According to Deloitte, the smart packaging industry is expected to reach $39.7 billion by 2020. Connected packaging, a sub-category of smart packaging that allows customers to unlock exclusive digital content using mobile devices, offers retailers the opportunity to enhance customer interactions. Retail marketers in almost every product category, including toys, cosmetics, gaming, and apparel, can leverage connected packaging technology in four key ways: to enhance sales and promotion, to augment store guides and shopper navigation, to drive app usage and website traffic, and to generate meaningful data.
Connected packaging offers retailers a way to provide a digital experience for shoppers who visit the bricks-and-mortar store and keeps them connected to the brand, even after they return home. In a Google study, 71% of in-store shoppers who use smartphones for online research say their device has become more important to their in-store shopping experience. Connected packaging leverages this trend, allowing customers to use their mobile devices to unlock exclusive branded content or learn more about a product.
Customers still flock to bricks-and-mortar stores: According to Google, 61% of consumers say they would rather shop with brands that have a physical location than with brands that are only online, and almost 80% of shoppers go to the store when they want or need an item right away. Connected packaging harnesses that customer behavior and creates a way for customers to stay engaged with a brand after an in-store purchase. It provides a direct line to consumers after they’ve left the store.
Connected packaging can also provide a personal shopper experience within a store. Customers can scan a package to learn more about a product’s distinguishing attributes, view photos of the product in use, and read detailed reviews, even if the store’s salespeople aren’t well-versed in the product or brand. This makes the retail location seem more accessible and informative than others, which distinguishes both the brand and the retail store itself.
Connected packaging gives a voice to the brand inside the store and offers a customized shopping experience with stopping power. The packaging becomes a shopper navigation tool and a promotional outlet. An added, sustainable bonus: Product displays built to incorporate scannable codes can be reused and repurposed.
Increasingly, retail stores act as product showcases, so finding ways to incentivize in-store purchases is in retail marketers’ interest. Connected packaging can help drive in-store sales and offers unique ways to bundle and cross-sell products. For example, a customer might scan a package with a mobile device and see an “Act Now” purchasing incentive.
According to an Invesp blog post based on research from Google, Deloitte, and Forrester, 87% of in-store shoppers look for information online before shopping and an estimated 56% of in-store sales are influenced by a digital interaction. Retail marketers can use connected packaging to incentivize shoppers to visit the store and make a purchase. For example, connected packaging can send shoppers to a digital app or site that offers sweepstakes, coupons, or special promotions on a day-to-day or week-by-week basis—or by location—which gives customers an incentive to visit the retail location.
Connected packaging drives app value and downloads, as well as website traffic, by enticing customers to use an app or visit a website to unlock exclusive content and promotional offers. And in the case of Touchcode’s invisible conductive ink, the code on the packaging works both online and offline (via the app).
For example, P.M.I., Israel’s leading producer, marketer, and distributor of branded leisure products for children and teens, integrated Touchcode into the market-leading soccer card game iSupergol. The collectible cards allowed soccer fans to scan an invisible code and get direct access to exclusive content via a digital app. The app was downloaded 22,000 times in the first five weeks of the campaign. Within two weeks of launch, 7.5 million products in Supergol booster packs, which included stickers and Touchcode cards, sold out completely.
Disney launched a merchandising initiative with its Violetta brand, adding Touchcode to collectible cards. Touching the cards to a smartphone app unlocked dance tutorial videos, scenes from the Violetta show, and scrapbook tutorials. The app was downloaded over 100,000 times in its first two weeks on the app stores and received a 4-star rating in the Apple app store and a 4.5-star rating in the Google Play store.
Connected packaging offers brands an important way to drive app downloads and website traffic, and it also provides retail marketers with important data points.
Connected packaging can provide retail marketers with a range of useful data points. Retail stores control sales data, but individual brands can still pull meaningful information from connected packaging. For example, if 10,000 new users tap packaging embedded with Touchcode in a specific location and not in another, brands and retailers can use that information to pay for product displays in the more attractive location. Brands and retailers can also compare engagement data with purchase data to learn whether connected packaging is, indeed, driving in-store sales.
Connected packaging applications are gaining popularity with retail marketers, due to the technology’s ability to enhance customers’ shopping experiences, drive in-store sales, promote app and website engagement, and provide useful data points. Connected packaging provides retail marketers with new ways to elevate their brand and increase customer lifetime value.
Ready to learn how smart packaging can enhance your brand or your store’s image and drive customer engagement? Contact us today.