Many industry stalwarts and consumers alike have queried if packaging is dying because of the shift from retail stores to e-commerce. Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth, and packaging is becoming even more critical for brandowners that want to have impact in the new world of B2C.

In researching this, three key realities emerge for brands. First, consumer experience is nearly all visual until the product is received, making the first impression of a package and product much more critical than at a crowded shelf. Most decisions on “what” product to buy are made off of reviews, a computer screen, and sometimes a video; mostly mono-sensory.

Secondly, outer packaging (think brown cardboard with a smiley mark) is over 99% drab and unengaging, mainly designed to protect a product to its final destination. It is often scuffed and dirty, if not slightly squashed from the long journey. Filled with wadded paper or air pouches, the packaging of any product stands out in stark contrast to its surrounding.

Finally, the critical first impression, also known as the nanoview in packaging, is the seven (and sometimes less than 7) seconds in which your customer forms their over-arching impression of your product. In the internet sales world, this means that they will see it, pick it up, and feel the packaging in those few moments of time.

The internet age has opened up enormous possibilities for the savvy brandowner, especially those that realize that the critical first impression, including the visual and tactile (and sometimes audio or olfactory) impression of their product is hyper-crucial. Over 94% of all products fail, and brands are realizing that multi-sensory packaging is key to capturing the attention, and affections, of their internet-happy clients.