How Product Packaging Affects Buying Decisions

By: Zi Wang

Customers often make snap judgments when making purchases. The judgements appear to be made randomly, but perhaps they’re not that simple in fact. Relevant research has shown that first impressions matter, and those impressions generally take about seven seconds. At least a third of product decision-making is based on packaging, along with personal preferences. It can be understood from the above findings that impressive packaging plays an important role in catching potential customers’ eyes and winning them a seven second opportunity for the product.

Then, what kind of packaging would impress potential customers? The article “How Product Packaging Affects Buying Decisions” discusses several factors in detail. The first and most straightforward one is color. The right choice of color can send a proper message to potential customers of what a product is. For instance, bright color promotes a less serious tone, white denotes innocence, simplicity and cleanliness, and black denotes power, control, heaviness and expensiveness. The other factors include quality, creativity, sustainability and functionality of the packaging. We have reason to believe that packaging made by integrating the above factors together would become an important part of the branding of a product to connect with its potential customers.

In light of the above, I definitely agree that an enterprise should value its product packaging. Nowadays, customers have more choices than before. In order to attract customers’ attention, merchants have adopted various methods to distinguish their products from those of their competitors, and an increasing number of them have been aware of the importance of the packaging of their products and have made efforts to improve their packaging. In practice, packaging is like the mouth of a product, which can speak for it and communicate with customers at the point of sale. Especially when customers don’t have a particular preference for a brand or want to try a new product, packaging will play a bigger role.

Therefore, I believe that packaging has become a key aspect of a product that can influence customers’ decisions making. By studying the targeted customers and making packaging according to their preferences, a product will undoubtedly win more customers in the competitive market.


19 thoughts on “How Product Packaging Affects Buying Decisions

  1. Jim Butterworth April 30, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    I think product packaging has become more and more important as shopping has moved from brick-and-mortar to online shopping. While packaging has always been important and might have caused you to give a specific product a first glance, there was always the opportunity to touch the product. In most cases with only one sense, sight, being used in online purchases, corporations must make sure its packaging instantly grabs a prospective customers attention.


  2. Kyley Murphy April 30, 2015 / 3:10 pm

    I agree with you guys. I think packaging is very important. As a customer, even when I know I don’t need it, sometimes I will buy a product just because it looks cool or looks interesting. Along with the color of the product, having a prominent logo on it is also important. If a customer goes back to buy that same product, they will look for the color or the logo, even if they forget the name. Color can also be important as being a differentiation from the rest of the competitors, as long as that color makes sense.


  3. Linsey Walker April 30, 2015 / 6:29 pm

    This is an interesting article about product packaging and how it affects buying decisions. One part of the article that I liked especially was the part toward the end where different uses for packaging were discussed, e.g. being green to appeal to people who choose to make buying decisions based on environmental impact and packaging that offers customers an experience. I know that I preferred brand name cereals as a child not because they tasted better but because the boxes were more fun to look at while I ate it. I think exploring these additional aspects, as well as other potential uses for packaging, will be valuable.


  4. Domenica Fuller April 30, 2015 / 7:01 pm

    I agree that packaging can be one of, if not, the most important factor in deciding how well a product will do in the market. Products need to be immediately appealing to consumers so that they will stop and at least give it a glance. Having the wrong packaging or packaging that is not unique can set a product up for failure. We are told to never judge a book by its cover, but we do it everyday with so many different products offered in the same spaces. Packaging needs to be bold and unique to help give some initial differentiation in the marketplace.


  5. Ryan MacLeod April 30, 2015 / 7:23 pm

    I think that the article you chose is spot on with saying how “Emotions are often also connected to brand icons as memories and feelings can be brought up on sight, leading to long-term relationships between the brand and the consumer…”. When I see certain snack food products packaged similarly to how they were when I was a kid I am more likely to purchase them for my daughter because of that personal connection. I think triggering those memories and feelings are key in trying to attract customers and keep them for the long-term.


  6. Brendan Sullivan April 30, 2015 / 8:46 pm

    I never thought much of the color of a products packaging. To me it doesn’t matter what color the packaging is of the product. It s something to look into for the future. Maybe customers like all this colored packaging or maybe they will not like it. It seems to be something that is trending with all the online shopping with Amazon and other stores. If the customer likes how the product is packed then maybe they will continue buying that product.


  7. Andrew Dresner May 4, 2015 / 2:42 am

    I see this idea all of the time when it comes to purchasing athletic apparel. Whenever we are in the market for gear as a coaching staff we always get a handful of vendors that send us free stuff to sample. Each brand, for example nike or adidas will always portray the professional athletes they sponsor on the front cover of their catalogs wearing their brand.


  8. Eva Trinidad May 6, 2015 / 1:02 am

    I also agree that packaging is important. I am one of those who buys some things just because they look nice in its package. I also think that it does not matter what kind of product it is, if the packaging looks nice and clean people will buy it.


  9. Yafen Liu May 6, 2015 / 6:58 pm

    I totally agree with you. Packaging plays a more and more important role in effecting consumers’ buying decision nowadays. On one hand, packaging facilitates loyal customers their shopping progress. They could pick up their ideal products quickly by the unique packaging. On the other hand, creative and novel packaging attracts new customers’ attention easily. Therefore, companies gain profits.


