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5 Steps to Enable Your Brand to Gain Control of the Digital Shelf

Packaging e-content | September 17, 2014

5 Steps to Enable Your Brand to Gain Control of the Digital Shelf

To get your share of a rapidly expanding e-commerce market, you need to provide customers with an online experience that’s as true as possible to the product they choose at the physical store shelf. 

This requires that brand owners gain control of the process of e-content development and e-content management. To get started, here are five steps marketers must take to ensure that the brand’s online experience mirrors its offline experience. 

1.    Audit your brand online
Have you recently audited your brand’s presence on the digital shelf? If not, examine product packages and information across multiple sites – from online retail giants, to smaller niche retailers, to product review websites. You may be surprised to see outdated product image, images that don’t represent final approved artwork, limited product views and so on. Consumers are buying online and using online to learn about products, and this will only increase!

2.    Overcome fragmented processes
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for brands is that inside large corporations there is no single person accountable for packaging e-content. It’s often split by brand between individual departments as well as among a number of external suppliers. This can result in a vicious cycle that puts key parts of your supply chain at risk when a design is refreshed or a new packaging regulation requires compliance.

3.    Synchronize control between online and print
The best way to do this is to develop digital brand content in tight integration with the same workflows used to create and manage artwork for the physical package. This will allow you to avoid the brand disconnect that occurs when previous-generation images remain online after the newest version of the package has reached store shelves. 

4.    Get ahead of packaging regulations
Focusing only on the printed package puts your brand risk. EU Regulation 1169 requires extensive labeling changes to clearly disclose nutrition and allergen information. These disclosures must also be made online where consumers have no choice but to trust the digital representation of the brand. In the U.S., upcoming FDA regulations requiring changes to nutrition labels represent an opportunity to get ahead.

5.    Market faster - Online 
With an all-digital workflow, when new mechanical artwork is approved for packaging, that’s the trigger for packaging content for online sales. And in a few days, before the product even hits physical store shelves, but when it’s ready to ship, you can be ready to sell accurately online.

The conclusion couldn’t be clearer: the opportunities are substantial for brands that take control of their presence on the digital shelf  – now, not later!