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Packshots – the importance of virtual packaging in the digital world

Packshots – the importance of virtual packaging in the digital world

It wasn’t so long ago that product information simply belonged on the packaging – and that was that. Consumers usually made their purchasing decisions on site in the store, where they could view and touch the goods from all sides. Based on this direct “sensory” experience, it was easy for them to select a product. They threw the chosen item into the shopping cart and were satisfied.

In our modern, Internet-driven world, things are definitely different. It’s true that consumers still use shopping carts and shopping baskets – but these are now often 100 percent digital, and the trend is rising. In the online store, consumers logically do not have the opportunity to get to know the respective products directly with their hands; instead, they are entirely dependent on visual impressions.

It goes without saying that these visual impressions have to convince, to inspire, in order to motivate consumers to decide to buy the products. In this context, pack shots play an important, if not THE most important role. The photographic images of the packaging provide consumers with the information that is crucial for their choice – and this information can be positive, but also negative:

– If the packshot is high quality, the product will also appear high quality to the customer.
– If the pack shot is inferior, the product will appear inferior to the customer.

It’s as simple as that. But what exactly makes a packshot high quality or low quality?

It depends on several aspects. Basically, the following must be taken into account: Packshots usually have a much smaller format than the real, “tangible” packaging. Despite their small size of often only a few centimeters, however, the shots must at least reflect the four most important pieces of information about the product:

– Brand
– designation
– Variant (e.g. what flavor, what color, etc.)
– Quantity (how much is in it?)

Each of these details must be clear to the viewer sitting in front of their laptop, tablet or smartphone screen thinking about making a purchase. This refers to the image motifs as well as the textual elements. It is also important that the colors come out realistically and well. The essential details can be brought out in the best possible way through the targeted use of light.

As an interim conclusion, a professional photographer who specializes in this field is indispensable for first-class pack shots. However, in addition, the basic packaging design must already be “photogenically” elaborated.

Nowadays, no success-hungry online retailer can do without very high technical image quality. But: it is only one part, a basic requirement that most operators of online stores now meet. What really counts in the end is whether the packshot reaches the customer emotionally.

There are good ways to evoke positive emotions in the consumer. One of the best is to make the product more tangible to him through computer-based 3D packshots. The all-round view gives him the feeling he is familiar with from direct contact with the product in the store.

Alternatively, or even better, it is advisable to show the visitor to the online store a real situation literally in front of his eyes. The best way to do this is to put the products and their packaging into a practical context. Here are two examples of what such packshots might represent:

– show a consumer holding the product or its packaging in his hands and/or taking the product out of the packaging (keyword unboxing)

– show a consumer using the product (e.g. adding Maggi sauce to soup).

Clearly, it is important that the actor on the packshot expresses mimic authentic joy to suggest to the consumer who is looking online that this product is fun and will also be fun for him if he decides to buy it.

Last but not least, it is also a matter of ideally staging the excellent pack shots in the digital world. Here, it is important to think carefully about where which shots should be presented and in what size, so that they catch the customer’s eye and attention without appearing obtrusive.

So let’s summarize: The better the quality of the pack shots as well as the digital presentation in a comprehensive sense, the more positively the packaging, the product and the brand are perceived. This, in turn, has a desirable effect on sales.

Always remember: you can have an ingenious product, fantastic packaging – if these assets are not shown to their best advantage digitally, then the product will go unnoticed online. If we now consider that Internet commerce has been in constant growth not just since Corona, such a scenario would be a real business disaster.

In other words, give packshots the importance they deserve and you will be successful!

About Berndt+Partner Creality
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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