Consumer experts are always talking about the latest retail packaging trends, and every year it seems things are evolving and advancing at a faster pace than the year before. With 2014 well underway, and retailers already gearing up for the next holiday shopping season, many branding and packaging trends have surfaced and shown themselves to be very important in the retail industry. We’ve compiled four of the top trends that retailers and industry insiders should definitely consider (if they aren’t already):
TREND #1: Benefiting from Compliance and Eco-Friendliness
From patient safety to environmental sustainability, retailers have more factors to consider in their packaging than ever before. Some of the latest trends in packaging and branding include more innovative unit-dosing designs on drug packaging, more eco-friendly food and beverage containers and more sustainable manufacturing processes. While these may seem like a lot of effort, the positive public perception to such changes can more than pay for the initial and ongoing investments. The key is to make the changes as publicly as possible in order to take advantage of the PR benefits.
TREND #2: Integration of Technology in Branding and Packaging
In the information age, many consumers already know what they’re looking for before they go to make a purchase because they’ve already done the research and considered all the facts. The most obvious way to make sales in such an environment is to offer high-quality products and maintain a positive public perception about your brand identity with as much good information as possible available for savvy consumers. This is the hard part. One simple solution to take advantage of consumers’ increased use of information technology is to integrate user-friendly apps into the branding and packaging of your products. Things like scan-able, interactive links can make your packaging more useful to consumers, and help them feel more confident in their purchases.
TREND #3: New Methods for Reducing Shrinkage
Shrinkage is a big problem for retailers, whether it’s caused by the theft, damage or loss of products, or for any other reason. The more shrinkage that occurs, the fewer products there are to sell, and the smaller the profit. We are seeing many retail industry trends that increase the security of products without negatively affecting the experience for consumers. Packaging that reduces the opportunity for theft and shrinkage while simultaneously enhancing the customer experience is a major trend, for obvious reasons.
TREND #4: Smarter Safety Solutions in Packaging
While it may seem absurd or even funny, the fact that many people are injured or even sent to the emergency room every year due to overly complex, protective packaging is no laughing matter. Oftentimes, packaging engineers are more concerned with increasing security and reducing theft than they are with the safety of consumers. It should go without saying that this is not good for the public perception of retail brands. Now more packaging engineers are striving to come up with designs that protect them from theft and shrinkage while keeping consumer safety always in mind.