If they had their way, there would be no packaging and shoppers would be able to fully touch, smell, taste and test a product before the purchase.
Of course, there are plenty of safety, security and logistical problems that prevent this kind of shopping nirvana.
If direct-access to the product just isn’t possible, as in the case of some food and beverages, large beautiful product photography with multiple views that highlight all the products features and tactile qualities helps give shoppers a sense for the products and compels them to buy.
Imagery that conveys a visual sense of the taste, touch, texture, materials and functional experience of the product is the next best thing to direct customer interaction.
However, the smart packaging designer seeks to minimize the packaging’s interference with the shopping experience.
Giving shoppers direct access to the product through cut-out zones and clear windows where they can see and touch your product increases sell-through.
If they have to commit more time than two seconds, the endeavor is immediately judged to be time-consuming, and your product is cast aside for one that knew what to say and how to say it in a fraction of the time.
The key to closing the sale at the point-of-purchase is to get into the hands of the shopper first.
All these fears are removed if the customer can fully experience the product at the point-of-purchase.
The essence of this approach is the Two Second Rule: If a shopper can fully absorb all the important visual images and text content of the front panel within two seconds, they feel a subconscious sense of accomplishment and completion.
It’s as if they fully understand the product, what it has to offer, and appreciate its simplicity.
By the time the packaging designer gets the content, he or she has to immediately default to font sizes in the single digits to fit everyone’s contributions into the space available.
An experienced packaging designer should advise the prolific writers on the team to adopt the “less is more” approach to retail product packaging.