Article

“Phygital” Packaging. Improving Customer Experience

03 Feb 2022

Technology is always pushing the boundaries of what we think possible, slowly improving more and more industries to make our life easier.

The closest example to digital transformation we all have is as close as in our homes, since we all have smart technology at hand. However, it might not be so obvious how it has made its way into hospitals, factories or logistics. It is therefore not surprising that digital disruption has brought advances to the packaging industry as well, and we are intent on using it to improve the services we offer our clients.

At the same time, Customer experience has become the number one priority for companies. In a market where products can be acquired easily from any source, online and offline, there’s a risk for brands to be only differentiated by price. However, there is also a growing tendency where customers “stay loyal to companies due to the experience they receive”. 

In this new situation, digital applications and platforms have become very relevant in the customers’ purchasing habits, yet physical contact with the brand remains crucial for creating a great experience. Here is where “phygital” packaging plays a key role, connecting brands and customers, and that connection can be as unique as the brand owner decides. 

How can we create a “phygital” experience through packaging?

The packaging industry has undergone a transformation thanks to new tools that help us offer more versatile and unique solutions to our customers. 


Providing real-time information on the packaging journey thanks to Smart packaging

What happens to the product from the moment it leaves the factory until it gets to its destination used to be a grey area. However, today’s track and trace solutions enable us to know much more about the supply chain and what our products go through while they are in transit. The most common track and trace solutions are carried out by printing a unique Id, usually in the form of Data Matrix or QR code.


Innovative technology such as NFC or RFID can also be included in the packaging in some cases, logging environmental conditions; this is particularly important in the case of certain healthcare products, where we need to ensure temperature-sensitive treatments are not exposed or damaged. 


Creating unique packaging designs with the use of digital printing

Digital printing in packaging has been an essential tool in allowing unique designs and expanding our code-printing capabilities, saving time in our production lines and adding several advantages to the end-product. By combining digital and offset printing we are now able to add codes to almost any surface required by the clients. 


Moreover, by combining variable design and unitary codes, packaging can be as exclusive and unique as the brand owners decide. This exclusivity of the packaging enables the creation of unique experiences with customers and opens a broad range of possibilities, from patient adherence, to micro-segmented marketing and communication. 


Revealing an exclusive feature 

Creating intimacy with the consumer is one of the goals of many brands. And intimacy is achieved frequently with the unboxing of the product, when the customer opens the product for the first time. With ecommerce becoming more popular than ever, brands are really taking care with all the elements surrounding this moment: the shipping box, the label, the carton, and the leaflet. All of the elements in the packaging should be coherent and messengers of the brand essence: sustainable, creative, original, classic, luxury, practical…


And to add an extra detail, why not reveal an exclusive feature right when the pack is opened? That can be made using the packaging elements. We give you some ideas! 

  • Peel-to-read labels. By attaching a label in the product that can be peeled to show a message or a code under the main visible one, the end user will be able to connect to special contents, to join a customer loyalty programme or even to check the authenticity of the content.


  • Leaflets as brand ambassadors. With the rise of new technologies the figure of the in-store advisor has been replaced with a myriad of ways to entice and inform the online shopper. Leaflets aid the connection between consumer and provider offering advice and just the right amount of detail required to make the most of the product purchased. Also, don’t think of leaflets as just small black letters printed on white paper. Leaflets can be colourful, can include images and even special inks to make them more appealing. 


  • Reverse printing in the carton. The inside of the carton can be printed too, and when combined with an original opening design, the result can be very instagrammable. Think about encouraging messages, scannable features, personalised texts, special editions targeted regionally… 


Is improving your customer experience one of your priorities too? Let’s get the virtual and physical together, let’s create a “phygital” packaging experience! 


At Essentra Packaging we are part of the solution to your digital challenges. If you would like to know more about our services and how they can be applied to your processes, we will be delighted to give you more information: contact us