As we close the door on 2014, it leaves behind one amazing legacy for our industry. It was the year when viral trends and internet phenomena changed the way consumers shopped, acted and communicated; if I say the words ‘ice bucket challenge’ then you’ll know exactly what I mean!
Nobody could have predicted an overnight global demand for bags of ice but thankfully, manufacturers, packaging suppliers and retailers reacted swiftly to meet the unprecedented increase in sales. And this type of sales phenomenon is not limited purely to ice.
It could be a successful Groupon offer, the Duchess of Cambridge wearing a dress from a specific designer, or a journalist recommending a product that results in a surge of clients wanting to order today, receive tomorrow.
It’s imperative that companies can react swiftly, communicate with suppliers instantly and exceed customers’ expectations, after all many of them may not have shopped with the retailer before, so get it wrong and social media will work just as fast against you as customers share news of delayed orders, bad customer service and out of stock items.
This is just one of the reasons we are experiencing a substantial shift in the ‘Right Shoring’ balance, with retailers switching from offshoring to onshoring. British packaging has never been more popular or played a more pivotal role in ensuring quick turnarounds for retailing success.
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It’s the reassurance that local suppliers can swiftly replenish stocks without long shipping times, the opportunity to meet face-to-face without the need for long flights and awkward time zones, as well as our home-grown talent for creative solutions that’s resulting in overseas orders returning to our shores.
Our ability to move fast and adapt quickly is aided by improvements in digital print and cutting technology. This has led to a marked increase in its use for pilot runs of packaging – small quantity runs which are used either to sell the concept into retailers or for a small scale launch to test the market. As well as improving the speed to market, there are no origination costs, so changes can be made post-trial or even during a trial without racking up big bills. And with more start-up businesses in the UK than ever before, this digital trend is set to continue.
An influx of new technologies are also on the horizon that will enable us to offer clients an array of materials and finishes that reflect their brand and excite their target market. This will further strengthen our ability to help retailers focus on brand-related packaging that can really influence clients’ purchasing decisions.
Attention to detail in constructional design is also providing clients with practical solutions to inherent problems. Victor’s Drinks approached BoxMart in the hope that we could improve the existing packaging of its home brew ale and cider kits. The concept of ‘just add water, wait a few days and enjoy’ was brilliant, unless the outside of the boxes got wet during the filling stage resulting in them becoming weak and prone to damage. So, we introduced reinforced board throughout the entire box, added film laminate to the outer surface and rotated the direction of the flute so that if water should touch the visible raw edges, it would simply run down the box rather than gather in the creases.
It’s all these small touches, new materials and finishes that help create truly inspiring packaging that’s irresistible to consumers. The proof is when they start to Tweet, Facebook and Instagram it for all to see.
One of our clients, Just For Tiny People, recently appeared on Dragon’s Den and experienced first-hand how national TV exposure could instantly boost sales. The company, that creates handmade children’s tepees, gained Deborah Meaden’s backing as well as 35,000 new Facebook fans and a huge influx of orders! But the company was unable to fulfil all the handmade orders before Christmas. Not wanting to
disappoint its new customers, the company took advantage of BoxMart’s stock box service and ordered 1000 hampers that were instantly filled with festive treats and despatched to customers.
And it is quick decisions like these, combined with the very best of British packaging that will help us create our own global packaging phenomenon in 2015!
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