Protective packaging has evolved over time. While a lot of changes are thanks to advances in materials and other options, consumers themselves have largely steered this evolution. Not only do consumers want their purchase to arrive intact, they care about things like sustainability, environmental friendliness, and ease of use to name a few.
These considerations aren’t simply preferences, however. Protective packaging actually creates emotional responses in people. As we know, emotions strongly drive purchasing behaviors. We consider them in all other advertising and marketing efforts, so it’s important not to drop the ball here.
Packaging World’s website features Jim Butschli’s article, “Study reveals consumer emotional responses to protective packaging.” As the title suggests, it summarizes a study conducted to determine the emotional response people have to unboxing.
The study was conducted by Package Insight, and it fit 123 participants’ heads with a camera apparatus that measured over 40 facial movements. Additionally, participants responded to questions about their reactions.
For the fill itself, Butschli reported:
“Loose-fill peanuts caused the greatest amount of frustration, with approximately 18% showing irritation with the material type. On the other end of the spectrum, there was 0% frustration experienced with square-pattern bubble cushioning. Also scoring a low level of frustration were air pillows at 5.25% and paper at 3.7%.”
An extremely important takeaway, however, is how the participants responded to questions about damaged items:
“Beyond emotion tracking, survey questions explored the impact of receiving damaged items. An overwhelming 73% of participants indicated that they would be unlikely to purchase from the company again after receiving a damaged item.
Further, product protection was ranked as the ‘most important’ packaging characteristic by 80% of the respondents, as compared to sustainability and ease of product removal.”
More than anything, opening a package, or unboxing, is a significant part of your customer’s experience with both you and your product. There’s an opportunity to either generate excitement or disappoint before the product is even in your customer’s hands.
From Butschli’s article:
“‘What the study showed is that the type of protective packaging selected to ship product to the customer has far-reaching ramifications. It can amplify excitement or create frustration, and have a dramatic impact on whether or not future orders will be placed,’ said Dache Davidson, Vice President of Marketing, Pregis. ‘It’s important that companies take time to carefully evaluate their protective packaging choices and consider what impact they will have on future buying patterns.’”
If you need to improve protection and the unboxing experience, contact Packnet. Our engineers factor in your needs as well as potential hurdles when designing packaging solutions. You can get a free assessment or talk to us directly: 952.944.9124