E-commerce has pushed packaging design in a new direction, and we continue to see product packaging shifting and advancing each year. Where once a standard box sufficed for product packaging, today that is just not the case. Consumers are looking for quality packaging that provides an unboxing experience while also having an eye on sustainability and convenience. Businesses have different packaging needs and want it to effectively protect the product inside while meeting customer wishes and staying within budget. It’s safe to say that packaging is ever evolving.
Below we touch on three packaging design segments businesses should consider for their products.
Packaging for the E-commerce Market
With the rise of e-commerce, more products are being shipping now more than ever before. Packaging has to keep up with this trend. From the business standpoint, packages being mailed to customers need to be tamper proof, leak proof, and easy to ship.
On the consumer side, when they open a package, they are looking for an experience—they want something that is visually appealing and presents the product they bought in a certain manner. One company that has excelled at packaging design is Apple. The sleek, minimalist design of each Apple product is replicated with the packaging. Apple has effectively built an entire unboxing experience around each of their products which has come with unprecedented consumer approval.
Today’s consumers are looking at cutting down on plastic waste while protecting natural resources. Plastic packaging is convenient and cost effective for businesses but, in the eyes of the consumer, it is not ideal.
“While eco-friendly options are currently less cost effective, consumer spending on eco-friendly products seems to be on the rise. According to Survey Monkey; 1 in 3 consumers favor eco-friendly options and 35% of respondents would purchase a product that is better for the environment over other products that may be slightly cheaper. With more companies taking up the mantle of environment protection, coupled with savvy consumers who now expect a higher level of eco-responsibility, sustainability has already become a strong focus for the packaging industry. Current trends include waste reduction, efficient use of box space, lower carbon footprint, and recycling.” (PakFactory)
Compostable packaging and easily recycled packaging are gaining momentum and showing promising results for both the environment, brands, and consumers.
As your product evolves, so should its packaging. Packaging needs to be designed for both shipping and its end-of-life profile. Can it be recycled, upcycled and how will it impact the environment when it makes its way into landfills? These are all questions that need to be addressed when you are thinking about packaging design.
Pet food is one area that has seen an innovative packaging shift in recent years. Large dog food bags are now designed to sit upright which is extremely beneficial for the consumer. It’s simple shifts like this that make a real difference.
Connected packaging is an emerging area that uses technology in a multitude of ways.
“The first would be the ability to track the package through the value chain. That would allow the consumer to be connected to the brand owner for things like loyalty programs but also allow the brand owner to track the movements of the package and understand consumer behavior to better target their marketing efforts. That’s one form of connected packaging.
Another, which we’re increasingly excited about—and it’s pretty nascent at this point—is the ability to create a digital watermark that identifies a package’s components and then helps direct that package at the end of life to the right waste-management stream. That’s emerging. It’s not necessarily commercial yet, but there are a few initiatives in that space that we’re pretty excited about because they would facilitate the waste-management sorting and separation that’s necessary to make the recycling process more efficient.” (McKinsey)
When it comes to packaging design get creative and challenge yourself to think outside of the box.
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