According to statistics from the Smithers Pira organization, global demand for packaging will reach $1.05 trillion by 2024 - this trend is testament to its significance in the retail space.
With the average supermarket in the U.S offering over 40,000 items, brand owners face a difficult struggle in drawing attention to their products. Intelligent marketers know consumers respond to engaging stories and visual content as much as they do to brand names. Packaging, therefore, presents a unique, cost effective way for companies to connect to consumers on an individual level.
Here's more reasons why it’s vital for your business.
Packaging Protects The Product
The main duty of packaging is to protect an item from damage it could sustain during transportation, handling, and storage. Packaging keeps the product safe as it travels through the logistics chain from manufacturer to final user. It prevents damage due to humidity, light exposure, temperature fluctuations, and many other undesirable external conditions. Since this is its most crucial role, it is not uncommon to have more packaging than the actual product, particularly when items are bought online.
It Captures Consumer Interest
The visual appeal of a product's packaging will capture customer's interest and convince them to try it out. Even for highly-rational individuals, there is always an emotional side to purchase decisions. Most people are not consciously aware of the extent to which emotions influence purchases, particularly impulse purchases, but it does. In fact, studies show that attractive packaging increases activity in the reward centers of the brain. It clearly has a significant impact on how customers feel about products, which directly relates to purchasing behavior.
It Gives Consumers Valuable Information
Manufacturers use product packaging to relay important information to consumers. Packaging offers guidelines for use, ingredient details, benefits and features. It can also offer customer service information, so consumers can always contact the supplier and ask questions or provide feedback. When it’s used this way, Packaging creates and open communication loop that helps business owners decide how best to market their products.
In some cases, manufacturers are required by law to provide product information, and packaging is the most effective way to do so. Food products and medicines are often required to provide information on recipes, methods of preparation, serving ideas, nutritional benefits, date of expiry, date of manufacture, cautionary information, and warning notices.
It Improves Security
Packaging a play crucial role in mitigating the security risks that come with shipment. Packages may come with enhanced tamper resistance to discourage data manipulation, and they can also have tamper-reveal features to show whether tampering has occurred. Packages may also be designed to minimize the possibility of package pilferage (the theft and resale of products).
Packaging can help identify counterfeit consumer goods, material substitution, unauthorized sales, tampering, and material substitution. As long as it is embedded with anti-counterfeit technologies, it can prevent all these issues. Packages may incorporate anti-theft devices like RFID tags, dye packs, electronic article surveillance chips that can be detected at exit points and require specialized gadgets to activate.
It Increases Customer Convenience
Packages can enhance the convenience of handling, distribution, sale, display, stacking, opening, resealing, using, reusing, and ease of disposal.
Take items like sandwiches and some pastries, for example. Such items require heating before consumption, and packaging makes it possible to do so without unwrapping. This minimizes the need for pans, pots, dishes, and significantly reduces overall preparation time. When consumers buy a convenience food, it must be easy to prepare. Microwavable packaging protects food items and increases consumer convenience.
It Limits Wastage
Single serving packaging contains a precise quantity of ingredients to control usage. Bulk items like salt can be portioned into packages that are an appropriate price for single households. It also facilitates inventory control. For example, its less wasteful to sell one-liter bottles of milk than it is to let people fill the bottles on their own. Most consumers take note of the number of calories a food item has but pay little attention to serving size, appearance, and weight. As a result, they make inaccurate judgements and often over-indulge.
It Facilitates Agglomeration/Containment
Small objects are usually grouped together in a single package to simplify storage and improve selling efficiency. A single box of 1000 glass beads require less handling than 1000 single beads. Similarly, powders, liquids, and highly granular materials must have some sort of containment.
It Extends Shelf-Life
Some commodities quickly degrade when exposed to water vapor, oxygen, dust, and other seemingly harmless substances. Packages often include oxygen and moisture absorbers to improve shelf-life. Others have modified or controlled atmospheres, and this keeps their contents fresh, clean, and sterile. Barriers are also important for scenarios where two materials must be kept separate before use, as is the case with medicines, special paints and glues.
It Supports Marketing and Branding
Packaging is a highly effective marketing tool, capable of convincing potential customers to purchase a product. it also enables marketers to go beyond marketing to branding or positioning. Producers can make themselves memorable through colors, symbols and packaging types. It is an easy way for consumers to recognize a product within any retail setting. This is a critical advantage because there often many alternatives to any particular commodity, whether it sold online or in a conventional brick-and-mortar retail store.
It Enhances Perceived Product Value
In a study of 60 individuals, the perceived retail value of a product offered in premium packaging was nearly 50% higher than the same item offered in economy packaging. there is undeniable evidence that the unboxing experience affects customer perceptions of product value. When a vendor provides attractive packaging, it enhances the unboxing experience and convinces users that the product is valuable and worth protecting.
Customers choose to purchase an item because they believe it will add value to their lives. Packaging increases this perceived value. In fact, there have been products sold where the packaging is more expensive than the product, but because of the perceived value, the customer is willing to pay more.
Packaging expresses a brand's identity through its content and design. It not only protects the product, but also contributes to the overall performance of the brand. Packaging is a vital and important marketing tool that promotes sales and should be considered a critical medium for brand loyalty.