Connected Packaging: How The “Internet of Things” Is Driving Innovation in the Packaging World

Connected Packaging

In today’s fast-paced digital era, where connectivity reigns supreme, it’s no surprise that even our everyday packaging is evolving to keep up with the times. Welcome to the exciting world of connected packaging, a cutting-edge technology that is reshaping the way we interact with products and unlocking a whole new realm of possibilities. From transforming simple postal boxes into intelligent gateways to revolutionising the consumer experience, connected packaging is driving a wave of innovation and redefining the future of packaging as we know it. In this blog, we will delve into the captivating realm of connected packaging and explore how it is reshaping the packaging landscape.

What Is Connected Packaging?

Connected packaging is when digital technology is added to regular product packaging, allowing people to use their smartphones or other connected devices to interact with it. This can be done through QR codes, NFC, RFID, or augmented reality. By scanning or tapping the packaging, consumers can access extra information and experiences like product details, promotions, videos, loyalty programs, social media links, and personalised content with just a simple interaction. 

Interested in connected packaging? Harness the power of custom packaging and make it your own. 

The Internet of Things (loT)

Connected packaging is a prime example of the Internet of Things (IoT) in action. The concept of IoT revolves around the network connectivity of physical objects, or “things,” that are equipped with sensors, software, and technologies to exchange data with other devices and systems via the internet. In the case of connected packaging, everyday packaging materials are transformed into intelligent objects that can collect and transmit information. Packaging becomes more than just a container—it becomes an active participant in a connected virtual world.

Connected Packaging samples

Examples of Connected Packaging

QR codes in packaging act as a link between physical products and digital content. Scanning a QR code with a smartphone provides instant access to information like product details, instructions, promotions, and interactive experiences. 

Above, you can see the QR code used on the packaging by one of our clients, Surgimax — which is an easy way for consumers to access their website, right away on their smartphones. 

Connected Packaging 2

Dr.PAWPAW, another one of our clients, has cleverly used the QR code on the inside of their connected packaging to link to more information about the product inside. The text reads “discover how to use me and more here…” enticing customers to visit their site, find out extra, useful information and potentially be tempted by other purchases too. 

Find out more about how we helped Dr.PAWPAW with their custom packaging.

QR codes are widely used in packaging to enhance the consumer experience and provide convenient access to information or interactive content. A QR code, short for Quick Response code, is a two-dimensional barcode that can be scanned using a smartphone or a QR code reader application.

But, QR codes aren’t the only examples of connected packaging:

Augmented reality — Augmented reality (AR) enhances the connected packaging experience by overlaying digital content onto the physical packaging in real-time using smartphones or other compatible devices. AR overlays digital elements such as 3D objects, animations, videos, or interactive features onto the live camera feed. Users can interact with the virtual content by manipulating it, exploring different angles, or accessing additional information.

NFC chips — NFC (Near Field Communication) chips are small electronic components integrated into connected packaging to enable wireless communication between the packaging and NFC-enabled devices, such as smartphones or tablets. NFC technology allows for the seamless exchange of data and information over short distances, typically within a few centimetres.

RFID tags — RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tags are small electronic devices that wirelessly transmit and receive data using radio waves. They consist of a microchip and antenna enclosed in various forms like stickers or labels. RFID tags store unique identification information and can be read by RFID readers. RFID tags find applications in supply chain management, inventory tracking, access control, and more, providing efficient and accurate item identification and management in real time.

By using connected packaging, brands can forge deeper connections with their customers and deliver content specifically tailored to their preferences and interests. Let’s get into some more benefits of connected packaging, for businesses and consumers. 

Benefits of Connected Packaging for Businesses

By providing your customers with tailored experiences and exclusive content through connected packaging you can strengthen customer loyalty, creating a sense of value and connection to your product. Connected packaging opens up innovative marketing avenues such as gamification, augmented reality experiences, and social media integration. These immersive and shareable experiences help businesses create buzz, differentiate their products from competitors, and reach wider audiences.

Using connected packaging can also generate insights into consumer behaviour, preferences and purchasing patterns. This data can be leveraged to alter marketing strategies and lead to a greater understanding of more targeted and effective campaigns and new products. An example of this would be using connected packaging to encourage customers to provide feedback, leave reviews, and share their experiences.

