Bricks v Clicks: Flexo printing for the next generation of retail

25 Jul 2018
Clicks vs bricks

The retail industry is in a heightened state of flux. The development of brick to click to e-commerce, m-commerce and back again via a-commerce is sweeping over brands, retailers and converters with a tsunami-like force. In some cases, this leaves businesses riding the wave of multi-channel success. Or more often than not, it results in them being swept along with the current, without tangible strategy updates to grab on to.

Until recently, brands and retailers have struggled to unite bricks and clicks commerce into one cohesive brand experience which makes sense to the consumer. However, there is a definite sense of change on the horizon as on and offline businesses begin to merge their products and services and change their models to adapt to a new retail climate. And it’s one in which the consumer is calling the shots.

So, the question for us is not really how the print and packaging industry can adapt to bricks v clicks but how it can adapt to the challenges presented by next generation, hybrid retailing. We look at three key trends set to shape the industry and how the industry should prepare to adapt.

Augmented Reality – the blending of brick and click

In the last few weeks alone, we’ve read about the introduction of facial recognition in 7-Eleven, BingoBox’s RFID-enabled staffless store and MasterCard’s smart mirror, a ‘virtual personal shopper’ that takes payment. All of which are set to change the face of retail as we know it by empowering the consumer with a completely autonomous experience.

Imagine using your smartphone as part of an immersive in-store experience that enables tailored reviews and cashless payment options and you get the idea.

E-commerce – extending the brand presence

There was a time, not so long ago, when shopping online and instore were very different experiences. The consumer might use e-tailers for non-grocery goods, yet still visit the local supermarket for their groceries. However, in recent years we’ve seen mergers between online and offline businesses like Amazon and Whole Foods and Sainsbury’s and Argos.

Think a more joined up experience for the consumer. Mountains of superfluous packaging should now be a think of the past as brands take greater control over pack aesthetics and messaging as part of the overall purchasing experience.

Online Review – the consumer calls the shots

Let’s not forget to put elements like influencer marketing and online reviews into the mix too; online reviews impact purchasing decisions for over 93% of consumers. This coupled with the fact that trust in brand marketing is at an all-time low, contributes to changing consumer interactions with virtual and physical retail channels. How often, as a consumer yourself, have you entered a store and Googled the latest reviews on a product before a) making your purchase or b) deciding it’s cheaper online and gone home to order it instead?

Picture a more tailored and transparent review experience that relates to (and is not completely isolated from) the instore experience.

So how should the print and packaging industry adapt to these trends?

2018 is the year the bricks v clicks battle begins to come to an end and starts to transform into a hybrid experience that really works for the consumer. Brands and retailers will develop experiences based on what they know the consumer wants, rather than just what the latest technology can provide.

With this in mind, it’s never been more important for packaging to have standout shelf appeal and innovative qualities to make its mark in the augmented landscape. The need for sharp, clear and robust print on labelling is also key, due to blended retail displays in which the wares of multiple brands collaborate.

Flexo customers making use of our AWPTM-DEF/DEW Asahi water washable plate and DuPontTM Cyrel FAST EASY EFE plate will benefit from crystal clear quality with less production time. And of course, sustainability is kept at front of mind with our flexo plates, neither of which require solvent washout in production. We believe that consistently high-quality will give our customers the edge when it comes to the next generation of retail packaging.

Are you ready? Why not contact us to find out more about ability to support your business today.

Questions?
Contact us on +44 (0) 1327 312444  or info@creation-repro.com
and we’ll be happy to help