headline press information

Date 31st January 2012 / www.procarton.com
Title Scenario 2012
Text One megatrend has dominated this decade: the digitalisation of marketing communications. At present many of the applications are still stand-alone, but they may well be linked in future. In addition to digitalisation, the other two major trends in 2012 will be: discounts and sustainability. A scenario for 2012 for the packaging industry, compiled by Pro Carton. For download in print quality, please click on the photo.

"The journey has only just begun", according to the UK's trade research institute IGD ("Institute of Grocery Distribution"). "Key to the continuing growth will be shoppers gaining familiarity with tablet and Smartphone technology and taking advantage of its functionality. This functionality is increasingly multi-faceted with the Smartphone becoming an essential tool for customers and retailers to engage with one another. This year has seen much investment by retailers in mobile enabled transactional sites with the launch of many new shopping apps and further innovation is in the pipeline." The evidence is clear: online technology is very much a two way interface allowing retailers and manufacturers to gain in-depth insight from shoppers that can help steer development.

The customer on the Net
The number of applications is truly multi-faceted. First, there is the direct contact between the manufacturers of branded goods, the retail trade, and consumers. "An increasing number of manufacturers are using Facebook to gain direct feedback on their products and trial innovation, with Kelloggs and Walkers already using the platform to trial new product flavours", reports IGD. To inform customers of their own special offers, the retail trade has started offering apps of their own. Comments IGD: "The online model is increasingly flexible with technological advances presenting huge potential for retailers who can benefit from the Internet revolution. Digital proximity marketing, for example, is one exciting concept that offers a new means of engagement for smaller stores to attract customers that have signed up to receive text promotions when close to a store." An app from Aldi, for example, allows shoppers to view weekly special buys and create shopping lists.

"What is available online, must be on call via the Smartphone", is the conclusion of the new German study "Go Smart", which was commissioned by the mail order house Otto. When using the media, users no longer differentiate between stationary and mobile – multi-channel offers including Smartphone are expected as standard in 2012.

Digital codes on packaging leads directly to orders or connects the Point of Sale with information on the offer. Multichannel buying will be faster and more streamlined, with less time in lines and shorter waits for online shoppers. Some supermarkets are setting up displays where shoppers scan QR codes for the items they want, then have them delivered or pick them up in-store. We'll also see click-and-deliver for in-store shoppers who want different sizes, shorter waits or less heavy lifting. "What counts is intuitive handling, speed and simplicity", explains Alastair Bruce, Director Retail Google Germany.

Improving access to online services is just one element of the digital equation. Increasingly important are new delivery solutions such as Tesco's trial of drive-through stores and store collection points to make online more convenient for customers. "As e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailing integrate and overlap, shopping will entail simply clicking – buying products from a PC or mobile device – and then collecting the order at a physical location or having it immediately delivered", state the researchers into the future at JWTIntelligence, part of the global JWT Network, one of the largest marketing and communication agencies in the world.

Stationary screens will also take on new tasks. JWTIntelligence regards "Screened Interactions" as one of the ten megatrends in 2012: "More and more surfaces are turning into screens, and the number of interactive screens is growing. Touching them will become normality, as will speaking – interaction with public screens will become part of daily behaviour. At the same time technology opens up new avenues for informing and motivating customers, creating new purchasing incentives." For example, the upscale New York luxury store Barneys has a restaurant with 30 individual screens on a large glass table. Guests can order digitally and surf through the catalogues while eating. Retailers are placing interactive touch screens in and outside stores to provide customers with a more immersive and engaging experience even after hours.

Despite the overpowering trend towards digitalisation, other developments are not at a standstill. One of the developments in 2012: price consciousness stays on the up and up. "Shopper appetite for discount stores is strong and growing", confirms IGD. With many households feeling the squeeze from rising living costs and static wages at best, finding cheaper ways to shop has been a growing focus, and discounters have been a key beneficiary. The discounters continue to improve their offers, for example by progress with fresh product or delivery services.

New types of saving are joining the traditional forms. JWTIntelligence views this as being a megatrend in "new normality": "More brands in diferent sectors are adapting to extremely price-sensitive consumerism. Slimmed down offers, smaller pack sizes and easily available products and services are the trend." And IGD takes the same line: "Food and beverage brands are swinging in the opposite direction from the mega-size and bulk offerings they have targeted at budget-savvy consumers: Smaller sizes at minimal prices will target extremely const-sensitive customers in the developed world."

Shopping locally and more frequently is a growing trend. The channel has benefited from changes in demand with many consumers preferring to shop 'a little and often'. This may be because they want to reduce their headline grocery bill by shopping more frequently or because they prefer the convenience of shopping locally and want to avoid the expense of travelling to an out-of-town superstore where the broader product offer may tempt them to spend more.

The trend towards sustainability has multiple implications on packaging. Many consumes want to know exactly where a product originates from: We'll see more about the "making of" as consumers' expectation of Radical Transparency from brands and content creators evolves to include interest in the process behind the product. This inlcudes the environmental aspect: "The environmental effects of our consumer behaviour with regard to food is becoming an important topic, last not least because brands, governments and NGOs are creating greater awareness," writes JWT.

With increasing environmental awareness, sensitivity towards waste is also on the increase. This can prove to have an economic advantage for the supply chain according to IGD: "Strategies for preventing waste in the supply chain will gain traction as businesses realise the financial benefits of better efficiency. Waste between factory in-gate and till is often the unintended consequence of decisions made, for example, about product and packaging design, range, stock life, service levels, capacity or incentives. Trading partners and marketing, commercial and operational teams must work together to root out the causes and make changes to minimise waste."


JWT, 100 Things to watch in 2012.

JWT, 100 Things to watch in 2012.

User 2012

User 2012, © „Go Smart“, www.trendbuero.de


Suzanne McEwen +43 1 218 6918 mcewen@procarton.com
Background Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard to brand owners, the trade as well as designers, the media and politicians as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium.