Food Dive: Why Product Packages Need to Be Selfie Ready

Dive Brief:

  • A new whitepaper published by Simplify My Packaging examines what shoppers want in food and beverage packaging, both functionally and emotionally, as well as what makes them return products, how packaging helps them relate to their online purchase experiences and more.
  • The study hones in on how packaging affects digital behaviors. For example, 16% of shoppers have used packaging with an augmented reality app; 23% use their smartphones to ring themselves out at the store; and 37% of shoppers have taken a photo of a product with their smartphone.
  • The study also shows that 38% of shoppers bought a new product because they enjoyed the packaging, while 28% switched brands because the packaging was different.

Dive Insight:

In the era of Instagram, consumer packaged goods companies and retailers are tasked with prioritizing packaging design more than ever. According to this latest survey, more than one-third of shoppers take a photo of a product with their smartphone, while 13% actually take a selfie with a product.

Some brands can attest to the significance of packaging and design. Ice cream company Van Leeuwen, for example, saw sales rise by 50% following a packaging re-design catered to social media viewing, while Mast Brothers chocolate shop said it attracts 

80% of new customers from Instagram.

As if that’s not enough incentive to look pretty, 38% of consumers buy a product because they enjoyed the packaging and about 75% of Instagram users take an action (such as visit a website) after seeing an Instagram post. With the continued growth of Instagram — the platform had more than 1 billion monthly users as of June 2018 — visually appealing packaging can easily contribute to a brand’s marketing strategy.

Consumers also like functional packaging, and are especially interested in nutrition information and the stories behind products. Companies, however, have limited real estate to convey these message, so QR codes and augmented reality apps are helping to meet this demand.

As the study indicates, most consumers are curious about how they can use their phones to get more value out of packaging – from checking themselves out at stores to tracking calories to taking selfies — which means there’s a bit of a personal relationship between consumer and product that may not have existed prior to digital.

Accordingly, retailers must figure out how consumers can cross between physical and digital channels with their product — via QR codes in-store and consistent designs online — to help control the marketing narrative. In addition to aesthetics and functionality, it’s critical that packaging remain consistent both online and in-store: 28% of consumers said they switched brands because there was not packaging consistency. 

If an online product shows up and “doesn’t look right,” 25% of consumers will return the item. Retailers should adapt their e-commerce channels to show only what’s available on physical store shelves. Since packaging plays that critical first-impression role, it’s important — as the study notes — to “ensure each piece of packaging is glamour-shot ready.”

Source: Food Dive, Why Product Packages Need to be Selfie Ready

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