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Fast Moving Consumer Shifts, or Where’s the Toilet Paper?—Part 1

Consumer behavior has changed at an alarming rate and will continue to change, opening up new opportunities for new product innovation—and packaging.


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About David Zwang

David Zwang travels around the globe helping companies increase their productivity, margins and market reach. He specializes in production optimization, strategic business planning, market analysis, and related services to companies in the vertical media communications market. Clients have included printers, manufacturers, retailers, publishers, premedia and US Government agencies. He can be reached at [email protected].


By Robert Godwin on Jan 12, 2021

BOPIS consequences---A purchase I make online, and is readied in the store for drive-thru pick up, what is the role of elaborate packaging? As Big Box stores rose to prominence, the warehouse style depended on the packaging to be the on-the-shelf sales tool. Eliminating the in-store experience probably eliminates the need for informational, eye-catching packaging. This of course would reduce the cost of sale (both design needs and package engineering). So is packaging, one of the growth stars of printing these past few years, going to take a hit? Hmmm


By Sean Smyth on Jan 12, 2021

Robert you make an excellent point. And how do designers catch Alexa's virtual eye as buyers (sorry, FMCs) continue on their convenience journey.
So less elaborate packaging, perhaps? Probably not, because I suspect consumers will value provenance even more highly (do we trust other people, or those shifty looking robots to select the best stuff that we would pick) and will demand even better packaging, and not just for protection. As the first point of contact with your shopping is now when you load it into the car or unpack - after disinfecting appropriately - I think the packaging will be more important as brands make the most of the opportunity to engage and reinforce their message to consumers.


By Robert Godwin on Jan 12, 2021

Sean, Think touchpoint and the Call to Action. If the touchpoint is post purchase, what then? Confidence building that the product is secure from adulteration and infections? Not the stuff of compelling advertising/marketing. This will be interesting to see how the pivot to post purchase marketing touchpoints evolves.


By Chris Lynn on Jan 12, 2021

Robert, great point - but what P&G calls the FMOT (first moment of truth) doesn't go away; it moves to an online experience. So 'informational, eye-catching packaging' just needs to be seen on your screen. Given the ease with which web images can be changed in real time, perhaps this reinforces 'late customization' to allow the physical package to be printed to match the consumer's online experience only when shipping the product...?


By Robert Godwin on Jan 12, 2021

Yes, taking personalization to another level of confidence building. Image/design consistency (online thru to physical) enhanced by available consumer profile data could rise to the level of a smile and a "thank you for your purchase" at the checkstand. So, how would that personalized printed piece be created in the short time window from order placement to pick up? Technically possible, but worth the expense? I suppose you could output a sticker with the image the customer saw online and place it on an otherwise generic package. "Thank you for your toilet paper purchase Chris. Enjoy the hemorroid creme that is part of your order". It can get both invasive and creepy without the right algorithm.



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