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MeadWestvaco study reveals effects of product packaging on buying behaviour

The study intended to gauge the impact of packaging on consumer purchasing behaviour, brand loyalty and overall product satisfaction.

It's not just the product quality but also the way it is packaged that influences buyers to return, suggests Packaging Matters, the second edition of the study by MeadWestvaco, a leading packing and packing solutions company. The study intended to gauge the impact of packaging on consumer purchasing behaviour, brand loyalty and overall product satisfaction. The study took the view of 7,665 consumers spread across 10 countries such as Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and USA.

Packaging Matters

According to the study, 65 per cent of consumers in India have bought a product for the first time from the retail shelf because of attractive packaging. About 55 per cent have bought a product again, courtesy the packaging and 50 per cent of consumers have moved to other brands as they did not like the new packaging of the product.

The study states the pivotal role packaging plays in brick-and-mortar as well as online shopping of consumers. Interestingly, consumers' satisfaction with packaging is low across the world. In India, mere 17 per cent of consumers are satisfied with packaging, while globally the dissatisfaction level is much higher at 89 per cent.

While products apparently get the appearance aspect of packaging right, there is deep dissatisfaction about the functional aspect of packaging. Consumers judge the functional aspects of a product's packaging, irrespective of category, based on protection from spilling and ease of opening.

Interestingly, fragrance packaging has reported the highest percentage of consumer satisfaction.

Some of the shopper feedback reflected in the study reveal that 41 per cent of consumers researched more information about a product based on its packaging, while 40 per cent became 'Friend' or became a fan of a brand/company on social networking sites. About 39 per cent of consumers indulged in writing an online review, where they took note of the packaging, while 36 per cent wrote about the product on social media. All this, based on the product's packaging.

Commenting on the study's findings, Gautam Sircar, country head and managing director, MeadWestvaco India, says, "Packaging plays a significant role as a medium in today's marketing mix; right packaging is critical in the purchasing journey. It is important that brand owners recognise its significance and invest in getting it right, as it directly impacts the sales." He added that considering the fast changing consumer dynamics in the country, the company is attempting to elevate the product experience by offering efficient and innovative solutions.

Some other findings include Japan witnessing the lowest satisfaction across categories, while Chinese consumers are more dissatisfied overall with packaging than the global average.

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