Clamshell Packaging Proves its Merit
2 fairly recent studies seem to show that high visibility packaging will vastly outperform opaque packaging. The research showed that sales of clamshell packaged goods were significantly higher and that post purchase consumption was higher as well. High visibility packaging may help products sell and generate more resales.
The first study conducted by Klockner Pentaplast used eye tracking technology attempted to determine shopper’s fixation on different packaged products available to them. The test shoppers (aged 18 to 65) were given 1 of 5 different shopping lists and asked to buy 3 different products, all of which were present in either clamshell or opaque paperboard packaging.
Yes, the results were surprising. The clamshell packages generated 400% more purchases and 675% more fixations (glances at product) and the fixations were 340% longer. Some packaging created as much as 500% more sales over paperboard packaging.
The test used the Tobii glasses which are a mobile eyetracker. Clearly, the shoppers preferred high visibility packaging. The test didn’t determine or inquire why they chose them. We can only assume that “seeing is believing” when it comes to packaging. Consumers may not want to gamble on whether the product is as advertised, especially first trial brands and products.
Participant’s Appetites Were Increased
In a second study, researchers tested consumers in an at-home situation typical of where the consumer consumes the food products involved. The testers wanted to determine whether high visibility packaging increases consumption of the product. In this case, it is food products.
In this case participants ate more from small translucent packaging than from opaque packaging. They also ate less from large opaque packaging than from large transparent packages. The size of the package determined their consumption behaviour.
Study participants ate 58% more candy from small sized packaging that was clear, rather than the opaque version. Since consumption was increased, the consumer won’t let the product sit on the shelf at home. Repurchase and purchase frequency are likely improved as well.
If we accept their testing methods as valid, then it’s pretty strong evidence that consumers are affected by a view of the actual product inside the package. And, if clamshell packaging and other transparent windowed type packaging can boost sales by 400%, then you might be in a hurry to give it a try. This certainly doesn’t mean opaque packaging is a waste. In fact, certain products did better with opaque packaging, particularly health food.
Packaging companies and designers should consider the importance of consumer’s desire for the product itself when creating graphics and package design. If you’re using opaque packaging, your graphic designs may have to be that much more effective.