Do you buy your products online or at a store?
The truthful answer is you probably do a bit of both.
So why do we treat them as separate channels. Winning in eCommerce shouldn’t be a separate consideration to winning in-store and vice-versa. Our behaviours are the same.
I saw some recent data that claimed that 83% of online purchases came from people who knew exactly what they were looking for, is this not identical to how we shop in a supermarket? We buy what we set out to buy and then throw in a few extra products based on price, promotion, and in-store disruption.
Packaging design is a perfect example of where there is a distinct lack of cohesion between online and ‘bricks and mortar’. A recent study showed that base sales of products that had an optimised online pack visual rose 14-20% vs sales in store.
So, I know what you are thinking.
This proves that the requirements for these channels are different. Standing at a shelf vs browsing on a mobile means we need to communicate differently. In fact, there are probably a few marketers who have stopped reading this article and are busy briefing their online and digital teams to optimise their online packaging. Because let’s face it 14-20% online sales uplift is phenomenal.
But have you stopped for a second and thought about what this data really means from an opportunity standpoint?
What if we optimised in-store packaging and got the same uplift!
I’m yet to see a packaging design brief that doesn’t ask their agencies to communicate 3 or 4 different pieces of comms on the front of pack – whether that relates to ingredients, certification, free-from, recipe inspiration, cooking instructions, convenience, sponsorship, provenance, promotions, brand messaging. You name it, you guys want it on the front of pack.
All this really does is dilute brand visibility and erode shelf standout. Things are simple online. I want a sauce, a condiment, some cereal or maybe some streaky bacon for my Saturday morning breakfast. I find it online, check the price and add it to my basket.
Maybe, just maybe, we should look at creating holistic and simple packaging design that is identical across all channels, using mobile search as the lowest common denominator when looking at brand and product messaging on pack. Then we can focus on using other levers in-store to drive up the ROS; shopper marketing and promotions that run sequentially across online and offline as an example.