BRAND owners need to invest in packaging strategies that optimise sales on-shelf and online, according to an independent survey.
The research, commissioned by the brand empowerment specialist API Group, was focused on gaining insight from brand owners and packaging designers, with only 25% of respondents seeing packaging as an important opportunity for driving online sales.
63% of those surveyed believe the rise of e-commerce has made physical packaging less important for customers, even though three quarters sell products online. API said these results reveal “an increasing need for retailers and brands to understand the benefits of differentiating packaging strategies for online and on-shelf products”.
Richard Burnhouse, commercial director at API Group commented, “The results indicate that there is a mind set in the industry which believes packaging isn’t as visible a part of the online process, and therefore there is no need to invest in eye-catching finishes and embellishments to drive impulse buys.
“But it’s hard to ignore that so many consumers are heading online to make purchases and with a crowded e-commerce space, now is the time for brands to invest in packaging strategies which create a connection with the customer no matter what the purchase channel.
“Working with brands across a range of retail spaces and sectors, API has come to understand the different challenges that these two contrasting sales environments present to brands when it comes to packaging.”
According to Richard, optimising packaging for an online audience needs to consider customer interaction and how packaging can influence their response, adding that the packaging is the first physical impression many customers have of a brand, even if it’s bought online.
He continued, “The packaging of a product goes beyond the customer’s initial impression, it forms part of the overall brand proposition. With multi-use products, such as drinks or cosmetics, which are kept for a length of time, the packaging continues to reinforce the brand over time.
“Part of this proposition is the embellishments on the product’s packaging. Embellishments are part of the brand experience and a product should be presented appropriately depending on its audience. If you order a premium product, you expect a premium experience.”
Richard added, “It is important to remember that the point of purchase is only part of the overall experience. A product and its packaging is more about the long-term, not just the impulse buy off the shelf.
“Brands should focus on not just making an initial impression and standing out on shelf but making a lasting impression and how a product and its packaging makes the customer feel. This applies across all platforms, but now more than ever online as we continue to see the rise of e-commerce.”