How to develop the back of your packaging to help your sales

The back of packaging – the rear of a packaging – is a key element to finalize the sale of product.

Read the article to understand why!

I’ve had the fortune to speak to some editors in my life and…Do you know that the cover of a book (front and back) is that part where the author hasn’t any say in the matter?

The reason is simple to explain, the cover by itself is crucial to catch the attention of the reader and the skills about the purchasing behavior from the editor are certainly higher than the writer.

If it works with the books that are products linked to the culture and very often they are addressed to a very demanding audience, the readers, think what happens in lines of large retailers with common products.


To analyze better the behavior of the customer I ask you another thing: do you know what happens when the customer gets closer for the first time to your product?

I explain it to you!


Their hand stretches, taking it with decision and they get it closer to look at it better. 8 times out of 10 the first action they do is to turn it to analyze the back.


It is instinctive! It is in the customer’s DNA who grew in the large retailers, wandering among shelves, having a look at what is looking for, getting closer and catching the product to analyze carefully the back of the product.

For this reason the development of packaging couldn’t be improvisation, but it requires the help of a specialist. Today I would like to explain about the information which are contained on back of the product. Their function is strategic because the customer after having chosen it in a second will reach the product and will look for further information to continue their purchase process.


The consumer is always looking for confirmations towards their choice

In this phase consumer looks for confirmation, looking rationally for a confirmation to the impressions they had in a fraction of a second.

For this reason when they reach out it is not still “done”. How many times happened to you to reach out to a new product, getting it closer, observing it and at the end put it back on the shelf?  Do you know what hasn’t worked in that moment? The back of the packaging!


Do yourself a practical test

I would like to ask you an exercise. The next time you go to a supermarket, observe for ten minutes people on the store who are purchasing and have a look how some of them reach out to the product that they observe and put it back onto the shelf. If you want to investigate get closer to those products and try to understand what it didn’t work.

Almost certainly you’ll find a confirm in the following 3 points that I am going to explain


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1. Lack of information

When the customers decide to examine the back of the packaging they expect to find complete information which confirm what they have perceived from the front.

A lack of information in this phase is lethal, it means not being able to answer the customer’s needs. The information to report on the back should be selected carefully, always making reference to the concept communicated in the front of the packaging. The reasoning should be: if I create this assumption with the main visual, which information would the customer expect to find once arrived close to the product?

It is about doing a careful analysis of the target market and answering their needs as much in the front as in the back.

The trend in these last years is flattening the distance between the back and the front of the packaging. The final result should be having two facades which are able to communicate effectively.


2. Contrast

This case is the most frequent and also the most difficult to individuate. It could be different from a case to another one and depending on the product sector. I will try with an example to explain it.

Non-expert and non-professional of packaging dedicate energies to images and information just on the front, and the back comes by itself, it is inevitable that some choices of form and content will be certainly in contrast with the concept which is expressed on the front of the packaging.

For example the visual of a packaging communicates that is a BIO product, natural and it clearly evokes the artisanship concept, handmade, healthy and genuine, but when I turn the packaging the information which are contained seem more to a rough copy of an industrial product and maybe chemical, without any confirmation or recall to genuineness of the product. This is a clear example of when the hand puts the product back on the shelf.


3. Lack of clarity

Generally the incapacity to expose clearly the information and concepts always plays against you. The confusion is hostile to the security that the customer is looking for.

The confirmations which they are looking for have to communicate that it is the right choice. For this reason too much information (sometimes useless) or a confused and difficult to read explanation will make rise question marks in the mind of the customer instead of reassuring them.

Another example that I can give you is that of technical texts which are developed in 10 or 12 languages that make confusion. There are also here excellent chances that the product comes back to the shelf. Another lost sale…

In all of these 3 cases we are in front of an error of assessment, because if the front image of the packaging has done its job this means that the ideas were correct, but later something went wrong losing sight of the focal point. Often just because the back of the packaging is underestimated and so it has been treated as a negligible detail.

I hope to have given you clear indication which are immediately applied to improve your packaging and obtain better results of sale.

If you want, after reading this article, try to analyze the back of your product to understand if there is a way to improve. It is an excellent gym.

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