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3 Packaging Must-Haves on P.O.S. (Point of Sale)

3 Packaging Must-Haves on P.O.S. (Point of Sale)

At the point of sale, the average shopper usually devotes less than two seconds to a product. Within this short period of time, they decide whether the respective article is relevant and interesting for them or not. Brands therefore have the task of designing their packaging in such a way that the consumer is motivated to pick up the products and take a closer look even at a fleeting glance. In the following, we will describe in more detail what is important in the design of packaging for the POS.

The typical buying behavior at the POS

Marianne needs new cosmetics from the drugstore she trusts. She has a few favorite brands. So she immediately looks around at the products of these manufacturers. She doesn’t really notice the alternatives on the shelf, because she’s focused on the old familiar.

Stefan has his lunch break. As usual, he picks up his favorite snack for this time. In the supermarket, he goes straight to the appropriate section and more or less automatically reaches for the desired, long-familiar product. What surrounds this, i.e. what alternatives are available, plays no role for Stefan.

These two examples show how most people’s buying behavior looks at the point of sale. Here is an overview of the most important aspects:

– Almost everyone has favorite brands. These are usually preferred even when it comes to buying a new type of product.

– Most shoppers go on autopilot as soon as they enter the store. They take their usual route to the targeted shelf and reach directly for the product they are after. Alternatives are hardly noticed – unless they catch their eye directly during a brief, unconscious scan.

This is exactly what it’s all about for fresh brands that want to assert themselves in the market or at the POS, but also for already established brands that want to tap into new target groups by changing their design. In both cases, in order to attract the attention of the average shopper to their own products, the packaging must be outstanding in every respect.

Packaging POS examples of products on the shelf 1

1. Be disruptive

The most important thing is to interrupt the “autopilot mode” of the shopper. To do this, the packaging design should have something special about it that can’t be overlooked even if the shopper is actually focused entirely on the already familiar items on the shelf.

The packaging design provides the initial incentive to buy and establishes the connection with the brand. This is just as true at the POS as it is when shopping online. In order to attract the shopper’s attention, the packaging must be eye-catching AND interesting. Only if both are fulfilled will the consumer perhaps agree to turn off his autopilot for the time being and give the new, unknown product a chance.

Packaging POS examples of products on the shelf 2

2. Be different

Following on from the first point, a certain degree of difference is of course required to catch the shopper’s eye and draw them out of their routine buying behavior. Above all, this means that the packaging must be clearly different from the packaging of competing brands.

It is a matter of visual as well as content-related unique selling propositions that have to be made clear in an appealing way via the packaging. Incidentally, it doesn’t necessarily take colorful packaging to stand out and be different. If you look at the shelves in various markets, you can more and more often even see the stark opposite: that those who want to score points with difference should rather rely on simple, minimalist designs, because most products or packaging are currently very colorful.

In short, there are no universal rules about what makes packaging really different and sets it apart from the competition. The crucial thing is to look closely at the current market trends in each case and to find a kind of design-specific niche within the trend spectrum that creates a visual difference but still looks contemporary and trend-conscious. But with all the striving for uniqueness, one must never forget one’s own brand identity. It is important to stay true to this, otherwise the authenticity suffers.

Here are a few inspiring examples of what implementing the must-have “Be different” could look like:

– The competition focuses on attracting attention with multicolored packaging? If so, one option would be to select a distinctive packaging shape as a prominent design feature and combine it specifically with monochromaticity for added distinctiveness.

– Do the competing brands’ packaging appear plain and restrained? Then it may be worth considering extra creative and playful design elements – always assuming, of course, that such a design approach harmonizes with the character and philosophy of your own brand.

Packaging POS examples of products on the shelf 3

3. Be on point

The packaging must explain simply and precisely why the product is better than the competitors’ products. What matters most to the shopper is the added value he or she will get when deciding to buy the item.

Let us remind you once again that the average shopper only gives a product a few seconds to arouse his interest. Accordingly, brands should preferably choose ONE feature to present on the packaging front – ideally always the feature that has the most potential to convince the consumer that he will benefit more from this product. The added value can be of very different kinds. Here are a few examples:

– The product is made of a particularly high-quality material that most of the competition does not have to offer in this way? Then this information must be in a prominent position on the front of the packaging and attract the eye with eye-catching typography, for example.

– The composition of the product is more or less the same as that used by competitor brands, but the packaging unit is somewhat larger (e.g. 250 instead of 200 ml)? Then it makes perfect sense to highlight this quantitative added value in a clearly visible way.

– Another concrete, real-life example from everyday life: nut spreads made from 100 percent cashews usually have a relatively chewy consistency and tend to become firm. A young brand has taken this as an opportunity to develop a particularly fine cashew spread. On the packaging, the information “cashew puree that does not harden” and “superfine” point to this added value for the consumer.

Conclusion: convince shopper with sophisticated packagings in seconds

The shopper stands in front of the shelf and briefly skims the offer with his eyes. In less than two seconds, he makes the decision: “Yes, the product interests me.” or “No, the product does not interest me.” No question, that is little time to convince the consumer with the own packaging, but it is enough. Brands that consider the three must-haves described in this article when designing packaging have the best chance of positive attention and lasting success. We would be happy to help you get the most out of your products’ packaging so that they impress shoppers at the POS.

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As a global agency for brand and packaging design and innovation for food, non-food and OTC products in the fast moving consumer goods sector, we present the latest trends, news and insights from the packaging industry. Our interdisciplinary team with an experience of more than 1,000 projects in over 20 years keeps you up to date.
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