Danaher Product Identification companies, Pantone, Esko, X-Rite and AVT launched a new study today, “Packaging and the Digital Shopper: Meeting Expectations in Health and Beauty,” uncovering primary shopper behaviors from approximately 3,000 female and male shoppers in North America, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, China and Japan. The study drives readers to better understand what shoppers want from beauty and personal care packaging, how packaging relates to their overall online shopping experience and why they return health, beauty and personal care products. Data on what shoppers like about product packaging can fuel new product designs, but knowing how shoppers want to receive products is also an important part of the narrative – allowing brands the opportunity provide consistent experiences, regardless of purchasing channel. 

Shoppers expect consistency across purchasing channels

Sixty-three percent of shoppers foresee purchasing more health, beauty and personal care products online in the next 18 months. And just because consumers are increasingly purchasing beauty products online doesn’t mean that they care less about the product packaging. Instead online and offline purchases must mirror each other, as shoppers expect continuity of brand and product regardless of where they are purchasing it; 46% of shoppers expect the images of the health and beauty products they purchased online to look exactly the same as what is delivered to their doorstep. Otherwise, they assume something is wrong with the product. In fact, 22% of shoppers surveyed who returned product based on the packaging reported that they did so because they thought the product was counterfeit or the color looked off. Therefore, quality and color consistency become more important, as they are key in preventing the expense of returned items.

Now that omnichannel shopping is increasing in popularity, brands leaders must consider using fit for purpose technologies to simplify the packaging value chain, which can help increase speed-to-market, new product innovation, and ensure quality. When the ecosystem is connected, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies can deliver more relevant products to consumers quickly and elevate shoppers’ brand experiences.

Personalization more than just a name

With 63% of shoppers agreeing that they are likely to purchase health, beauty and personal care products that are personalized for their skin/body type, companies need to start considering how to rapidly personalize products and evolve that experience for individual consumers. Personalization to the shopper will be less about putting a name on the product and more about product customization or customization of the usage instructions. If a shopper is giving up personal data on their online shopping behaviors, they expect to be told what is best for them by way of specific and tailored instructions on how to use products on their own bodies. There are also plenty of opportunities to customize colors and packaging for each individual purchasing beauty and personal care products, as some shoppers enjoy re-purposing the packaging as decor in their homes.

There are many more, juicy nuggets in the study and we hope you enjoy learning more about what consumers actually want from health and beauty packaging.

Many thanks to my co-author and research partner Shoshana Burgett for her work and insights on this report. To get your complimentary copy, click here.

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