How Digitalization Is Changing the Packaging Industry

Like countless other industries, technology is slowly changing the packaging sector. Though a relatively new phenomenon, digital transformation has taken the world of packaging by storm, and it turns out that it comes with numerous benefits. Read on to learn about the digitalization of the packaging industry and why it’s important.

What Is Digital Packaging?

In short, digital packaging is packaging created using digital technologies, such as 3D software, digitally controlled manufacturing protocols and printed electronics. It can connect to other technologies, such as smartphone scanning, QR codes and augmented reality, to create an immersive experience for the consumer. It promotes interaction between consumers and brands and collects data about the package’s journey.

The use of technology in printing gives your products an edge over your competition. It impresses and intrigues your clients, conveys a sense of discovery and excitement and can increase the chances of a buyer purchasing your product. For example, with techniques like digital box printing, you can place hyper-realistic images or photos on your packages and create variations or custom prints, allowing your packaging to be truly unique to your brand.

Importance of the Digital Transformation in Packaging

From better customization to closer accuracy, the digitalization of packaging can provide your company with several advantages. If you’re looking for reasons to implement digital packaging in your strategy, we have you covered. Here are some of the benefits of digitalizing packaging processes:

1. Flexibility

When it comes to packaging, flexibility is a competitive advantage. For example, consumers may want to purchase a product in bulk that your company only offers in individual sizes. A digital packaging process will make it easier to meet that demand because it can streamline and automate packaging modifications efficiently and quickly.

Aside from consumers, businesses must adapt to changing packaging rules and regulations. Most packaging is under strict guidelines, and specific industries regularly receive new rules and procedures. Investing in the digitalization of your packaging process allows you to meet new regulations without slowing down your production.

In general, digital printing is more flexible than traditional printing methods. You can apply it to rigid and flexible media, such as cardboard boxes, wood, plastic, metal, cotton and clear films.

2. Affordability

Digital printing per unit costs less than offset printing for low- and mid-volume orders. The upfront cost is less because of lowered setup costs and fewer tools, such as dyes and printing plates. Generally, there are no order minimums, so you only pay for the printing you need. Since the printing is faster, your products can ship more quickly, improving your revenue stream.

Additionally, digital printing decreases the number of costly errors. Businesses must be as mindful of their brand as consumers are. If there’s a typo on the packaging material, the customer might assume there’s something wrong with the product. The threat to consumer safety is serious if the errors are on ingredient labels or dosage instructions.

By using digital packaging, you ensure only safe and approved packaging is distributed. It keeps all the information for the package design in one location, so it’s easy to spot any errors.

3. Increased Turnaround Times

One way to meet the demand for faster shipping times is digital packaging. It uses fewer tools and printing materials, so printing speed increases, and the packages distribute faster. Consumers are less likely to wait weeks for a package, ensuring they’re satisfied with ordering from you. With more companies prioritizing same-day and two-day shipping for their products, it’s crucial to make your brand competitive in this way.

4. Design Accuracy

Digital printing can match almost all of the colors on the Pantone color spectrum, allowing you to adjust colors and their properties, so your package can appear as you want it. There are ongoing technological advancements in digital printing to improve aspects like image clarity.

It’s also easier to update the design of a product with digital printing, so it can more accurately reflect what you want. Unlike traditional printing, you can print a small packaging batch to test your colors and design.

5. Brand Protection

It’s harder for someone to replicate all the features of your packaging design when you use digital printing. It can produce marks or other signifiers that are practically impossible to replicate. This helps your consumers avoid buying a fake product and protects your brand and image.

6. Customizability

Once you upload your design, your package goes through different automated processes to ensure quality. This decreases the chance of human error affecting your design and allows for greater customizability. Offset printing has a set design that’s harder to adjust, but you can easily do so with digital printing. For instance, you can print subscribers’ names on boxes while leaving the rest of the design consistent for the other recipients.

7. Environmentally Friendly Materials

Occasionally, the different teams involved in package design aren’t on the same page. Each step of packaging design takes place in a silo, and the designer may not know how to downstream the process. Digitalization increases team transparency so that everyone is connected, which increases efficiency and reduces waste.

Further, while digital printing does use ink and chemicals, it reduces the impact on the environment because the pre-press processes are unnecessary. It also reduces waste from unused packaging.

8. Small Batch Printing

The setup costs for traditional printing methods can be high, especially for small business owners or startups that only need a small amount of packaging. In some cases, these costs could exhaust the marketing budget of a small company. With digital printing, you can quickly and affordably print small batches without worrying about overwhelming setup costs.

Contact Bolt Boxes for Digital Printing

For more than 60 years, Bolt Boxes has created custom boxes for businesses so that they can tell their story and set themselves apart from the competition. We have the pre-press expertise, multiple print capabilities and structural design experience to help you create the perfect design for your brand. You can count on us to offer our support throughout the entire process.

We’re members of the Fiber Box association and have a G7 Master Certificate. Our credentials show we have the knowledge and ability to create and deliver quality packaging materials to all industries. Ready to take advantage of the digital transformation in packaging? Contact us to learn more about our digital box printing services!