It’s 2017 and brands of all sizes are looking internally for ways to do more with less. One area continually overlooked is retail packaging. It’s the 21st century and we’re living in the ever changing high tech retail world of, apps, social media, and seamless ecomm check-outs.
So, why are you still using 40-year-old default packaging sizes?
To answer that, it’s important to understand that retail packaging today is based on default sizes established by the manufacturers back in the 70’s and 80’s. Small, medium, and large bags were known in the industry as cub (8x4x10), vogue (16x6x12”), and queen (16x6x19). Due to the high costs of creating custom bag sizes in the 70’s and 80’s, everyone from grocery, hardware, and apparel implemented the sizes many of you use today.
Default packaging sizes are a great starting point to catapult your retail experience into a cohesive in-store and ecomm platform. In our continued quest to redefine retail in today’s market, we’ve partnered with several clients over the past 24 months to unearth packaging efficiencies. The result is cohesive packaging that works across all channels in turn streamlining distribution center fulfillment processes, that enhance a singular consumer experience across channels, and most importantly savings to the bottom line!
Here’s a peek into how we do this:
1) Size Matters
We know that a brand’s product mix changes over time, and continues to do so with the ebbs and flows of seasons and trends. Clothes in summer are typically smaller than clothes in winter, and with new developments in fabrics we’ve also seen that cold-weather fashions are much more compact today than they were just a few years ago. When your product mix changes, your packaging should follow suit.
In collaboration with our clients, our team of analysts are able to both identify and standardize each brand’s dimensional packaging needs to satisfy a large percentage of consumer transactions. By separating these transactions into buckets, we define the appropriate dimensional volume per exchange resulting in single system that feeds all of your channels.
2) Getting Your Online In Line
This omni-channel approach to packaging, also reduces distribution center packaging SKUs by eliminating non-essential sizes. This does two things; increases economies of scale by purchasing the same packaging for online and in-store, and saves time managing a streamlined packaging system’s inventory. Ultimately we deliver consumers a consistent brand experience at every touchpoint; mobile, online, or in-store.
3) Tell a Better Story
By implementing a SKU reduction, and presenting a consistent packaging experience you not only feed all of your channels from a single system, you tell a cohesive brand story across all marketing opportunities. These refined packaging programs support new brand narratives that include curated collections, minimalist interior design, and interactions that focus on a crafted experience. Any cost savings resulting from these streamlined packaging programs are reinvested in the form of limited edition packaging accessories, editorial design that changes seasonally, or many other solutions that drive the retail experience.
Full disclosure; we sell bags and boxes, lots of them. But also in the sake of full disclosure, we’ve successfully reset packaging programs across retail and ecommerce. By redefining retail packaging, we’re able to elevate the consumer experience while maintaining a vigilant eye on the bottom line. And isn’t that what we all want, to reward the consumer with a memorable full-price validating experience, consistent across all touchpoints of our brand?
Of course it is.