Accessible Packaging and What It Means for Your Customers
Ever heard of wrap rage? It’s the feeling you get when you’re trying to open a heat-sealed blister pack or plastic clamshell packaging and it just won’t… open… dammit!
Hard-to-open plastic packaging is still a consumer-goods staple; it’s a shoplifting deterrent and works well to protect items too.
However, packaging should be accessible to all. As a business owner, it’s in your best interest to help all your customers navigate your packaging easily. Good packaging can increase sales and even customers without any visual impairment or disability struggle to open heat-sealed blister packs. It’s frustrating for everyone. In fact, a study carried out by Arthritis Australia found that when customers experienced inaccessible packaging, 56% looked for a more accessibly packaged product substitute. So, accessible packaging can really make a difference.
Hard plastic packaging is losing its touch in this day and age. More and more consumers want sustainable packaging instead of the old fossil-fuel-based alternatives. Combine limited accessibility with environmentally unfriendly packaging and you’ll put valuable customers off purchasing your products.
Here, we’ll get into the nitty gritty of accessible packaging, why it’s so important for your customers and how to make it as painless as possible. It’s time to wrap up your rivals, rage-free!
What Is Accessible Packaging?
A billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, have some form of disability. Unfortunately, most manufacturers don’t consider this because they’re trying to scale and target the majority of consumers. As a result, a significant percentage of people with disabilities are left out of many companies’ consumer demographic.
Accessible packaging, in essence, must be easy to use for everyone. The more inclusive you can be with your packaging, the larger your customer base will be. Making your packaging accessible benefits everyone, so how can you achieve this?
How to Design Accessible Packaging
Designing accessible packaging requires you to think a little outside the box. To you, your packaging might seem easy to open and convenient. But what about the visually impaired? Or those with arthritis? Is it simple to open for most people? Here are a few things to consider when you’re designing your packaging:
This one’s pretty obvious. Think about how easy it is to open your packaging with one hand, for example. Your packaging shouldn’t be so sturdy that it’s a battle to access the product, but at the same time, it must still protect it. For instance, self-seal postal boxes have the advantage of peel-and-seal closure with a tear-open strip for a simple unboxing experience. It requires little effort to tear open the strip and access the items inside.
You should also print clear opening instructions on your packaging, so the customer knows the easiest way to access your product. Step-by-step instructions will aid an effortless unboxing experience and prevent any symptoms of the dreaded wrap rage.
Eye-catching packaging is essential for marketing your brand, but make sure it’s legible. Your custom design should help you stand out from the crowd and drive sales for your business. In fact, 72% of consumers, including disabled people, make purchasing decisions based on packaging design and 90% based on colour.
Try using high-contrast colours for your packaging (text and background) to make it easily legible for those with visual impairments. For brand names and any other important information, ensure the typeface is large and clear. Handwritten fonts might fit better with your company’s image and aesthetics, but they’re not easy to read.
Including tactile markings on your packaging can help indicate what the product is for visually impaired people. The haircare brand Herbal Essences has achieved this with raised lines on shampoo bottles and circles on their conditioner to differentiate.
Using tactile markings assists not only visually impaired people but also anyone who’s ever got shampoo in their eyes and is scrambling around for the conditioner bottle. Now that’s accessible packaging for all!
Make Returns Easy
Customer returns are inevitable; there’s no such thing as the perfect product for everyone — don’t take it personally. If a customer wants to return their item, make this process easier for everyone. Include returnable mailing labels and return instructions in your packaging. Just because a customer didn’t enjoy or need your product this time doesn’t mean they won’t purchase from you again.
If your returns process is simple, you’re far more likely to encourage a repeat purchase from the same customer — and 92% of consumers would buy a product from you again if your returns process is easy, so don’t knock it!
Environmentally Friendly Packaging
Another way to design accessible packaging is to consider the planet and consumer demands. Investing in eco-friendly packaging is a fantastic way to shrink your carbon footprint and impress increasingly eco-conscious consumers. By making your packaging’ environmentally friendly, you’re making sustainability accessible to your customers. Shout about your packaging’s recyclable, biodegradable and compostable credentials to showcase your eco-consciousness as a brand and get a leg-up over your competitors.
At Packaging Supplies, we stock a range of sustainable packaging for many industries. If you’re looking for the best of both worlds — accessibility and sustainability — take a look at the products below.
Cardboard Book Wrap Mailers
Our Cardboard Book Wrap Mailers are a good example of accessible and sustainable packaging. Made from 100% recycled paper, they’re recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. In addition, a multi-depth feature means each mailer size has the flexibility to pack a range of products with different measurements. This not only saves on packing time but also the cost of buying varying size boxes. The perforated strip and pull tab makes unboxing super accessible and swift, requiring little to no effort to open.
Twist Wrap Book Boxes
Like our book wrap mailers, our Twist Wrap Book Boxes have peel-and-seal closure to reduce packing time and the need for any additional tape. Multi-depth scores allow for variable-sized products and a tight fit to minimise damage in transit. Plus, they’re 100% recyclable, biodegradable and home compostable.
Making Packaging Accessible
Making packaging accessible is important, but remember that robust, durable packaging is essential. Your products must arrive in top condition, so use void-fill for packaging fragile items in bigger boxes to prevent damage. It’s worth investing time into perfecting your packaging design to be accessible and stylish. As social beings, innovative packaging is something people will want to share — acting as a mobile advertisement for your brand.
Having an amazing product is only half the battle. Use your accessible packaging to engage all consumers, tell your brand’s story and drive sales with sustainable packaging in a fiercely competitive market.