Increase Your Retail Sales With Packaging Design

Consider the following true story: On his way back from an appointment, John needed to stop at Walgreens to pick up a prescription, some cold medicine and a couple bags of candy for office treats. After getting his prescription he immediately went to the cold remedy section and searched for NyQuil, a product he has long used and trusted. He then proceeded to the candy aisle where he spent several minutes perusing dozens of bags of different candy. He was looking for liquorice and found several choices. Most were packaged in a clear plastic bag with a paper header adhered to the top.

Then he saw something different; a bag of candy that wasn’t in clear plastic, but in a decorative solid color bag. The design was attractive and it clearly stood out from the other packages. He bought three bags. His decision was based strictly on the product packaging; he did not recognize or even remember the brand name. John’s experience demonstrates the importance of packaging for retail sales.

Let’s examine John’s decisions. When someone goes shopping, there are several decisions that need to be made: 1. The store; where am I going to go shopping. 2. Your needs; what do I need or want to buy. 3. Product differentiators; what criteria will be used to choose the product (brand, price, etc). In John’s case, the store decision was predetermined, his prescription was at Walgreens. He had brand loyalty to Vick’s NyQuil Cold Medicine; he did not even look at alternatives. But little was predetermined on his candy purchase. He had a preference for licorice, but did not have any brand preference. His decision to buy candy was based on what he saw on the shelves. He ultimately made his decision based on being attracted to a type of product packaging.

Savvy private brand sellers understand that packaging plays a critical role in success at the retail level. They know how to exploit their advantages over nationally recognized brands. Brand loyalty is not always a factor in purchasing. In fact, according to a study by Retail Minded, 100 female consumers between the ages of 19 and 30 voted 71% in favor of store loyalty versus brand. Understanding this trend in retail store loyalty provides an opportunity for the private labeler to adjust their marketing strategy.

Wal-Mart is a prime example of a store with strong consumer loyalty. Over the last two decades private label products have made tremendous inroads into Wal-Mart. Competition for retail shelving space at Wal-Mart is tremendous and the decision for shelf location at Wal-Mart is based mainly on sales. If your product sells, Wal-Mart will provide desirable shelf space, if it doesn’t, you are given less desirable locations. The impact could be devastating to your product success.

With the recent economic downturn, private label products have gained market share at the retail level. Consumers are more willing to deviate from their favorite brands for cost reasons. The perception among consumers is that brand products are more expensive than private label. With retailers anxious to boost their lagging sales, the likelihood that private brand labels get better shelf space is improving. Taking advantage of this trend may require manufacturers to revamp their packaging.

What are the key considerations for product packaging at the retail level?

Understand the demographics. Companies with well known national brand images are going to stay consistent across the region and from one store to the next. The private labels do not need to stay the same; in fact the opportunity is to tailor your packaging to custom electronic cigarette “fit” the demographics of the retail outlet, or geographic region of the country you sell. You can create a “price leader” image for your Wal-Mart outlet while creating a more “specialized” image for the higher end stores.
Understand your Competition. In a retail store, your competition is what is in eye view of the shopper. Your product needs to stand out from your competition.
Eye Catching. The ideal packaging will create a “double look” by the shopper.
Clearly Highlight the Benefits. You only have a mater of seconds to attract and hold a customers attention; your unique selling points must clearly come through in order for a buyer to choose your product. Emotional impact is critical.
Package Functionality: Once your product is purchased, the user experience with the packaging can make or break the repeat sale. Packages that enhance the usability and storage of the product will give them reason to return. On the other hand, packages that are difficult to open, hard to store, or allow damage to the contents will insure you won’t have a repeat sale.
Understand the Trends: The environment, economy, local and global politics can all sway consumer decisions. Paying careful attention to these trends along with your sales results can exploit opportunities or avoid catastrophes.
Packaging can provide unique opportunities for manufacturers to boost sales at the retail level. Package design should be integrated into a supplier’s product marketing strategy. Innovative product packaging and labeling can create higher customer demand and improved profitability. Manufacturers who understand the dynamics at the retail level and stay o



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