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Experiential packaging in e-commerce

Greg Tucker wants CPGs to know that it’s time to up the game and start making packaging more exciting.

Greg Tucker
Greg Tucker

Tucker, Chairman and CEO of Bay Cities, a manufacturer specializing in point-of-purchase displays, retail packaging, industrial packaging, in-store signage and digital printing, moderates “Pushing the Industry Forward” at Smither’s Pira’s Packaging for E-Commerce Summit, September 18-19 in Chicago.

“The biggest scare I want to make, is that brands need to get off their rear ends and start branding. Because if they don’t learn to win on shelves and win online, they are done, it’s over.” Tucker said current financials on some of the major CPGs show that revenues are flat, “but, there’s a giant surgency in private brands, those are growing. And there’s a lot of surging in new entrepreneurial companies selling online as well. Little Mom and Pops are springing up everywhere. But those big brands, they’ve got to do something.”

Technology and privacy issues will drive the direction of the industry according to Tucker, who feels that future regulations will tighten around privacy laws due to the misuse of data that is currently available. “Privacy’s going to be a very large problem for marketing and marketers to get their arms around. You’re going to see huge restrictive laws on privacy and we’ll see that happen in the next two years. We’ll see giant class action suits."

Devices like Alexa will change our shopping behaviors by monitoring our purchases and offering a quick way to order online. Said Tucker, “You’re going to see Artificial Intelligence take over for our behaviors and document our behaviors where we won’t even think to buy staples anymore. “We will buy things we need using technological devices and will shop for things we want.” Relegating the purchase of “needs” to technology would change the relevancy of packaging, since AI doesn’t care what the package looks like. “How do brands compete? How do they stand up on shelves? How do they stand up online?” said Tucker.

Experiential packaging is one solution Tucker proposes. “I believe that packaging has to offer an experience. And that’s what we see in channel marketing groups and shopper marketing. It’s got to be a lot greater than a renewable coupon, it’s got to be fun. It’s got to be something about me - maybe it should say my name on it, and let’s get personal.”

Tucker said that even though the world of digitization is “stealing” from brands using devices and technologies of digitization, that same digitization is going to really surprise and save brands with the ability to do variable print, variable data, and the kinds of mixed reality such as augmented or virtual reality. “But brands really have got to get off their rear ends and get to work, or they’re done.”

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