When you receive a product, the last thing that you tend to think about is the packaging that it comes in. You’re eager to rip through the packaging to get your hands on the items you have waited weeks for and throw the wraps and boxes away without a thought.
It’s not like consumers care about the packaging, right? How could something so seemingly ordinary help businesses of all sizes increase their profits while promoting their brands and establishing loyalty with their customer base? It turns out that packaging is a lot more important than you think once you begin putting serious thought into it.
There has been a serious discussion about the future of packaging among experts now that we have completely transitioned into the digital era. The main consensus is that the packaging is important from a psychological perspective. The old saying of “first impressions count” reigns true when it comes to packaging because a customer’s interaction with the package can improve or lower the odds that they are going to buy the product.
There are many future trends for packaging that are being debated right now, but it turns out that there aren’t thousands of little trends. Once you aggregate all of them together, you are going to find that you can put the predictions under 5 broad categories.
This was a trend that started a few years ago, yet it shows no sign whatsoever of slowing down. With the rise of environmentally friendly initiatives in scientific research and people becoming more conscious of their consumption habits, it makes sense that potential customers are going to favor products that can naturally decompose into the environment or be recycled into new products of an equal or higher quality.
It will be one thing for a company to create a product that is environmentally friendly, but they will go even further if the packaging follows suit.
You can expect a large drive by innovative companies and inventors to the creation of packaging that is “smart.” What does this mean? It means that consumers will have the chance to directly interact with the packaging itself, and there are multiple avenues through which this can happen.
As an example, a QR code on the packaging could be scanned by a smartphone, and the customer would have instant access to more detailed information about the product. Regarding food packaging, there could be a color scheme that changes in color as the freshness of the packaged food changes. Because this option has endless possibilities, it will be up to the creative minds to decide how they want to change the game.
PACKAGING THAT CREATES AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE
While this trend has nothing to do with innovation itself, it serves as a stark reminder that the customer experience doesn’t merely start and stop with the product itself. It begins from the moment they see the packaging itself. Companies are starting to focus on the graphic design of their brand and packaging design in order to create the most visually appealing appearance to new buyers.
Modifying the packaging reinforces the notion that customers are not buying the product itself, but the experience that the product will provide. It comes down to answering the question of “What do buyers REALLY want?”
3D PRINTED PACKAGING
3D printing has already seen a huge rise in the development and manufacturing of products. There has never been an easier time in history to mass produce several units at the touch of a button. All you need is a computer, some software, some 3D designs, your printer, and you are good to go. The next logical step would be to apply the success of 3D printing to the creation of eye-catching multi-layer packaging that looks good and feels good in your hands.
THE IMPROVEMENT OF ONLINE PACKAGING
There is no denial that online shopping has changed the way we browse for products and purchase them, disrupting the traditional retail model and leaving several major stores scrambling to adapt to this rapid change. However, many experts have been quick to note that eCommerce stores have fallen short in impressing the customer with the packaging used for online purchases.
In contrast, this is something that the traditional retail model has correctly succeeded in doing. Therefore, companies need to shift their focus to aesthetically pleasing and robust packaging that can withstand temperature extremes while being suitable for the retail world and the online world.
These are the five trends that will burst into the packaging scene in the upcoming calendar year. Identifying the trends and acknowledging their significance will be the first step to profitability in the modern day and age. Those who ignore the importance of packaging on the decisions made by the consumer will quickly find themselves catching up to those who made the smart decision to become the trendsetters.