Whether you talk of fresh food items, dry groceries, machine parts, furniture or hardware, every product needs to be well packaged. The type of packaging best suited to a product depends on a number of factors including cost of the product, perceived value, size, fragility, shelf life etc. Thus, there are a number of materials that can be used to package a product such as paper, polythene, corrugated cardboard, cartons, shrink wrap and pallets.
Why do you need Packaging?
The most obvious reason to package a product carefully, is to protect it while it moves from the factory floor to the retail shops and then to the customer’s house. However, this is not the only reason to focus on packaging. Packaging plays an important role in a customer’s decision making process. The way a product is packaged is the first interaction many customers have with the product and hence this plays an important role in creating a first impression. A well packaged product speaks of attention to detail and helps build trust in a brand name.
Packaging is also important from a marketing perspective. This is because whilst the product itself may offer limited space for branding, a carton or sleeve allows a much larger space for branding thus making the brand name more visible. When it comes to wholesale packaging, cartons are usually left plain. However, it is still possible to brand the cartons by using printed carton tape.
How to Choose the Right Packaging Material
The wrong packaging can put a customer off the product. The first step to packing a product is to select the right material. There are many factors that must be considered when picking packaging materials. These include:
Type of Product- While dry groceries need to be packed in such a way so as to be visible to customers and yet protected against natural elements; product visibility does not matter when packing hardware items or machine parts. A few other product characteristics to keep in mind are sensitivity to light and moisture, shelf life and reaction to other materials.
Cost of the Product- The cost of packaging a product should be in direct relation to the cost of the product and should not exceed it. Thus, whilst clear, polythene bags are sufficient packing for disposable plates, bone chine needs to be packed in boxes with cushion packaging.
How the products are to be shipped- To a certain extent wholesale packaging also plays a role in determining the right material for retail packaging. For example, if the products are going to be packed in a larger carton, puncture resistance is not a high priority. However, if the products are going to be stacked on a pallet, this is a factor that will need to be considered.
Common Types of Packaging
Paper is the cheapest and most ecofriendly way to package a product. Paper is often used in the form of boxes to package low cost items such as stationery or in the form of paper bags for fast food and other consumables.
Polythene bags are the most preferred form of packaging for products such as dry groceries and liquids. This is because it is transparent thus allowing the consumer to see the product being purchased and protects the food items from natural elements.
Rigid plastic may be used to package both consumables and non-consumables. This is a chosen packaging material when the product needs to be visible to the consumer and yet protected against shocks and being accidentally dropped etc.
When it comes to large products such as furniture, it is not possible to fit the piece into a carton. Hence, such products are usually wrapped in corrugate sheets to protect them against bumping into other things or being dropped accidentally.