Benefits of Connected Packaging for Consumers

Connected packaging offers consumers a range of benefits that improve their overall experience with a product or brand. It provides easy access to detailed product information, personalised offers, and promotions. Through interactive features like augmented reality, consumers can engage with products in exciting ways. 

Connected packaging also can also confirm product authenticity, facilitate convenient reordering, and offers easy access to reviews and feedback. There’s a clue in the name. Connected packaging connects the customer to the business in an engaging way, like promoting opportunities to participate in loyalty programs and earn rewards. 

Overall, connected packaging gives consumers convenient and valuable information with interactivity, and incentives, making their shopping experience more enjoyable and informed.

Related: Accessible Packaging and What It Means for Your Customers

Potential Drawbacks of Connected Packaging

Connected packaging, with its many different components, have to deal with more regulations and rules than traditional packaging. Meeting these regulations requires a lot of time and resources from manufacturers, especially for large and complex printing runs. 

But, this is where Packaging Supplies can help. We’re flexible to suit your needs and accommodate the size of your printing runs. Our fulfilment and stock management services are aimed at making your business more profitable. We assist with saving on hidden packaging costs, minimising storage spend, optimising packaging stock levels, and increasing staff capacity. Packaging Supplies can store, pack and ship your products for you, so you can concentrate on designing eye-catching custom packaging.

Discover all the services we offer to streamline your packaging operation

Getting Connected with Custom Packaging

Connected packaging is also a great way to provide information on the environmental impact of your product, the sustainability initiatives of your brand, and important recycling instructions. The rise of eco-consciousness means consumers actively want to make environmentally conscious choices and properly dispose of their packaging responsibly. 

Luckily, we are the packaging suppliers for you and can provide you with a huge variety of eco-friendly packaging options which you can print with sustainable and non-toxic water and vegetable-based inks. 

Postal Boxes

Our brown and white postal boxes are 100% recyclable, making them suitable for smaller items and eco-conscious businesses. With custom printing, you can add a touch of personalisation in both retail and eCommerce environments.

By incorporating connected packaging like QR codes, you can receive automatic updates on product availability and stock levels of your postal boxes and mailers. This can facilitate efficient inventory and supply chain management, reducing manual tracking efforts and minimising the risk of wastage.

Shipping Boxes

Shipping boxes (we have double and single-wall options) are another opportunity to enable real-time tracking and monitor products throughout the supply chain. This visibility helps streamline logistics operations, optimise inventory management, and prevent stockouts or overstocking.

Our cardboard shipping boxes are 100% plastic-free, recyclable, biodegradable and home-compostable and can help protect your products in transit.

Unlock packaging potential. Learn more about our custom corrugated boxes

Folding Cartons

Folding cartons are a versatile and visually appealing choice for a wide range of products, including frozen or chilled food, confectionery, clothing, pharmaceuticals, and health/beauty items. Using an NFC chip in your connected packaging, allows consumers to access detailed product information like usage instructions, and certifications in a retail environment. This can help indecisive consumers to make informed purchasing decisions based on their needs.

Rigid Boxes

Rigid boxes give any product a premium, luxurious feel. They’re brilliant for subscription boxes, and you can integrate connected packaging elements such as QR codes, NFC tags, or RFID labels into the design. These features will allow consumers to interact with the box, with personalisation feature possibilities — like an interactive experience — for gift boxes. Transform your brand’s aesthetic with custom rigid boxes that not only showcase your high-value goods but also provide exceptional protection.

Related: Packaging for Subscription Boxes: How to Make Your Designs Stylish and Sustainable

Order Connected Packaging with Us!

Our wide range of sustainable packaging gives you plenty to choose from to perfect your connected packaging and reach out to your target audience. We take pride in being a carbon-neutral company, offsetting all carbon emissions generated throughout our operations. With eco-friendly printing services too, we can make sure our packaging impresses eco-friendly customers. 

Packaging Supplies also offers a range of additional services to help with large or small-scale projects, tailored around your specifications — whether it’s stock management or fulfilment. With over 40 years in packaging, our team has a lot of experience in a variety of industries. 

Get a free design quote in 48 hours and get connected with your packaging.