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Packaging Innovations: Embracing Technology for a Modern Customer Experience

Packaging Innovations: Embracing Technology for a Modern Customer Experience

All, gift box, creative packaging, gift wrapping, wrapping ideas

While your primary emphasis is on offering a product that consumers will love, there's the matter of packaging design to consider. Whether you're talking about the gifts packaging resources used at gift wrapping stores or pre-packaged items that are purchased at any number of retail locations, the right design influences whether a consumer will take a chance and try a product, or pass it over in favor of a different brand. 

Fortunately, business owners who produce and sell products have a number of resources on hand to help with package design and production. Along with older methods, there are technological advances that have made the process of creating packaging more effective than at any time in the past. Here are some examples of the technology you can employ, and why it makes sense to embrace these newer resources. 

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Examples of Today's Technology

Whether you're packaging goods for sale in large stores, operating a specialty shop of some kind, or offering various types of gift baskets and other treats, there are resources that package companies will use to help develop a design that accentuates what you're selling. Some of the technology that you may not be aware of includes: 

*Artificial Intelligence: Already in use in many industries, AI can be taught to come up with designs for boxes and many other kinds of containers. Supplying data that has to do with specifications, design ideas, and other elements can result in suggestions that form the basis for the creation of a simulation. 

*Simulation Software: It should come as no surprise that software plays a role in coming up with package designs. That's been true for a long time, but the latest generation of offerings can perform tasks that once could only be conducted by creating a prototype and subjecting it to different tests. 

With today's simulation software, it's not just about creating a virtual model of a package. It's also possible to use a series of commands to subject the model to a number of scenarios. For example, it's easier to determine the weight capacity when certain materials are used. Even factors like how many of the finished products can be stacked before anything is compromised can be identified using a simulation. 

*CAD Systems: Computer-aided design systems are also not new, but they are better today than ever. These focus on all elements of the package design, up to and including the look of the packaging. It's not just about sizing, choice of materials, and capacity. It's also about what can be done to make the package as appealing to consumers as possible. 

It's hard to think of an area where CAD doesn't have some impact. A package company can use it to custom design containers for all kinds of products, and even create color schemes, try different images and graphics, and adjust font sizes and types. There are systems today that require minimal input to come up with the initial design, then offer tools that make it easy to manually adapt or adjust that package design. 

*Smart Packaging: Sometimes called intelligent or active packaging, smart packaging involves the use of technology to aid in assessing the current condition of a package's contents. The same methods also aid in package design, in terms of including QR and bar codes in the design. The goal is to ensure the contents are stable and usable, while also helping to streamline the shipping and handling process. 

Some of the ways that smart packaging works is the use of sensors to evaluate product freshness and stability. Thanks to this innovation, products are safer for use, tend to have a longer shelf life, and ensure that using automated processes to handle order fulfillment, shipping, and storage is much easier to manage. 

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*3D Printing:  3d printing takes the process of creating a virtual package model and takes it to the next step. Using the computer generated imaging, the printer creates a three-dimensional prototype of the finished design. Unlike older methods for prototype creation, this approach can be done anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. All it really takes on your part is patience, as the printer creates the model layer by layer. 

Some consider this the final step in making decisions about package designs. With the 3d model to actually touch and examine, any remaining doubts about the design's viability can be resolved. Best of all, confirming that the model is just what's needed means the specs for mass production are now in place. 

*Use of Sustainable Materials: Technology today makes it all the easier to utilize sustainable materials in the creation of all sorts of packages and containers. For example, did you know that hemp and other plants can be utilized rather than wood fragments, often without losing any strength? 

The same is true for using recycled materials; thanks to today's technology, items that were once tossed in landfills can now serve as the raw materials for brand new packages. Thanks to this, it's possible to produce packaging that's affordable, strong enough for the job, and in general performs just as well as packaging made with materials that were never used before. 

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*Even Edible Materials: How about packaging that happens to be edible? That's a real thing these days, especially for goods that are wrapped individually. It's possible to create wrappers for small candies that are safe for consumption. They can be flavored to accompany the candy itself, making the entire experience a pleasant one. 

One of the best things about edible wrappers and packaging is that there's nothing to be thrown away. Consume at will, feel sated, and forget about looking around for a trash receptacle. With nothing to be thrown away, there's less garbage to clutter the planet. 

Why Should You Embrace These Newer Innovations?

Now that you have a better idea of the technology that package companies use these days, what do you think? Should you be wary of these newer innovations, or should you freely embrace and make use of them? Here are some of the reasons why it makes sense to put all or at least most of them to good use in package design and deployment. 

*Shorten the Process For Creating New Package Designs: While an essential element, package design has historically been a cumbersome process. Until it's finished and the goods can be packaged, nothing is going to the market. Being able to come up with a design with all the right features in a fraction of the time it used to take translates into being ready to fill orders sooner rather than later. 

*Save Time and Money on Testing Designs: No package is deployed until it's tested thoroughly, It must comply with all governmental regulations, especially those that focus on assuring the quality and security of the package contents. Thanks to the use of today's technology, responsible testing and analyzing the resulting data is easier and quicker to manage. Along with shortening the time needed, it also means more money to divert to other aspects of the business operation. 

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*Save Money on Package Production: It's not just about designed a great container for the package company to produce. It's about keeping the process simple and quick. The last thing you need is to require 10,000 packages and know it will take a week to produce them. With today's innovations, you could have that many packages ready to go in less than a day. That also means curbing overall expenses. 

*Streamline the Shipping Process: Smart packaging makes it all the easier to prepare goods for shipments, have them picked up by reliable shippers, track them through the journey to the recipient, and even make sure they remain fresh and secure at all times. Think of how that can come in handy when you have rush orders that need to arrive with no delays. 

*Sustainability as a Selling Point: Assume you own a gift wrapping store and keep all sorts of paper, boxes, and ribbons on hand. A customer comes in and wants to know if you have wrapping options that are environmentally responsible. You smile, say yes, and proceed to show the customer what you have in stock. 

Thanks to the technology that allows gift wrapping to be made using recycled materials, some of them that no one dreamed could be used even a decade ago, you've just endeared yourself to an environmentally-friendly customer. That customer will likely tell others, and they may decide you're the place to handle all their wrapping needs. 

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*Enhance Your Company's Brand and Reputation: There's a lot to be said for companies that seek out ways to use eco-friendly goods. That includes packaging as well as the actual products they sell. For some consumers, this one difference can be the reason your brand is chosen over another one. 

When people have the impression that you are committed to reducing waste, avoiding the depletion of natural resources, and want to do something that's good for the community and the world at large, loyalty to your brand increases. It's simply good business sense to use technology to help you attain all of these stated goals. 

*Pleasing Your Customer Base: A company is never successful if it leaves consumers dissatisfied. While you do want to offer a product that appeals to their needs and is consistent in quality, never assume that the packaging doesn't make much difference. When consumers are happy with both the package and the contents, they will stay with you for longer periods. That translates into healthy revenue streams and longevity in your particular market. 

The bottom line is that learning about the newest technology and how it can be used to fulfill your packaging needs is worth the time and effort. See it as one more way you meet a need in the marketplace, do some good for the environment, and increase the odds that the business will be around for a long time. 

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