  10. Michael Carli May 6, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    Typically, I try to avoid being tricked into buying products just because the packaging is nice. If I’m in a store, I like to break out my smartphone and search for reviews on the product. However, the only time I can think of when I buy something that has nice packaging, is when I’m purchasing a gift. Then, I’m more concerned with how the package presents itself because I want the gift to look nice. A great example of when people overpay for products/gifts is when they shop at Tiffany’s Jewelery Stores. It’s amazing how much Tiffany’s can mark up their pricing because of the emotion that’s tied to their packaging.


  11. Sirisha May 7, 2015 / 1:07 am

    This is an interesting article. Obviously, i think the product packaging would effect buying decisions. Great product packaging can attract consumers eye and provides the opportunity for a product to stand out among it’s competitors. For example: As a consumer i would always looks for the product reviews first and then packaging.I have recently purchased apple iPhone6 the beauty of this product lies in packaging. I believe a product packaging would deliver the sense of quality to the consumers and thus create a bread image for the product.


  12. Sirisha Pochiraju May 7, 2015 / 1:11 am

    This is an interesting article. Obviously, i think the product packaging would effect buying decisions. Great product packaging can attract consumers eye and provides the opportunity for a product to stand out among it’s competitors. For example: As a consumer i would always looks for the product reviews first and then packaging.I have recently purchased apple iPhone6 the beauty of this product lies in packaging. I believe a product packaging would deliver the sense of quality to the consumers and thus create a brand image for the product.


  13. Kyle Jacobs May 7, 2015 / 3:56 pm

    Now that I think about it, packaging can definitely make or break a product and distinguish itself above competition. However, if I have some knowledge about a specific product and I know how it works, I might not be phased by the packaging compared to its customers. I think that given I am a student and money is my biggest concern, I focus more on pricing than packaging at this stage in my life. But I do agree that it is the very first impression and it could make a break a sale.


  14. Nandish Patel May 7, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    I totally agree with you guys. It is true that packaging really a the sales of a product especially if the product is newly launched, attractive packaging would contribute a lot in increasing the sales of that product. People are always attracted towards a creative kind of packaging. It is true that colour is most important in packaging as colour of the products describes the mental picture of state of that product. example for a chocolate packaging colour tells the type of chocolate it is. And as it is said that first impression is the last impression the packaging is very important point in packaging.


  15. Xiaolong Yang May 7, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    I agree with you, guys. There are too many options and not enough time for shoppers to take all the factors into consideration. To make this easier, our brains rely on recognition of brands, colors, icons, associated emotions, and images, all of which ultimately reduce the cognitive load required to make a decision.


  16. Charlie O'Connor May 7, 2015 / 10:47 pm

    Packaging’s importance is relative to me, it depends on the product. Sometimes the packaging doesn’t matter, everyday goods like toothpaste or trash bags doesn’t really make a difference. When I purchase something for the first time, I believe the packaging plays a roll in my decision making. When I think back to when I was a kid, I think the packaging was the most important variable in my “wanting” decision (as I wasn’t purchasing anything on my own”. I think the color data is interesting and recognize that there isn’t a particular color I look for.


  17. Maheshwari Zala November 17, 2015 / 8:47 pm

    A product’s general appearance and visual appeal both attract consumers attention and heavily influence their purchasing decisions. No one can deny the fact that Packaging is very important part in the marketing. But with its importance, it is obvious that it is a difficult task too. There are many decisions involved in packaging. I think besides color and its appearance many factors need to be considered in labelling which I consider is most important part of packaging. Consumers today are better-schooled about what to look for on labels and packaging. Certain things should never appear on product packaging. Likewise, some information must appear, according to law. Hence these decisions are crucial and need to be taken very carefully.


  18. Patrick Coskren December 5, 2015 / 11:52 pm

    When I am out shopping, whether it is the grocery store, for clothes, electronics, games, etc., I often find myself wandering down aisles not looking for anything in particular. When I stop in the aisle to look at a product it is because something about it caught my eye, often the packaging, or in the case of clothes, the colors. The article discussed in this post creates a good argument that packaging is one of the most important aspects in consumers buying the product. If I’m trying to choose between two products seemingly similar, I am going to buy the one that looks better overall, as I feel am I guaranteed a better product. Overall, I agree with Zi and my other classmates on the fact that packaging does play an imperative role in product sales.


  19. Alicia March 31, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    The packaging of a product has a huge impact on a consumers buying decision. The package is the first thing you notice when checking out a new product. If the packaging isn’t appealing, the product itself automatically becomes less appealing. Product packaging is also a part of brand image, if you have clean, nice packaging, you will be viewed as a clean respectable company. When I was reading this article one line in particular stuck out to me: “…packaging is like the mouth of a product, which can speak for it and communicate with customers at the point of sale.” This is the perfect way to describe the importance of packaging on products. Even though you aren’t suppose to judge a book by its cover, we all do it.


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