Retail-Ready Packaging and Large Shipping Boxes
Newer trends and consumer behavior characteristics suggest that a comprehensive approach should be taken to packaging involving all supply-chain stakeholders and internal departments of an organization. What works successfully for a disparate section of a company might nor be applicable across the board. Retail-ready packaging (RRP) embraces the whole chain of supply and corporate activities in an efficient manner. In a nutshell, it presents merchandise which occupies retail stores’ trade space in its own base, packaging, appearance and sends a strong message. When implemented carefully, RRP will blend in smoothly with the rest of the shelf items in a store and boost revenue stream.
Retail ready packaging is utilized to improve merchandise appearance and acceptance, enhance impact on shopping habits and store employees. It bridges the gap between customer needs and store availability in a uniform fashion. RRP is easily identifiable from a distance whether on store shelves or in its own free-standing base. This is true for both shoppers and employees in the back room looking to restock. RRP makes items look fresher and maintain that look over time – some examples are deli items, individually wrapped produce, electronics and accessories on display stands etc. RRP can live on shelves, peg displays, stackable large shipping boxes with ad liners etc. One of its advantages for stores is that retail floor can be fully utilized by filling up corners and areas which are otherwise hard to take advantage of. What is more, it comes in its own self-contained display box which can be custom ordered to match trade floor gaps and design constraints.
Considerations for RRP involve four major players – customers, retailers, distribution centers and suppliers. While their requirements are not utterly unique and do overlap, there are some specifics from each side’s point of interest. Customers want items which are easy to find, fit well in a shopping cart and are easy to carry. Distribution centers and suppliers generally look for packaging which needs little effort to transport, load and unload and is belt-friendly etc. Stores have the longest list of requirements – the packaging should be easy to stock and restock, expiration dates clearly identifiable, outside packaging should be light, disposable, durable and not too bulky, large shipping boxes should be easy to open and stack nicely etc.
In conclusion, to improve the outcome of retail-ready packaging, retailer and suppliers must be engaged in a constant dialogue – after all this is a marketing advantage for all stakeholders in the process since their objective is to meet sales targets and fast ensure merchandise turnover. Funds for RRP should be allocated from marketing budgets if needed. To properly take advantage of RRP, a consistent approach is needed. Stores should not only alert suppliers to start sending products for a category in retail-ready packaging. In addition, the retailer should relay all requirements including backroom and distribution center specifics, shelving, setting and color etc. This would ensure better employee buy-in the process and accelerate consumer acceptance reaching financial objectives in a timely manner.