Digitization at P.O.S.
With the comprehensive transformation of the economy towards the digital, packaging is also increasingly assuming the role of multimedia communicators. Customer loyalty through entertainment promises good results, but also brings new challenges for brand manufacturers and packaging developers.
The Swedish fashion chain H&M has recently started testing a new variant of voice commerce at the P.O.S. In its flagship store at Times Square in New York, the company uses a combination of voice control and face recognition to interact with customers via large-format mirrors and to build a bridge between the store and the Internet business, boost omni-channel sales and increase the number of newsletter subscribers. (For more information, see “Best of Social-Media” below).
Christian Bärwind, Industry Leader Retail at Google Germany speaks of a dawning “Age of Assistant”. Without question, packaging will play a central role in the digital transformation at the P.O.S.
At Berndt+Partner Creality, we focus our operational activities on three development fields, which we present to you: Workflow, E-Commerce and Smart Packaging.
The integration of flexible printing and decoration technologies into packaging processes enables eye-catching, “unique” designs that attract attention at the POS as well as among consumers and the media. Recent examples include the elitist Absolut Vodka Limited Edition, in which 4 million bottles are sprayed in a unique manner, or the “everyday product” Nutella, in which the jars are dressed in individually unique sleeves produced by digital printing.
The demands placed on packaging are changing in the age of online trading. Zalando, for example, shows how to do it well. Here, the product is delivered in a corrugated cardboard box that is easy to open and design, with the interior also designed to be brand-compatible and attractive. Another positive example that takes advantage of the opportunities offered by e-commerce is the wet razor start-up Morning Glory. On request, customers can have the product delivered fresh to their homes every morning in a pragmatic hybrid packaging (half product and half transport packaging). You can find out more about this topic in our website article.
With regard to digital transformation, we distinguish 2 basic areas in Smart Packaging.
- The packaging is exclusively equipped with a graphic code (e.g. QR Code) that provides additional information in interaction with a Smart Device / Smart Phone. This information can provide information about the product, its composition, origin or handling or provide impulses towards leisure fun and experience value.
- The package itself is equipped with an electronically oriented energy source (e.g. solar cell), power line (e.g. E-Ink) and output medium (e.g. polymer display).
In the first area, augmented reality technology has made a name for itself, as in the case of Lego packs, for example, which show how the Lego model looks with the help of the corresponding code and an output medium/monitor on site at the P.O.S.
The second area is currently dominated by prototypes – such as folding cartons with a display in the lid, which were presented by Edelmann at Interpack 2017 – or are used in the limited scope of elite promotional packages.
Innovative use of printable electronics, such as that used by Karl Knauer for the luminous and flashing Coca-Cola bottle, is an “in-between thing”.