Packaging is a vital component of supply chains in many industries. It protects products and reduces damages, it keeps produce fresh and can even be the first physical touch point for many brands.
If you work in a retail environment, you’ll know that creating a lasting first impression is key to fostering customer loyalty and repeat sales.
So, what have we learnt in the last 12 months that can help us improve the customer experience when it comes to packaging?
1. Less is more when it comes to your packing material
A recent consumer survey from our parent company Macfarlane Packaging highlighted that almost a quarter of respondents still think retailers use too much packaging. Unnecessary filling material will not only annoy your customers, it could inflate your shipping costs and packaging waste liability.
Swapping from out-dated packing materials like foam chips to air cushions will help you reduce parcel infill. You could also provide packing guidelines to your staff, to limit over packing. Alternatively, if your operation is high demand, you could think about automating your packaging, which would offer greater control over the material being used.
2. Be clear about recyclability
We’re starting to lose count of the times we’ve been asked for recycling information for the packaging we provide. Consumers are now looking for clear information when it comes to recyclability.
Make sure you let your customers know if your packaging can be recycled (or not as the case may be). You could even go as far as stating how much recycled content your packing materials contain!
3. Embrace new technologies
If you really want to wow your customer, embracing new technology can help. Augmented Reality (AR) offers you a way to unlock the potential of your packaging and communicate with your customers through it.
It works by projecting computer generated graphics through mobile devices in to a real-life environment. You can offer customer excusive content and stay connected, setting yourself apart from other competitors.
4. Continue to use returns-ready packaging
We’ve discussed the “try before you buy” culture that’s been emerging on our blog in the last few months. It just adds weight to the fact that retailers need to continue to use returns-ready packaging.
In fact, we’ve started to see an emerging trend for re-usable packaging, which ties into the environmental concern consumers have too.
As a minimum, we recommend doing the following to make your packages returns-ready:
- Choose packaging that’s fit to re-used for returns
- Always provide clear returns information & labels in the pack
- Include two self-seal strips to your bags or boxes, for re-sealing
Specialist support with your retail packaging
We have a service dedicated to developing packaging solutions for e-retailers and 3PL called Smartpack. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our contact form to book time with one of our experts.