shipping industry is growing. But we’ll stick to just one. 

It is estimated that the e-commerce industry will be responsible for $3.45 trillion in sales in 2019. (source) And all of those sales are going to be shipped. That’s a lot of packages!  

As you think about the right packaging for your product, it is imperative that you consider how easily it can be shipped. Work with your UPS, FedEx, and USPS reps to ensure you select a package size that is reasonable. Get price quotes. ULINE.com has some great box options – make sure your product can easily fit into a cost-efficient and reliable box. And think about the right packing material – packing peanuts are messy, air packs require a machine, recycled cardboard is fun but expensive. There are pros and cons to each, so make sure you select a choice that matches your brand and focuses on your customer experience. 


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Eco-friendly is no longer a choice

It used to be just a small number of companies using eco-friendly packaging. Some advertised it, some didn’t. But this is no longer the case – everyone is moving towards eco-friendly materials and advertising it on the package. You must take this into consideration. It will hurt your brand image if you don’t make an effort towards sustainability. 

Multi-channel retail requires extra planning

Many companies offer their product for sale in a retail setting as well as online. You need to consider the different channels as you determine your product packaging. For example, in the retail store it may need to have a clear window to allow customers to see the content better. But online, that doesn’t matter because you can show high-res images of all contents. You should consider manufacturing multiple packaging types to maximize the experience in each channel, if it’s cost effective to do so within your budget and quantity requirements.

As you think about the product packaging that’s right for your company, keep these tips in mind to increase sales and delight the customer in our ever-changingg retail environment.

MEET VERONICA

As a Business Savings Expert, Veronica is available to members of organizations partnered with Savings4Members to assess potential savings on everyday expenses.

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