Packaging is the one of those things that differentiates a product at retail and attracts the attention of the customers. When the customer has a look at the product, it is not the actual product that he looks at first but the packaging that catches the attention of the consumer- FMOT (First moment of truth) as it is known as in popular language. There is another thing that the brand owners need to keep in mind from now which is ZMOT (Zero moment of truth) which has become significant with the advent of e-commerce. ZMOT refers to the information collected by the buyer about a product or service before taking any action which includes reading reviews and features of the product. The question now is whether FMOT or packaging will matter and affect the customer’s decision because they would be seeing it after they buy it. Will the brands need to still mind the aesthetic details that they normally did?
There are several arguments put forward by people as to whether the packaging should be modified or the same kind of packaging should be used. Changing the packaging to include fewer details would mean increasing the number of SKUs and ultimately costs. Hence, it is more important to have luring photos on the website rather than changing the packaging which might also involve fluctuations in brand consistency and operational efficiency. There is also a fear of losing customers due to difficulty in brand identification. A different packaging would anyways be a temptation for the company in the online mode if a company moves from B2B to B2C and shifts its strategy. Another thing to keep in mind is that packaging need not be elaborate in the online sale as once the item has been shipped, there is no further need for attracting the customer.
The view that packaging is irrelevant in the online world is strongly opposed by so many who believe that it will remain important. When the product reaches the home of the consumers, it needs to reach out the customer’s expectations. When the customer unwraps the box and takes out the product, you have to reinforce what your brand stands for. It’s for your packaging that the customers will recognize you. Your packaging should consider being different in retail and online stores. It should also differ according to the use its product would be put into. For example- if the product is sold online, it should be packed compactly and carefully so that it does not get destroyed due to transportation, can handle fluctuating temperatures and does not need cold pack or insulation. For the retail mode, such details are not required however the packaging should ensure that customers can carry the product easily. Package graphics need not differ for online and retail methods. They should have the potential of grabbing the customer’s eyes at once and the customer should also be able to decipher the use of the product. There is no doubt in the fact that there is a lot more competition online and that it is difficult to survive or initiate a good profit without selling a good quality product. Packaging’s significance has certainly declined to some extent in the virtual world but is an essential factor in impressing the customer and maintaining the overall reputation of the brand.
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- Contributed by Ishaan Shrivastava