A Guide to Shelf-Ready Packaging: Boosting Sales for Retail Products

A Guide to Shelf-Ready Packaging: Boosting Sales for Retail Products

In the retail sector, shelf-ready packaging (SRP) — or retail-ready packaging (RRP) — eases the movement of products through the supply chain, but it can also promote sales.

An eye-catching design will stand out on the shelves of shops and supermarkets and encourage customers to select your brand over competitors. Since inflation has affected the cost of food, non-alcoholic beverages and other everyday retail products, winning consumers’ hearts and minds is a tougher challenge.

So, what is shelf-ready packaging, and how can it be optimised to increase revenue?

Packaging Supplies can walk you through the entire process of designing, creating and implementing shelf-ready packaging. Get in touch for a free quote.

What Is Shelf-Ready Packaging?

Shelf-ready packaging (SRP) is the secondary packaging used for transporting and displaying consumer retail products. By design, shelf-ready boxes can be reconfigured to display the products for sale quickly and easily.

The aim of shelf-ready packaging is to swiftly move your products through the supply chain, allowing them to be displayed without needing to fully unpack them from the boxes they were shipped in. 

To achieve this aim, shelf-ready packaging needs to be optimised to make the process efficient. SRP can be further optimised through custom printing as a form of in-store advertising, which promotes brand recognition and encourages sales.

retail ready packaging

What Makes Shelf-Ready Packaging Effective?

Shelf-ready packaging or retail-ready packaging must successfully move your products through the supply chain, but an effective SRP box should also be easy to: 

  • Identify — Both the product and the brand must be instantly recognisable to retailers and consumers.
  • Open Perforated edges make packaging easy to open without damage. Clear opening instructions should be provided, and opening points should be easy to locate.
  • Replenish — SRP boxes must be easily transferable to shop shelves. There should be no tertiary packaging that requires secondary unpacking or handling.
  • Shop — Product descriptions must be clearly visible to customers. They should also be able to remove and return products easily.
  • Recycle — Crucially, SRP boxes should be easy to store, dismantle and recycle once they’ve served their purpose.

There are plenty of considerations to make when designing shelf-ready packaging, all of which can affect how your brand is represented in stores and, crucially, your bottom line. 

When designing your SRP or RRP, Packaging Supplies can help ensure these requirements are met. We’ve worked with numerous brands, helping them save time and money by creating effective, eco-friendly packaging solutions.

Case Study: Complete Packaging for White Rabbit Pizza

Case Study Packaging Rabbit

We created all the packaging for White Rabbit Pizza, including corrugated pizza discs, machine-erect retail boxes and corrugated shelf-ready packaging.

The brand needed corrugated SRP boxes as the pizzas were to be sold in supermarkets. Our design ensured the pizzas could be securely shipped and displayed on supermarket shelves without needing to unpack and re-stack.

We customised the shelf-ready packaging box just as we would any other packaging, factoring in all the client’s requirements and implementing our experience in creating shelf-ready packaging.

For example, we created a bespoke SRP box that allowed multiple units to be packed and shipped, increasing the number of units that could be shipped per pallet. This, in turn, reduces emissions per delivery and increases the efficiency with which the products can be shipped.

We also printed clear instructions for supermarket staff to easily understand how the SRP box opens — White Rabbit Pizza’s packaging has a front opening box that will display the retail pizza boxes, giving the consumer great visibility of their product.

Need shelf-ready packaging for your products? Get in touch for a free, custom-design quote in just 48 hours.


retail ready packaging

What Are the Benefits of Shelf-Ready Packaging?

There are numerous advantages to well-designed retail-ready and shelf-ready packaging for your brand, retailers and potential customers:

  • Increased Sales through Better Visibility

The average consumer’s shopping list isn’t branded. Shoppers typically research and buy products that fit the description of what they’re looking for. Shelf-ready packaging can make a significant difference for brands by driving more impulse-based purchases but also by clearly communicating what a product is and aligning the branding with consumer values. 

This makes navigating shops and supermarkets a lot easier for the consumer. For example, shoppers looking for vegan pizzas could easily locate and associate with White Rabbit Pizza products in a supermarket, as the primary and secondary packaging speaks directly to them.

  • More Product Availability

Shelf-ready packaging makes replenishing the shelves of supermarkets more efficient, especially when SRP boxes meet all the criteria we’ve outlined. When more of your products are readily available, they’re more likely to be purchased by consumers. Plus, custom branding can make your packaging more visually appealing and noticeable on shop shelves.

Ease of use is just as important as aesthetics. If shop and supermarket assistants find SRP boxes difficult to open and transfer to shelves, the primary and secondary packaging could be damaged. This could significantly impact consumer perceptions and purchasing decisions.

  • Less Damaged Products (and Primary Packaging)

Research indicates that damaged packaging affects consumer behaviour. Even superficial imperfections that don’t affect the product itself engender negative reactions from potential customers. This can directly impact product sales. 

A well-crafted SRP box can mitigate this issue and protect your products in transit — preserving the primary packaging and the products inside — allowing your products to look their best on the shop shelves amongst competing brands.

  • Reduced Storage and Transport Costs

By optimising the way your products are packed and shipped, you can save storage space both at your facilities and the facilities of the retailer. Not only does this have immediate space-saving benefits, but it can also reduce transportation costs since you’ll be able to ship more of your products per delivery.

  • Maximum Environmental Protection

Using responsibly sourced, eco-friendly materials to create shelf-ready packaging is essential. Most SRP boxes are constructed using corrugated cardboard or carton board; our corrugated packaging is made from at least 80% recycled content for enhanced environmental protection.

Once used, cardboard-based shelf-ready packaging can be easily recycled, along with other packaging the shop or supermarket is disposing of.

Related: Should You Switch to Recyclable Packaging Materials?

Which Materials Are Used for Shelf-Ready Packaging?

When designing shelf-ready boxes, the packaging must be fit for purpose. It must effectively protect the stock in transit and remain stable when transferred to the retail shelf. Any defects in the packaging can cause delays within the supply chain or damage your goods.

Special consideration should be given if the SRP is going through an automated supply chain and if the products are required to be chilled or frozen.

Shelf-ready packaging can be made from different packaging materials, including both corrugated and carton board. The material choices will depend on the product, its size, weight and the graphics required.

Get free packaging samples to see how your shelf-ready packaging will perform before a full-scale production run. Alternatively, get in touch, and we can advise you on which packaging materials are best for your products.

Self ready packaging copy

Shelf-Ready Packaging Types and Sizes

Shelf-ready packaging can take several structural forms. It should be designed to suit your product and meet the requirements of the retailer, but there is no standardisation for shelf-ready packaging regarding size.

This can cause problems with the speed of restocking and how shelf space is utilised. That’s why it’s vital to check with retailers if they have any restrictions on pack height, width or depth. Some may even have a standard structural design format you must adhere to.

Designs can vary from trays with cardboard lids and perforated tear-off lid cartons, so you may need expert help to create effective retail-ready packaging — that’s where we come in.

Ordering Shelf-Ready Packaging with Us

We can design bespoke shelf-ready packaging that perfectly fits your products, maximises both shipping and storage efficiency and complies with retailer-specific sizing requirements. Our experienced in-house designers will make your products stand out in the retail environment and provide a memorable customer experience.

If you want to build stronger relationships with customers and retailers, customised shelf-ready packaging is the way to go.

Get a free, custom-design quote for bespoke shelf-ready packaging that protects, promotes and helps sell your products.