The end of the corner shop

The impact of digitisation on packaging systems

The kind of shopping experience with which people in their mid-30s grew up has long ceased to exist. Small grocery shops have been replaced by big chains. Supermarkets are dominated by a wide diversity of brands, covering numerous products, and pricing takes place via barcodes, permitting day-to-day price variations. There have been a large number of radical changes – yet this is only the beginning. POS marketing is a new buzzword with which companies and also the software developers at Global Standards One (GS1 Germany) want to help manufacturers – especially brand manufacturers – to create new forms of product presentation and thus new stimuli for impulse buying at the point of sale (POS).
Specially developed knowledge centres provide participants with examples of how a customer’s responses can be directly impacted through the product display and packaging presentations. Observations centre around the customer and their behaviour in a supermarket.
Prior to manufacturing and placement, realistic case studies can generate ideas for the design and arrangement, ensuring the best possible profit maximisation. Photo: GS1 Germany.

Prior to manufacturing and placement, realistic case studies can generate ideas for the design and arrangement, ensuring the best possible profit maximisation. Photo: GS1 Germany.

Shopping experience of the future

Virtual shopping passages are available, as well as realistic shelves and shopping trolleys. Using special apps, it is possible to obtain highly specific additional details about the origin or sustainability of a product or package and to call up this information directly on site. Shopping vouchers can be scanned in automatically at the cash desk, providing discount, and the value of a voucher can be increased even further when the customer issues recommendations or passes on their coupons to friends. This creates a greater buying incentive for consumers, while increasing the manufacturer’s clientèle. Supermarkets are currently putting a major emphasis on service in many areas. For instance, fruit and vegetable scales will suggest suitable recipes to customers during the weighing process.
Scan in first, pick up later: The idea of a virtual shopping wall for Vodafone staff was created in 2013. Photo: Christof Kerkmann

Scan in first, pick up later: The idea of a virtual shopping wall for Vodafone staff was created in 2013. Photo: Christof Kerkmann

Understanding the customer’s preferences

Where are the best locations for goods? This can be measured in so-called hot zones. The relative footfall in specific aisles can be saved and evaluated, and the same is true for the directions where consumers direct their glances. Modern eye tracking techniques are available, following the movements of pupils and recognising straightaway which items are found quickly and which take a long time. Finally, setting up blank stand-up displays, owners of grocery shops can find out the impact of a display at the POS from a virtual perspective. Using an app, the relevant display can be filled on a tablet and then suitably adjusted in layout and size before production has even started.

Smartphone shopping

Anyone who wants to avoid the aisles of a supermarket or reduce the length of a planned shopping expedition will enjoy this new form of grocery shopping whereby goods are displayed on extra-large screens. The consumer can find all the relevant products as if they were on a real shelf, photograph them with their smartphone and then use their phone to order, pay and request delivery. All products are networked together in the background, under the relevant trader’s merchandise management system.
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