Connected packaging – which facilitates consumer engagement via a smartphone – has experienced a rise in popularity in the last 12 months, with 81% of brands stating they have used connected packaging, compared to 54% in 2022.
Technology studio Appetite Creative has released results from its second annual connected packaging survey. It also found the biggest barrier for almost half of respondents is lack of business capabilities and preparedness (48%), price (20%) and complexity (11%). A stark contrast from the results in 2022 when a third (29%) stated it wasn’t a business requirement, a mindset found in only 7% of respondents this year.
Almost half (48%) consider connected packaging important to help educate customers, which paints a similar picture seen in last year’s survey. Other valuable factors this year included direct customer interaction (45%) and using connected packaging to inform product updates or marketing decisions (42%). Data collection requirements lagged behind with a third (29%) of those surveyed considering it important.
Connected packaging is deemed increasingly important as a sustainable way to connect with and educate customers (57%) and it is perceived by almost half (44%) to be becoming the main route to communicate directly with customers. Over a third (38%) surveyed believe it encourages customer loyalty, with gamification ranking in a similar position (36%) indicating playable ads are an important route to engaging with younger audiences.
Increased sustainability pressures on packaging producers and the introduction of new EU packaging laws have positively impacted the perceived value of connected packaging. The majority (91%) of respondents agree that it helps to improve the sustainability credentials of a company, vs 80% in 2022.
“Despite the cost-of-living crisis and global economic uncertainty, investment in connected packaging experiences continues to rise,” said Jenny Stanley, managing director at Appetite Creative.
“No longer only a data collection tool, connected packaging is now a long-term customer relations and educational media channel, which helps companies navigate ever-changing sustainability requirements and inform product development and marketing decisions. Moving from a tipping point into mainstream usage this year, the perceived value of connected packaging has shifted to a business ‘must-have’.”