Retail has changed and packaging has proved its worth
28 Jan 2021
Almost a year ago shoppers were still flocking to centres and high streets to enjoy a spot of retail therapy and, whilst the ecommerce market had earned itself a rightful place in our twenty first century, digital world, the two were rubbing along rather nicely together.
Throw in a global pandemic and the retail sector as we knew it was turned on its head with businesses having to adapt quickly, not only to fulfil customer demand, but to market their products differently, protect them through the supply chain and home delivery network and for some, establishing their brand online as quickly as possible to secure a new and essential revenue stream.
Whilst some have resisted the switch to online (Primark is just one retailer that has stayed true to their brand ethos and retail mechanics) others have benefitted from the switch and the increase in demand. As a result, many have appreciated just how important packaging is across the entire retail sector.
For much of the pandemic it has only been essential retailers, particularly supermarkets, that have been permitted to stay open. As a result, competition for products to catch shoppers’ eyes as they swiftly take their weekly trip, has been tight. This is where retail ready packaging has shown its influence. It has proved to be a great weapon in driving sales with packaging solutions – whether it’s targeted marketing campaigns, seasonal promotions or just innovative FSDU’s and POS displays, the recent retail and shopping conditions have proved to be essential in securing sales over the last year.
Supply chain excellence
Supply chains have been placed under extra pressure during the last few months and this has exposed the hugely important part they play in keeping the country running. However, on the flip side it has also exposed the lack of suitability that some packaging has displayed. This has been as a result situations such as products being shipped further, moved from warehouse to warehouse to cope with demand, or that the mechanics were just not in place to cope with variants to the existing process.
Whether consumables, DIY and gardening goods, or clothing and toiletries, there have been essentials other than food that people have been required to purchase to take good care of themselves and their animals, look after their homes and gardens and stay warm and comfortable during lockdown. Working on supply chain packaging has been an important part of what we have achieved during the last year, re-designing packs to give greater protection, assessing material usage and the way the product is packed to reduce vehicle occupancy, and minimising damage returns so that time could be better spend fulfilling demand rather than dealing with this process which can prove to be rather costly and affect brand reputation for businesses.
Home delivery happiness
Home delivery has been the saving grace for many retailers in the last 12 months and it seems that there is no end in sight to this new way of shopping. Whilst it is expected that post pandemic many shoppers, for whom shopping is a social pastime will return to our stores, high streets, and independent retailers, it is also expected that a good many will continue to shop online for the ease of experience and simplicity that it brings. As retailers have begun to up their home delivery experience game with packaging playing a core role in that, it has been evident that those who deliver on-time, intact and create a pleasant opening experience are streets ahead of their competitors and will continue to enjoy the enhanced sales levels as a result.
As far as we and the packaging industry are concerned, we’ve proved that we can support and deliver whatever retail needs during the most challenging of circumstances.