Designing the Right Packaging for the Job

Companies always want to find new ways to increase sales of their products, and marketing research dedicates time and money to finding out just how to do this. While marketing campaigns such as signs and online advertising (which now includes social media), advertising does not end with signs and online ads that bring consumers into the store. Once shoppers are actually inside a store, a new set of advertising and message-sharing media is used to convey information such as new products, sales, discounts, and clearance, and this is where shelf price tags, in-store signs, and packaging are all used to compete for consumers’ attention and money. All kinds of packaging can be used for different products such as dog food packaging, chocolate candy bags, fruit packaging, computer parts, and more. Packaging can also be printed vacuum pouches for meat products and fruits and vegetables that may spoil or otherwise be harmed by exposure to air for a long time, so printed vacuum pouches can be useful for grocery stores that want to sell fish meat, carrots, or anything else that may be delicate organic products. How does all this work?

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Packaging has a lot of power, from paper coffee bags to printed vacuum pouches and boxes of kids’ toys, and such packaging is a major part of how visual media entices consumers to go into certain retailers and spend their money in certain ways. In fact, the well-studied behavior and psychology of consumers is factored thoroughly into how packaging, signs, and more are used today. Signs can make consumers aware that a store even exists as well as what it sells, and signs also advertise current or upcoming sales, discounts, and new items. The battle for a consumer’s attention does not stop there, however. Packaging is the final step in drawing in a consumer and convincing them that a particular product brand is the best for them, and studies have shown just how effective this can be.

Businesses, speaking generally, can expect great results from quality packaging. In particular, businesses that pay close attention to the quality and nature of their products’ packages reported a 30% increase in consumer interest, and some 85% of shoppers have reported that their purchase decisions are made while looking over product packaging. Similarly, the 2016 West Rock Consumer Insights Study showed that 66% of consumers will try a new product because its packaging caught their eye, and a consumer won’t buy something that they’re not aware of. Finally, 52% of online shoppers, just over half, reported that they would buy again from a business if their product came in premium, attractive packaging, showing that consumers care a great deal about packages. This may be because quality packages show that the business cares deeply about its product and what consumers think of it, as opposed to cheap or plain packaging, which suggests a lack of effort and interest on the producer’s part.

What kind of packaging styles can a consumer expect to see on the shelves? Stores have thousands of different items ranging from food and pet food to computer parts, hardware, children’s toys, board games, and more, and an item’s exact packaging may be influenced by the item itself. For food, packaging will be based on the food’s sensitivity to air or cold; frozen foods will be in tough plastic bags or boxes that show a photo of the product inside, while cereals, pastas, and more will do the same thing but on shelves. Printed vacuum pouches, meanwhile, will have information on the product printed on it such as its name and nutrition facts while the pouch itself protects fish meat or vegetables from air and thus prevents spoiling.

Kids’ toys may come in brightly colored boxes and show kids having great fun using the product, and such packaging may include showing the item itself in a window in the box, allowing the product to speak for itself. Hardware packaging is often simpler, and products such as screws, nuts and bolts, wires, and more may be in simple clear plastic bags stapled to a cardboard piece that has product information on it. Other packages may include bright colors and pleasing patterns to catch the eye.

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