The importance of packaging design

According to estimates, 70% of all final purchasing decisions are taken at the point of sale (Nordfält, 2006). Even when making  basic or repeat shopping trips, most people do not use or follow a shopping list.

Packaging communication reaches shoppers just at the decisive moment when it can have a huge effect on their purchasing decisions – in a  more direct way than out–of-store marketing communication. Packaging has the potential to drive traffic, improve conversion rates and  increase basket size – all of the metrics that are important for the retailer.

Given this potential, you would expect packaging and packaging design to be a top priority for both brands and retailers. But surprisingly, packaging and packaging design are often neglected, both in terms of budget and in terms of management attention. Packaging related decisions are sometimes based on intuition and creative talent rather than on facts and the reality that will face the packaging design in store. Many of these decisions does not have a systematic link to the in-store environment, shopping behavior and the competitive landscape in the category.

It’s time to upgrade the importance of the choice of packaging and packaging design. This is probably the most valuable asset a brand has in respect of reaching the shopper in-store.


The Shopper Marketing article series from Ecolean shares interesting shopper insights from the FMCG world. We also share some tips on how to leverage packaging in the in-store battle.