Smart Packaging: the Revolution Starts from the Outside

“With Smart Packaging impacts your customers before you even open the box, do not you think it’s a really smart way to boost your eCommerce?”

Smart Packaging… sounds good right? Well, it’s more than a name with a hook. We know that packaging is important but technology makes it, in addition, a way to enhance our business.

What is Smart Packaging?

Although the term “smart” is sometimes used almost as a marketing claim, this is not the case at all. We talk about how, through technology, we provide the packaging or packaging of a product, with additional features that have an impact on the user’s benefit or experience.

The main thing is to take into account that we refer to packaging, that is: any container that is used to get the product to the customer and this can include everything. It would enter this definition from the box of the article in question to the inner packagings and the protective packaging of the logistics company, for example.

Then we talk about additional features through technology. Either because the box has its own attributes (a package of refrigerated chocolates or a packaging of fertilizer for biodegradable plants), or also because you can inject that functionality through external technology (imagine a box from which you can know the content without opening it thanks to the Augmented Reality).

What does the smart packaging bring?

It depends on the use we are able to make of it strategically, but what is clear is that:

# 1 – Improve the customer experience

Either because it provides some kind of special utility or because it is fun, the user finds that extra functionality that helps him and, in some way, closes the circle from the discovery phase to the purchase phase.

# 2 – Strengthen branding

Let customers associate certain technological values ​​and commitment with the user through the packaging itself.

# 3 – Generate differentiation

Many times it is difficult to find those mechanisms that make our product stand out from the competition. If we sell an article very similar to another or, directly identical, coming from the same supplier, all the tricks we can play can become definitive.

# 4 – It’s a promotional tool

If it is associated with a mechanics such as a contest or a survey it can report many benefits, help build loyalty and even generate leads.

Only with these factors, do not you think it’s worthwhile to give Smart Packaging a chance?

How to implement it

It may seem that you need an R & D team full of scientists, but that is not necessarily the case. Sometimes a simple QR code is enough that the user can read with his phone.

It is evident that, if the technology is going to be used to alter the packaging by adding autonomous functions, as in the real case of the box of refrigerated chocolates, you will need those technicians and an advanced production capacity.

If you opt for the Augmented Reality, the packaging practically does not suffer any alteration in itself. It uses a marker that can be the QR code that we mentioned or any other element, for example, the image of the logo, that when being scanned from an application triggers the interaction projecting on the container and the real environment a synthesis image that can be three-dimensional That’s right: you need to have a technical team behind with advanced knowledge.

So why did I tell you that a QR is enough? Because if you give a return to creativity can be done without having to invest in all the above (although it is really spectacular).

Behind these codes the only thing that there is a link so, for example, we can make, when being scanned, take us to a video hosted on YouTube in which there is a tutorial on how to configure / use the product. See how simple you can get to take advantage of technology by providing real value at virtually no cost.

Some examples of Smart Packaging

Surely you’re looking forward to being shown to you and that is a very good way to understand better than we are talking about and see the actual application of intelligent packaging.

Among those that directly involve the preparation we could talk about an intelligent stopper that is used to know if the milk is fresh or not without the need to test it, this is a still concept, but the confidence that can contribute to the user and save more than A sour milk drink seems like a great idea. Taken into practice, a good example would be Heineken and its cans printed with reactive ink at the temperature, which is only displayed when it is below zero degrees and the product is optimal for consumption.

We have also talked about Augmented Reality by altering the user’s environment and the packaging itself through an App. Here we find many interesting examples.

In this video you will have seen a few alternatives ranging from a simple packaging animation that you can share on social networks (generating engagement with users), to contests and games. The limit is your imagination and the technical capacity of your team, of course.

Finally, we close with another good example, Amazon and its Package X Ray. He launched it on the occasion of Black Friday 2016 and the idea, very simple, is great.

Anticipating that users would receive a large number of packages in a short time, thanks to this functionality of the App, they could know the content of each of them without having to open them. All you need to do is scan the barcode.

Would you like to join the stream of Smart Packaging? What uses do you think apply to your business?