Packaging Tips to Drive More Product Sales
Changing product packaging can really help drive sales higher. At SouthPack our tag line is “Great products demand great packaging” and we really believe that! Research shows the right packaging brings more sales!
Packaging doesn’t just transport a product so that it can make it to the store. It’s an effective marketing and sales tools. Packaging is sometimes referred to as “the silent salesman” and it can make the difference between winning or losing a sale to a competitor. Research shows that packaging has a significant impact on the final buying decision.
How to Design Packaging that Drives Sales?
According to research from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, increasing shelf visibility is the primary way to grow sales. A powerful indicator of willingness to purchase is “the first moment of truth” which happens at the shelf—that moment when a consumer picks up your package. Equally important is the second look when consumers look at your product versus your competitor. The Wharton School was able to use eye-tracking technology to determine that products with strong contrast to its competitors get more second looks and higher sales.
One of the best ways to increase shelf visibility is to create packaging that is radically different in size and appearance from competitors. Good packaging design maximizes all available surface area to communicate product features and benefits from every angle. Packaging design is among the least expensive ways to add marketing punch to your product. Make old products new again with a new package. “Think outside of the box” and you can drive more product sales and enhance your brand.
Key Packaging Design Principles
- Use all surface area to communicate from every angle.
- Prioritize your key messaging and size appropriately to emphasis the most important things the consumer needs to know.
- Tell consumers only what they need to know at that key decision-making point, and do so in a stimulating way to make the brand choice easy.
“A product unseen is unsold”
Retail packaging is a vehicle for branding and shelf visibility. The Wharton School finds that increasing shelf visibility improves sales is intuitive, but, the finding goes further; it analyzed the behavior of buyers and found the following:
- 80 percent of respondents said they will pick up a package when evaluating a new product.
- More than 50% said that high-quality products are reflected in the packaging.
- 46% said that decorative packaging indicated quality, and they would expect to pay more for such a product.
Adding a greater sensory experience to packaging can increase perceived value. Tactile elements like rigidity and finish can improve the sensory experience. Enhancing the visual experience using color or graphics can make a more engaging experience for customers. The use of Flock can dramatically change the look and feel of your package. It offers deep texture and highly detailed decoration with a soft, velvety touch. This treatment is frequently used in jewelry and cosmetics but can be adapted for any product.
Making a Salesman Out of Your Package for Higher Sales
Perception Research Services International, Inc. studied the question of what drives shelf visibility and what leads to a second look. “Put simply, the answer is contrast. In other words, visibility is not the result of a shoppers’ conscious decisions (i.e., “I want to check out that brand.”), but instead a physiological process, driven by the contrast between a brand and its competitors on shelf. Thus, the question is what drives contrast, and an analysis reveals three primary drivers: color blocking, unique shapes/structures, and strong brand identity, such as a bold logo or visual.”
Product Development through Packaging
New SKU’s can be created by bundling individual SKU’s in a package that adds convenience. BJ’s, Sam’s and Costco bundle products in bulk and have created new SKU numbers for the same product. Ordinary products can be made exciting and more desirable by bundling in a new package. Packaging Can Increase Perceived Value Leading to More Profit.
Risk In New Package Design
While you can increase sales with packaging design, you can also decrease sales. A decrease in sales can be caused by confusing shoppers. This leads to brand hesitation and lack of brand recognition. These factors can create enough hesitation for shoppers to revert to a “safer” brand and leave their former brand, in some cases permanently. Changes in certain design elements, most notably branding and product naming can lead to confusion and hurt sales.
Good packaging design should not throw out all aspects of past packaging design principles. Packaging design should only affect one or two primary design elements. Any changes should be done in conjunction with solid branding and visual continuity to eliminate possible confusion. Automobile manufacturer Chevrolet made radical styling changes on their 5th generation Camaro and saw sales improve. The new design was successful because buyers knew that the new design was unmistakably a Camaro. There was zero confusion in the brand and sales shot up 25% over the previous generation. Packaging is the last customer touch point to convey your brand and your company.
What Does Your Packaging Say About Your Brand?
Adding company website, social media channels and QR codes can enhance the customer’s experience and connect customers to your digital space. This increases repeat purchases, brings more new customers and increases brand awareness. As SKU’s continue to proliferate, it has become more important than ever to maintain shelf visibility. Packaging design is a low cost strategy to drive sales higher. Make sure your “silent salesman” (packaging) isn’t sleeping on the job and gets the shelf visibility your product needs.