What Is Retail Packaging?

Retail packaging is the way items are presented to the consumer for purchase. Packaging materials and treatment of the packaging will vary according to the contents. In bulk packaging, smaller amounts of product may be taken from larger wholesale packaging before making it available to retail customers. Factors in choosing retail packaging include:

  • Packaging needs of the retail industry: Product packaging must present both the contents and the company in a trustworthy light. Marketing must be balanced with a mind toward the consumers’ concern with green, sustainable practices.
  • Methods of retail packaging: Keeping the contents safe from tampering, damage, and spoilage is vital.
  • Product types: The method of retail product packaging varies widely from cosmetics to over-the-counter-medicine to toys.
  • Retail packaging at Econo-Pak: Deep expertise with product packaging engineering sets Econo-Pak apart from other packaging services.

Market Needs

What drives the need for product packaging in the retail industry? Without brand recognition, your product is just another in a sea of similar items. Your packaging must catch the eye of consumers and give them a reason to pick your product over another.

What type of stores is this important for?

  • Grocery stores: People are busy and tend to pick what they know, unless given a good reason to reconsider.
  • Cosmetics stores: The opportunity is huge to entice customers away from their go-to beauty brands with the right point-of-sale marketing and packaging.
  • Dollar stores: If all the pricing is identical, appearance of value and quality set an item apart.
  • Home or hardware stores: Engaging, informative packaging that differentiates a product from similar products can make all the difference between a sale or a pass.

For the best customer experience in these markets, everything from design to branding to materials of the packaging must be cohesive and thoughtful. Informed consumers expect clear and concise information on nutrition, serving size, or quantity, as well as directions for usage. They also expect materials that consider the effects on the environment, consumer health, and waste reduction.

Some design considerations to keep in mind:  

  • Flexibility vs. rigidity: The weight and composition of the contents dictate whether the container should be firm or flexible.
  • Preservation of shelf life: The choice of packaging can protect against contaminants that cause spoilage of the contents.
  • Branding: Understanding your brand and communicating that successfully to the target audience requires being on-trend.
  • Ease of storage: Consider whether your product packaging choices require specialized shelving, hangers, or other methods of storage; also consider how easily your product can be transported.

Finally, there are regulations and guidelines that must be followed for retail packaging. They include The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act and Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulation. Additional regulatory oversight is based on the industry.

Retail Packaging Methods

Retail markets that require packaging considerations are: 

  • Cosmetics/personal care products: Trends in artwork, font, and colors, as well as FDA regulations, are important within this segment.
  • Toys: Package quality is a critical element of the sale. It must be child-safe, free of harmful chemicals, like BPA, hygienic, eco-friendly, and sustainable.
  • Electronics: Packaging must protect from static discharge or magnetic interference and insulate against damage from shaking, jarring, or dropping.
  • Entertainment products: Unique, attention-grabbing, memorable features are a must for entertainment products.
  • Clothing: The customer should be able to see the item without opening the package. Clear windows or transparent, recyclable bags are a current trend.

Some common methods used to package these/other products are:

  • Vertical form fill sealing: bags and seals
  • Auger filling: funnels bulk products into packages
  • Cartoning: forms cartons, such as those used for milk

Custom & Contract Retail Packaging Services From Econo-Pak

Econo-Pak understands how retail packaging can attract customers, protect your product investment, and build a brand. Our design and engineering team can work with you to customize your packaging for a full spectrum of products. Contact us today for a quote.