With more transactions taking place in the virtual realm, packaging needs to be more differentiated to stand out on a mobile screen, a webpage or a livestream.
“The market is going towards more interaction, it's not just a product, it's a product that you interact with, in a sense, that brings you another level of experience,” said Pierre-Antoine Henry, head of category, Quadpack.
In Asia especially, this trend has manifested in the form of gamification, such as Chanel’s Coco Game Center that has been seen in cities like Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
“Engaging customers by linking to virtual worlds also comes from gamification, which is very strong in Asia. That leads to that leads to a very big difference in how you develop products as they need to have some kind of fun interaction with the product somehow,” said Henry.
Furthermore, companies now also have to think about integrating the Internet of Things (IoT) to make packaging that is plugged into the virtual experience.
“We know that packaging in some sense by has to connect with digital. There is a big rush towards getting data to develop better products and to tailor make beauty products for consumers,” said Henry.
He highlighted that we were already seeing examples in the market, such as L’Oréal’s Perso and Shiseido’s Optune, AI-powered devices that delivered personalised cosmetic formulas.
While there are solutions like RFID, QR codes and watermarks on the market, Henry said none of these have been able to ‘tick all the boxes’.
“We’re trying to find a price efficient and non-intrusive way of being able to connect packaging solutions to this to this virtual experience. This is something we are looking at in the pipeline,” said Henry.