How packaging design affects sales

How package design affects sales? Most people underestimate the impact of packaging on their decision to buy.

Indeed, whenever we ask ourselves why we have bought a product, there will be a thousand rational arguments, and rarely will anyone say that the package was the reason. However, most of these arguments are provided by packaging.

“Are you saying that you have bought this yogurt because of the increased protein content?”

But you bought it because its content is indicated as a separate important line

“Are you saying that you have bought this pasta because it is made in Italy?”

But there is a lot of Italian pasta on the shelf, it’s just the packaging of this pasta that says it clearly.

“And finally, are you sure that you bought this bag of buckwheat just because it is the cheapest one around?”

But it is its packaging that screams about its low price; they saved money on its branding and sold you the poor packaging.

No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to stay cool when it comes to packaging.

Your brain processes most data automatically, looking for familiar attributes and identifying information about an item based on them. That’s how you read, without recollecting letters every time, without spelling words, and then illustrating them with pictures from an ABC — this process has long been automated in your head.

Otherwise, if you really thought and rationally decided on the choice of each product, a trip to a store could be equated with advanced maths in terms of energy costs.

Therefore, an effective package design must work in the realm of the unconscious. It should hack a buyer’s brain and bypass the competition to persuade them to buy.


1. Attract

attention among thousands of products

2. Tell

a consumer about benefits they find important in a recognizable way

3. Stick in memory

for a consumer to peg the real experience of engaging with a product to the visual package and pick this product in the future.

This is necessary for you to be picked more often, which means that you will be paid more.

How package design affects sales

To design packaging that works and boosts sales, you need to conduct a series of studies. We have developed our methodology for this — this is our evidential design.

Evidential design in packaging enables us to build our actions upon facts. We analyze the competitive environment based on a series of parameters, and drawing on statistics we show why certain elements should be present on the package.

How package design affects sales

The evidential design framework implies that when working on package design, standard analysis reports include the following:

— Identification of competitors’ color palettes to understand which color segments are free or which color segments can be used to ensure that the consumer perceives your product correctly. At this stage, we also understand how many colors your competitors generally use.

— Identification of visual techniques your competitors use. We analyze 3D images, fonts, illustrations, and the shape of the packaging.

— Creation of a virtual shelf with products, which enables us to see whether the new product can stand out on the shelf and draw consumers’ attention.

— Definition of marketing hooks, which are implemented on the package. For example, the indication of reduced calorie content, etc.

— A shelf of a similar category of foreign goods is compiled to understand foreign packaging design trends.

How package design affects sales

A wrap-up: based on evidential design studies, we have data that allows us to say what color the package should be, what should be placed on the package, and how the updated product should be highlighted to stand out from its competitors. All conclusions are supported by the findings of our research.

How package design affects sales



Moving around a store, a buyer scans the shelves with products. At this stage, they are looking for either the products that they know or are trying to find the product that is on their shopping list.

During the scanning phase, our task is to interrupt their scanning process and force them to turn to a new product that they have not seen at the store before. By building a virtual shelf, we address this challenge with maximized efficiency.


As soon as the buyer stops in front of products in a given category, the visual comparison phase starts. We analyze whether the new products will be preferred is-à-vis the available items. We pay attention to the color, information on the label, marketing hooks, and the value that is generated by the package.


Based on the information that the consumer gets from the package, the final component — rationalization — begins, taking the form of an explanation of why the consumer has bought the product. Explanations can be numerous —the new flavor, benefits, fewer calories, etc.

The conclusion from our article «How packaging design affects sales» is as follows: any package design is so much more than the creation of a nice-looking wrapper. It is a clear understanding that packaging should increase sales not only at the time of launch when the novelty effect still works but also for a longer period. Achieving the latter is much more difficult and it is important to go through all of the development phases. This is how the package design affects sales directly.

Also, recommend «COVID and the Future of Design«