When it comes to sales at retail, packaging is the last chance you have to close the sale. In a crowded, chaotic consumer marketplace, the competition for consumer attention is fierce. To ensure your brand stands out, be sure to execute at retail, merchandise intelligently, and avoid these three common mistakes that can kill sales for even the largest and most sophisticated of brands.
Mistake 1: Forgetting the customer is always right.
Consumer research from Point of Purchase Advertising International’s 2012 Shopper Engagement Study reveals that 76% of purchase decisions are made in-store. The final step on the path to purchase that’s still in the hands of brands: the package. A recognizable package design is the building block of brand loyalty. Consumers know it, recognize it, and trust it. Change it at your peril. Everyone remembers what happened when Tropicana redesigned their packaging. The initial package redesign was so “loathed” by consumers for its generic, down-market look, according to Fast Company, that within months they had to revert back to its original familiar design. Ad Age reported Tropicana sales were down 20% at a cost of $33 million.
Mistake 2: Unsightly packages on retail shelves.
Damaged packaging on retail shelves damage sales. According to a 2008 “Industry Unsaleables Report” by Deloitte, unsaleables cost retailers and brands in the US $15 billion each year. When you consider the cost of your damaged reputation, along with the expense of shipping, handling, and reclaimed products that went unpurchased, it makes sense to pay attention to package design and materials used. A recent study by Mead Westvaco and Perception Research Services International that looked at consumer behavior at retail delivers some astonishing figures:
- 75% of shoppers push a damaged package aside
- 72% of shoppers concluded the retailer displaying damaged products offered lower value products than its competitors
- With even slight damage, “brands you trust” perception drops from 73% to 41% among competitive shoppers
Mistake 3: Package design that doesn’t deliver
Remember the Tropicana debacle? Turns out the number one thing consumers wanted to learn from the package was how much pulp was in the orange juice. It seems simple, but brands constantly create package designs that fail to get their share of attention on retail shelves. With consumers making purchase decisions right there in the retail aisle, packaging has to work hard to connect with consumers. Retailers call it “the last 10 seconds of marketing.” In these last final seconds while a consumer is reaching for a product, the package design must communicate the brand attributes as well as the benefits of the product. Type, color, and copy must work together to make a connection with the consumer. And do it in 10 seconds.
No matter how effective your package design is, if your execution at retail results in damaged packaging on shelves, products that are displayed incorrectly, in the wrong place, or stuck in a back room, your product won’t sell. Gigwalk can help. We can deploy an army of smart phone-wielding Gigwalkers to audit product displays in store, photograph them and send the results back to you. You’ll know immediately if problems arise that can impact sales. And we’ll provide an extra set of hands that can fix those problems fast.
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