2020 created some challenges for CPG packaging as many brands moved quickly to optimize their e-commerce offerings during the COVID-19 crisis. Fast market changes forced brands to go back to the drawing board as they determined whether their CPG packaging could withstand both the rigors of on- and offline sales. How can companies maximize both vehicles for their products and what have we learned during this tumultuous year?
CPG Packaging Trends During COVID-19
The biggest change for many CPG marketing teams this year was obvious; COVID-19 necessitated a move to online commerce. The latest data predicts online shopping will more than double the traffic this year, from 12.6% of all retail sales to 28% or more. This upswing means that CPG packaging experts must shift how they enfold their products to fit this more mobile medium. Today, packaging for consumable products must be better suited to handle the challenges in a variety of environments.
According to the data, the majority of CPG packaging teams say they are developing separate strategies for their online and offline packaging designs. They are chiefly concerned with:
- The brightness of the packaging online versus in real-life.
- The durability of the materials used in packaging.
Retail sales benefit from the visual medium of the store display. CPG packaging teams consider how the product package will look as part of a visual merchandising strategy. They consider the stackability of products, how much room each unit consumes, and how eye-catching the packaging is within the retail environment. Given that 90% of customers attach their first glance to colors, CPG packaging often uses a visual impact to attract the eye.
The Difference Between Retail and Online Packaging
Now tack on the difficulties inherent in shipping that product. Having a glass recyclable container is important for sustainability but it adds complications in shipping the product. Protective packaging is obviously at the forefront of considerations for online shipping. But the package matters greatly for the consumer experience at the other end. PakFactory says, “Keeping the design components of your packaging intact and presentable upon arrival for the purpose of customer experience plays an important role in building brand identity, credibility, and sales.”
Interestingly, the unboxing experience from an online purchase seems to hold weight with consumers. Customer reviews show that 20% comment about the package online, making your e-commerce packaging important to how your brand is received by consumers.
It seems consumers are looking for a similar gratification as the in-store experience. And they are placing this demand at the feet of CPG packaging teams who must now come up with a way to do more than just ship their e-commerce offerings safely, affordably, and quickly. To respond to this demand, your packages must be:
- Distinctive and noticeable from the competition.
- Recognizable in a way that attracts and retains customers.
- Secure enough to keep the contents safe no matter who does the packing.
- Superior to other products in the product description, photo, or in the transparency of the package itself.
- Compact enough to keep the product from shifting without adding extra weight.
Packaging matters, whether your product is in a big box store or online. Creating strategies that accommodate both is the new normal for CPG packaging teams intent on improving their customer loyalty and awareness of their brand.
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