“In the absence of any other Marketing messages, our packaging – comprised of the trademark, our design, color, and information – is the sole communicator of our brand essence. Put another way – when you don’t have anything else – our packaging is our Marketing.” – Delia Smith.
Product packaging plays a vital role in influencing customers’ buying behavior in the retail sector. It is the first thing that a customer notices when they come across a product, and it has the potential to make or break a sale. Product packaging can differentiate products from competitors, create an emotional connection with customers, and increase sales. It is also an essential tool for communicating product information and creating brand awareness. This blog explains how product packaging influences buying behavior in retail stores and how retailers can use packaging to increase sales conversion rates and profits.
What is retail product packaging?
Product packaging is designing, evaluating, and producing a ‘container’ or ‘case’ to sell retail goods. Often retailers create a brand-based packaging experience to entice customers and boost sales. Moreover, retail packaging strategies usually include a brand logo, label, colors, and messaging inside and outside. These attributes help a brand stand out on retail displays and shelving.
Why is packaging important to retail businesses?
“A hen’s egg is, quite simply, a work of art, a masterpiece of design and construction with, it has to be said, brilliant packaging!” – Steve Jobs.
From a retailer’s perspective, a product package must stand out from the competition to attract shoppers’ attention. The right packaging design can create a memorable product image in the minds of consumers that will help drive sales and encourage customer loyalty. Consumer research has found that:
- 72% of American consumers state that a product’s packaging design impacts their buying decision (Meyers).
- 30% of businesses claim that they observed a significant revenue increase following packaging improvement (Packaging of the World).
- 61% of buyers are more likely to repurchase a luxury product if it comes in premium packaging (SwiftPak).
Retail packaging highly influences how much customers will pay for items, which is crucial for companies that sell products based on their image or brand. Retail packaging services also affect how consumers view the company they purchase from.
Five Basic Functions of Retail Product Packaging
I) Product Protection
The primary purpose of product packaging is to keep the product safe during shipment between the manufacturing facility and the retailer and prevent damage while the product sits on the seller’s shelf. For instance, the package must protect the contents against breakage from being dropped, crushed, or vibrated during transport. In addition, it must also guard products against the effects of the environment, such as changing temperatures, rain, snow, humidity, and light.
II) Health & Safety
Reliable packaging protects products from physical damage and chemical and microbiological contamination. For example, food packaging is essential for preserving food quality, minimizing waste, and reducing preservatives.
III) Product Presentation & Attractiveness
The package serves as the initial presentation of a product, making it a vital marketing tool. A well-designed package should capture and maintain shoppers’ interest and increase the likelihood of a sales conversion.
IV) Consumer Usability & Functionality
Functional packaging provides value-added benefits such as ease of use and storage convenience. In terms of shape, size, and practicality, packaging should be durable, easy to open or close, and easy to carry. Moreover, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food packaging in the US. Thus, in some instances, government (or industry) rules require packaging to meet health, safety, and quality criteria.
V) Environmentally Friendly & Sustainable
Eco-friendly brands incorporate renewable packaging, compostable bioplastics, and recycled or biodegradable packing materials. Environmentally friendly packaging is designed to reduce the waste of natural resources for production, and pollution.
In sum, a retial packaging plays a crucial part in attracting consumers to purchase a given product. A package’s design can enhance a buyer’s perception that a product is fresh, unique and interesting. These perceptions in turn affect the shopper’s purchase decision directly, and satisfaction indirectly. Hence, retail packaging is more than just something to display or keep products in. It helps protect goods, is a marketing tool, provides product information, and influences consumer behavior.
How important is package labeling?
Package labeling is any written, or graphic communication on a product retail label. These labels indicate the container’s contents, product specifications, manufacturer contact details, health and safety warnings, and guidelines for consumer use. Furthermore, they help tailor a brand’s overall marketing and promotional strategy.
- 74% report that they prefer to buy products from transparent and honest brands.
It is important to note that package labeling directly impacts sales as it details a product’s price, quality, quantity, usage, ingredients, and features. They also display the brand logo and message that help customers find the product by creating a recall value.
“Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn’t theirs.” – Frank Chimero.
Product packaging is the first thing shoppers see, and it can dramatically affect their first impression and eventual purchasing decision. Therefore, retailers must pay attention to packaging design to capture customers’ interest and create an emotional connection with them. Packaging should also provide convenience for customers while ensuring that products stay secure during shipment. By understanding how product packaging influences buying behavior and presenting it in ways that are attractive to their target audience, retailers can increase their sales and give their customers a great shopping experience.
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