Product packaging serves both businesses and consumers. For businesses, packaging makes the shipment of products more efficient while ensuring products reach the customer intact. For consumers, packaging secures the product they’ve ordered and protects it from potential damage while in transit.
However, responsibility for the quality of packaging solely rests on the businesses manufacturing and shipping the products. If you’re a new entrepreneur wondering what factors you need to consider when deciding how to pack your products, this article will help you.
1 – Security and durability
The most important factor to consider in product packaging is security and durability. After all, the primary function of packaging is to make sure the product it contains won’t be easily tampered with or damaged during shipping. To ensure your packaging fulfills this primary purpose, you must choose a packaging material that is durable enough for your products. Take time to learn about the material you want by asking for samples and testing their quality thoroughly. Skipping this step might result in wasting plenty of money on packaging that is unfit for your needs.
2 – Sustainability
You’d be mistaken if you think finding the best packaging material boils down to purchasing the highest quality option you can find. If that were the case, then the only question is whether you can afford it or not. In truth, you also need to determine whether the material is sustainable. A sustainable material is one that is strong while also eco-friendly and economical. The packaging must be made of quality material that is manufactured through processes with the least carbon footprint possible. When disposed of, it must not linger for a long time and release toxic substances into the environment. This is why you should stay away from single-use plastics for your packaging. Most of all, a sustainable material must be easy to recycle and reuse. Sustainable isn’t just about being eco-friendly; it also means being efficient. The packaging material you choose must not be wasteful. Lastly, it must be financially feasible. Bankrupting your business by insisting on using an expensive or impractical packaging material is the opposite of sustainable.
3 – Legal compliance
International bodies and national governments have regulations on product packaging that you must comply with. Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in significant penalties and fines. To avoid penalties, you must learn what packaging regulations apply to your business and make sure you find a packaging supplier that complies with them. For instance, product packaging for storing food outdoors is subject to various regulations overseen by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
4 – Ease of use
Your customers will thank you for packaging your products properly, but they will hate you for making the process of unpacking them tedious. Ease of use is a big deal in packaging and it goes both ways. The packaging material you choose shouldn’t give you trouble during the packing process and be easy to store. Durability and security are your priority in packaging, but they shouldn’t come at the cost of convenience.
5 – Design
You may think that customers don’t care about how your packaging looks as long as it successfully protects its contents, but you’d be wrong. A study conducted in 2018 by the Paper and Packaging Board and IPSOS found that 72% of consumers report packaging design can affect their purchasing decisions. More than half of the respondents favored packaging made from paper and cardboard, saying they’re innovative, easier to recycle, and “looked premium”. To stand out, you need to pick a packaging option that looks sleek or easy on the eyes. If you want to be more involved in your packaging design, then choose an option that gives you plenty of leeway in designing. You may also want to afford graphic design services to help you create packaging that reflects your brand.
6 – Availability
Suppose you find a packaging option that ticks all the right boxes, so you buy a large batch of the material. What happens when you run out? Would your supplier be able to continue to provide you with the material? Would you be able to find another supplier immediately? It’s important to consider the material’s availability before committing to one. Suddenly changing packaging materials can be expensive and cause a huge disruption to operations. Once you’ve found the right packaging supplier, strive for a relationship built on trust. This way, they would always be able to meet your demands and you won’t have to worry about availability during unexpected circumstances. Still, it’s advisable to have a Plan B. Other than your trusted, first option, look for a backup supplier capable of providing you with what you need on short notice. When things go wrong, you’ll be glad that you won’t have to rush to find a supplier.
Packaging is so vital to your business’ success yet it’s so easy to neglect. The next time you decide on your product’s packaging, make sure to consider the factors discussed above.