product packaging

4 Ways Brands Improve Retail Shelf Sales through Product Packaging Design

Two sets of headphones sit on the same retail shelf. One brand’s headphones come in a clunky box with a single image of the item on the front. Another brand’s come in a peek-through box with four-color graphics and embossed details.

Which one do you pick up for a closer look?

Even if the headphones you sell are a higher quality than your competitors but don’t look as attractive as theirs on the shelf, people will reach for the option with sharp looking packaging.

Retail has always been extraordinarily competitive. Businesses are always on the lookout for new tactics and techniques to boost sales. However, there is one area which many businesses neglect paying attention to – how their packaging choices impact sales performance.

This post takes tips from leading retail packaging printing companies and offers four strategic packaging choices to improve retail shelf sales.

printing packaging

1.     Emulate Not Imitate

Start with research. Visit a store, look at the top performing brands, and examine their packaging closely. Are they using high-end graphics and fancy contrasts in their packaging? Or perhaps foil embossing? You should get a rough idea of the quality of substrates and designs, as well as see the trends in finishing selections.

In general, you want to emulate the top performers in your space, without directly imitating them.

Your printing partner should help you find options for packaging design, graphics, and finishes that fit your budget. They’ll help you take advantage of the best ideas your top-performing competitors have come up with while avoiding any mistakes they may have made at the same time.

retail packaging company

2.     Gradual Evolution Is Better Than Radical Redesigns

Regardless of whether people eat at the restaurant, everyone is familiar with McDonalds’ branding. We’ve got a thought exercise for you that will help illustrate why gradual evolution and iterations in branding usually outperform radical redesigns.

Try to picture a McDonald’s restaurant as it exists today in your hometown. Once you have a clear picture in mind, try to recall the look of a McDonald’s from your childhood. Then look up some pictures online and compare the two. Depending on how old you are you may be surprised at the degree of change between them when viewed side by side.

Since these changes were made in a slow and subtle fashion, spread out over multiple iterations and years, you probably didn’t recognize the substantial degree of overall change. Slow change allowed the company to preserve the continuity of their branding instead of hitting a full reset every few years.

This approach brings other financial benefits as well.  Iterative changes mean stability in the product and procurement chain, as well as more predictable revenues.  This can provide a company greater freedom to experiment with bold designs on their less crucial products while providing slow but measurable growth on their main product lines.

product design

3.     Consult a Structural Engineer for Product Packaging Design

Structural changes in product packaging design is a unique opportunity to directly cut some of your fixed unit costs.

This can have a big impact on your bottom line with shipping and packaging. Unfortunately, because most packaging companies don’t directly offer these services, most businesses are unable to take advantage of them.

So how can you reap these same benefits?

A talented structural engineer can manipulate almost any aspect of your packaging, cutting out unneeded material and weight and directly reducing costs, while preserving the look and feel you want to present.

Think of how ketchup and mustard bottles at the supermarket have changed over the last several years. All those strange shapes, indentations, and bottleneck designs aren’t just for show – they’re designed to reduce the total volume of product shipping while still preserving the same appearance and lowering costs.

packaging design companies

4.     Focus on Good Design

One way to tell the difference between a great printer and a passable one is by asking them for advice on updating the packaging for your product.

A great partner is going to offer you a variety of options to choose from that will improve the appearance and performance of your packaging without impacting the price much, while a mediocre printer cannot.

A staggering variety of retail boxes are produced using the same four-color printing process. Some of them look fantastic and others look terrible – just think of the products you’ve seen over the years. Creative graphics and designs are really one of the most important factors in enhancing your overall shelf appeal, and a printing partner who can accomplish this without increasing costs can improve your financial performance.

 

Choose your packaging partner based on their ability to maximize shelf appeal with strong design choices. Get familiar with what works, and then work with a structural engineer to optimize your packaging. The right printer will help you boost retail performance on the shelf and control costs at the same time.