The perfect package for adapting to changing consumer demands

Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding and for producers and smaller retailers, meeting these demands can be a challenge. Rob Brown, Senior Manager Business Development, Industry Print at OKI Europe Ltd, outlines the steps these businesses can take to benefit from this growing trend
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused disruption to businesses on an unprecedented scale. According to one recent report, nearly 80% of businesses have been impacted by the pandemic, regardless of their size1. Its findings also show that no business type is impervious to the impact of the pandemic.
Across Europe, retail has been one of the hardest hit industries. Those that were unable to adapt to changing circumstances or rethink their business model fast enough will have struggled to overcome the pressures that have been placed on them over the past 12 months. 
While many retailers including producer retailers have turned to online sales, e-commerce shouldn’t be regarded as a silver bullet that will solve all problems. Transitioning to such a model brings with it operational challenges smaller businesses may not have needed to consider previously, from packaging and shipping to pick and pack stock management. Furthermore, listening, understanding, and responding to consumer demand is an increasingly necessary step that could help stabilise businesses following these uncertain times.  

Going green and getting personal

Consumers are becoming more demanding when it comes to a brand or retailer’s green credentials. According to Smurfit Kappa, 41% of online fashion shoppers have become more eco-conscious when buying the latest fashion online since the pandemic began. What’s more, 35% say they would not make an online purchase from a fashion company if they found its packaging wasn't eco-friendly2
Clearly, the demands of eco-conscious consumers need to be taken seriously. Switching to eco-friendly packaging could help retailers drive customer loyalty as well as capture new business. However, doing so could be challenging given the pressures retailers are already under to survive. 
Personalisation and customisation are growing consumer trends that have been widely and successfully promoted by high profile brands including Coca Cola and Toblerone that have both featured popular first names on their product packaging. Yet, less than a third of retailers say they are prepared to adapt to the consumer demand for personalisation and over a fifth say they are not prepared at all according to OKI’s Retail Visions for the Future 2020 -2023 Report. With 70% of consumers willing to pay more for personalised products3, how can retailers and producers ensure they take advantage of shifting consumer preferences?

The barriers to profiting from consumer demand  

The consumer demand for personalisation and customised orders is creating new revenue opportunities in the packaging market. The European Brand & Packaging Design Association reports that 63% of leading brand owners, retailers, suppliers, agencies, and packaging professionals feel personalised packaging increases sales and 52% say it positively impacts customer loyalty3.
When it comes to making eco and personalised packaging available, there are a few common challenges that can prevent particularly smaller boutique producer retailers from doing so. This includes the costs and lead times associated with using third party creative and print suppliers, as well as the requirement to order high print volumes when often retailers only require small batches of packaging, inevitably leading to wastage. 
However, with the right technology in place, boutique retailers and producers can adapt their operations quickly and cost effectively meeting customer demands and improving their bottom line.

Adapting on-demand

To capitalise on this consumer trend without negatively impacting their existing operations, one option for producers and retailers is to consider managing the end-to-end process of printing eco-friendly, personalised, or customised packaging and labels in-house, on-demand. In turn this can improve agility and efficiency, supporting online orders to keep sales coming in, whilst also saving the business money. 
With the ability to print packaging and labels in-house, retailers can react quickly to new or changing regulations, consumer demands, as well as market and seasonal trends, helping to attract and retain customers. Investing in a compact, user-friendly digital production printer that has the proven ability to print in professional quality on a range of different materials will also help the business to create and adapt visual in-store communications which will be important to reflecting government guidance as and when it changes, or promote the latest must-have items as soon as new trends emerge. 

Create, print and profit

Designed with producers and retailers in mind, OKI’s Pro9000 Series 4 and 5 colour digital production printers empower businesses to take total control of their printing by enabling them to print small-volume packaging such as pouches, paper bags, seed packets and boxes in-house and in-store.
Producers and retailers using the Pro9000 Series can also print personalised cards, envelopes, and stationery, as well as product tags, labels, banners, brochures, leaflets, stickers, and window signage. A single device offers a multitude of opportunities to promote their brand and offer customers new services.
The Pro9000 Series features OKI’s award-winning digital LED technology, delivering deep, vibrant colours, great solids and high colour density, printing even the most intricate designs directly on a surprisingly diverse range of eco-friendly materials.
Importantly, the Pro9000 Series is designed to provide businesses with low total cost of ownership, has zero set up costs and a relatively low upfront investment. What’s more, no internal expertise is required to operate the printer. The ability to print as little as one item if needed means wastage is also eliminated. 
Whether a boutique retailer or producer is thriving or merely surviving in the current climate, the OKI Pro9000 Series minimises costs and opens up new opportunities to create, print and profit from consumer demands, improving customer satisfaction, driving loyalty and repeat orders while increasing agility as the business landscape continually shifts. 

Find out how OKI’s digital production printers can help energise your retail operations. Request a callback and receive a free* personalised print sample.
*Terms & Conditions Apply

  1. This offer is provided by OKI Europe Limited (“OKI”) and is valid from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2022.
  2. The offer is conditional upon you requesting and receiving a callback from an OKI Representative.
  3. The offer is limited to 1 print sample per business or individual, on a first come first served basis, while stocks last. 
  4. To participate, your registered office (or for individuals your address) must be located in EMEA.
  5. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age to benefit from this offer.
  6. The offer is subject to the laws and exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  7. OKI reserves the right to amend, extend or terminate this offer without prior notice.
Please note, for information on specific media that should be used with OKI printers for the applications specified on this page, please contact your local certified dealer or contact us.

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