Packaging with Retail in Mind

Lesson 02 – Retail Fast Track Course

Learn about packaging considerations including design, cost, functionality, and sustainability.

A. Importance of Packaging in Retail

In the retail business, first impressions matter—a lot. When a customer is confronted with hundreds of products on a store shelf, your product has just a few seconds to catch their eye and convince them it’s worth their time and money. And that’s where packaging comes into play. It’s your product’s first and most enduring form of communication with the customer.

B. Designing for the Eye and the Hand

The visual appeal of your packaging is crucial. Think of Apple’s minimalist, sleek packaging designs, which reflect the premium, intuitive nature of their products. Your package design should also align with your brand and product identity.

Yet, it’s not just about how the package looks—it’s also about how it feels. Consider the texture, shape, and size of the package. OXO Good Grips, for instance, includes a ‘try me’ feature in their packaging, allowing customers to feel the product before buying it.

C. Balancing Cost and Functionality

Effective packaging doesn’t need to be expensive. Retail giants like IKEA have mastered the art of functional, cost-effective packaging. Their flat-pack furniture reduces shipping volume, leading to lower costs for both the company and the consumer.

Remember, the package also needs to protect the product during shipping and display. Retailers will appreciate packaging that’s durable, easy to stack, and minimizes wasted space.

D. Sustainability Matters

More consumers than ever are making eco-friendly choices, and they expect brands to do the same. Brands like Lush Cosmetics have responded by introducing ‘naked’ or package-free products. When packaging is necessary, they opt for materials that are biodegradable or recyclable.

E. Meeting Retailer Requirements

Retailers often have specific requirements for packaging. Walmart, for example, has strict rules about packaging dimensions to optimize shelf space. Understanding and complying with these guidelines can enhance your chances of getting your product on their shelves.

Packaging isn’t just a container for your product; it’s a key marketing tool that can boost your product’s retail prospects. So take the time to design and develop packaging that’s eye-catching, cost-effective, functional, and sustainable—and always keep your retailer’s requirements and your customer’s desires in mind.

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