As consumers grow more socially conscious, manufacturers are having to adapt. Stefan Pryor, packaging specialist for James Cropper, explores how packaging can create a socially conscious unboxing experience.
As much as consumers now expect to be impressed by packaging, not just delivery, they also increasingly expect sustainable, socially conscious production. Recent research that James Cropper conducted revealed that well over half of luxury consumers want to know that their product's packaging is eco-friendly. And all indicators suggest this trend is not going to decline.
Whether brands meet these expectations to placate the planet or their customers, or ideally both, it is pressing for us to start to address these issues head-on – today's consumers are a discerning bunch, with new considerations that can't be ignored.
But the socially conscious unboxing experience is not just a challenge, or a box to tick. Rather, this is a huge opportunity to make an even more meaningful connection with consumers at a vital touchpoint, with rewards of retention and advocacy for responsible brands.
In lieu of an in-store experience, the in-box experience of product and package have to combine to generate the 'wow'. Delivery of the goods is not enough – and expectations grow further as you move up along the spectrum from mass market to luxury or bespoke.
And it can't be denied that social conscience is now an inherent requirement of a 'wow' moment, while lack of social conscience can completely undermine that moment. We can't forget that today's shoppers are the same consumers who in a very short period did away with the plastic straw and villainised big brands for excessive packaging en-masse. Consumers are serious and they will vote with their online feet.
Consumer behaviour suggests that brands need to stop talking and start acting when it comes to their e-commerce footprint, and the materials used at the point of realisation – the unboxing moment – are a very tangible port of call where consumers and brands meet.