With how fast the world of commerce is changing, it is important for companies to stay on top of the latest trends to keep consumer interest high. The continuing advancement of technology and the intense popularity of social media have made companies realise that if they want to stay in the game, they’re going to have to keep up with what their competitors are doing and what their target customer groups want. Here are some up and coming packaging trends to help you stay in the race while growing your business:

Smaller Packaging

With shipping companies transitioning from using dead weight to dimensional weight to decide costs, smaller packaging could mean a cost savings for both the company and the customer. In the past packages were charged by weight alone, but shipping companies were finding that their trucks and planes were running out of space long before they had reached their weight limit due to large or over void-filled parcels. Nowadays the price is defined by whichever method costs more, therefore you may want consider weighing out all of your options first.

Branded Packaging

Okay, this concept isn’t new, but with ever expanding visibility thanks to technology, pictures of anything from your family to what you ate for a midnight snack are being posted online. People’s standards for digital media (and as a result, print media) are elevating year after year. Style and expression is becoming more and more important in terms of what people want in a packaging product, based on what it means to them. People are getting used to communicating through video, images and headlines, not just in the sense that they are digesting it from advertisers, but they are actually producing it themselves, creating a generation of super-savvy consumers.

The original product is not the only thing people are taking an interest in now, new and creative designs for packaging are becoming more common and more desired by the consumer as well. Customers want the entire experience to be an adventure, from receiving the package, ‘unboxing’ it, to finally unearthing the item inside. In some cases, what’s on the outside now holds just as much status as what’s on the inside. Successful companies are finding more and more ways to make that unique – whether it is an interesting design, shape of the box or how the package itself opens. Keeping up with new package designs is a must if you want your company to stay relevant.

With the entrepreneurial e-commerce boom that is taking place, secondary packaging is becoming an increasingly competitive consumer touch point. Cardboard boxes and other types of secondary packaging are becoming the next conquerable advertising space and brands are taking notice. Packages travel through the mail and pass by a lot of eyeballs before reaching their destination. Putting highly designed printed labels and other brand signifiers on packaging is a great way to get additional visibility. This is an opportunity that has been overlooked for the bulk of the industrial age. Not only that, but a little flair adds to the excitement of getting the package and ultimately doing business with the brand that sent it.

Biodegradable Packaging

The green movement continues with social media fanning the flames. Consumers have never been so conscious about the environment, and retailers have had to become so, too. With an ever increasing demand for going green, more biodegradable, recyclable and reusable materials are being sought after. For example, resealable delivery bags can be easily opened with a tear strip, and in case of a return, can be sealed again with the built-in adhesive panel, to save on waste.

Fancier Fillers

From specialty dividers, brand coloured “peanuts,” ribbons and bows to jellybeans, e-commerce retailers are becoming more creative about what comes in their boxes. Traditionally filler was used to protect a product during the shipping process. This remains true today but filler has a new role as well. From scents, to colours to even tastes, fillers are now being used to extend the experience and communicate more meaning.

And Package Daycare?

Gone are the days when people would have to sit at home and wait for their package to arrive in hopes that they wouldn’t miss it; convenience is now all for the customer, giving them the option of when and where to retrieve their items. Pickup locations are becoming ever more popular with some even going so far as to offer change rooms so the customer can try apparel items on and see if they fit and allowing them to return them immediately from the same location if they do not. From these same locations vending machines are available to purchase boxes or bubble envelopes to send a new package. Post offices are no longer the only shipping option. Pick-up/send-off locations are becoming available in gas stations and convenience stores; there are even lockboxes available where the customer is given a code to unlock the box and retrieve their purchase. Giving the customer the option of how to retrieve their package is a must in order to stay ahead of the competition.

It can often be difficult when running a business to know what the customer wants, but when it comes to packaging these helpful tips should help you stand out from the competition by taking advantage of current trends.