Navigating the New Digital “Normal”
The global marketplace is experiencing mass disruption: constant rapid changes in shopper expectation and behavior coupled with advancements in digital technology afford modern consumers unprecedented access to information, driving wide-spread behavioral shifts. Brands are facing increased pressure to align with these expectations that are in constant flux.
In today’s complex retail environment — where in-store interactions are increasingly being traded for the convenience of e-commerce — brands have limited time and opportunity to engage. As a result, standing out on the shelf is more crucial than ever.
As store footprints shrink, packaging must play a more impactful role in driving conversion. Demand for rich product engagement in-store (through innovative displays, enhanced in-store experiences and digital technology) has risen exponentially as e-commerce grows and permeates consumers’ daily shopping routines. To stay competitive, it is imperative for brands to convey their identity and functionality with engaging, eye-catching in-store experiences that resonate with consumers’ expectations.
However, brick-and-mortar is not the only channel facing disruption. The rapid adoption of mobile commerce is also accelerating real-time change in the e-commerce landscape. With the simple swipe of a finger, mobile ordering provides instant gratification and reinforces the culture of impulse — creating unique challenges for the entire “supply chain.” In its most recognizable form, this culture of impulse has seeded platforms like Amazon Prime Now, in-store pick-ups and third-party delivery services that are changing expectations for retail access. Once niche offerings for early-adopters, these platforms are now mainstream and come with a new set of challenges for packaging. Security, product integrity, new shipping formats…the list will continue to grow, as mobile commerce advances.
The WestRock Difference
To combat these disruptions, WestRock provides a unique consultative approach backed by insight-driven innovation. Working with our clients, WestRock delivers customized, industry-leading solutions backed by proprietary research and designed to meet unique goals. Our robust market, consumer, and retail insights fuel research opportunities and enable us to innovate cutting edge solutions.
As part of our suite of in-store solutions, WestRock leverages a retail Learning Lab Network to track and understand shopper movements throughout stores. Gleaning rich data from shopper store paths, cross mapped to product displays and locations, enables understanding of the success of different package designs and engagement experiences—informing future executions. Our approach, which prioritizes exclusive research and robust virtual testing environments, demonstrates measurable impact on consumer behavior before the packaging makes it in-store, helping customers mitigate risk.
Additionally, WestRock offers compelling solutions integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT). Combining digital and physical touchpoints, our IoT technology enables brands to create meaningful consumer interactions, and provides unprecedented access to information while providing brands with valuable consumer insights about how shoppers interact with packaging. From invisible barcoding that enables rich consumer interaction on mobile devices, to cloud servo-driven machinery for robust production versatility, WestRock offers a competitive edge in the traditional retail space.
With the most comprehensive product portfolio, capabilities and expertise in the industry, WestRock’s solutions reflect a unique understanding of today’s reality. Packaging is no longer just a vessel – it’s a complex tool that is key to lasting brand relationships in today’s fragmented and uber-competitive marketplace. Find more about our portfolio of paper and packaging products here.