Shelf-Ready Packaging Design Tips

When it comes to the latest innovations and trends in packaging, Shelf-Ready or Retail-Ready Packaging is where the focus is. That’s because it allows you to ship your products to retailers in a box, that they can tear away some piece of it and put it directly on the shelf. It streamlines shipping, stocking, and shopping.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not a more complex and usually a more expensive design choice. That’s because not all manufacturers are capable of creating this awesome box.

It takes special machinery, and a talented team to correctly manufacture and assemble the packaging.

It’s not enough to just buy Shelf-Ready Packaging (SRP), you should be choosing it because it will maximize your entire supply chain. To help you do that, we’ve put together 5 design tips to help get you started in the right direction.



When Should I Use Shelf-Ready Packaging?

While there are a handful of different scenarios where Shelf-Ready Packaging could improve things, the main problem it aims to solve is getting products on the shelf. If you have products that can be shipped in a box, and placed directly on the shelves for customers to purchase, it will streamline the process for the retailer.

What does that mean for you and the retailer?

More sales! That’s because SRP are easier to ship, easier to restock, and easier to shop, and easier to dispose of. Retailers are pushing for more brands to switch to this style of packaging because it enhances your products on the shelf. It gives you room for more marketing and branding information to show customers.

If you’re looking to give your products some better organization on the shelf, attract more customers, and make the entire supply chain smoother, this is the packaging design for you.

And the added bonus? They’re great at increasing sales.

1. Ensure Easy Shopping

Depending on what your goals are, this might be the most important reason you are interested in switching to Shelf-Ready Packaging. The whole point of this packaging is to allow customers to easily reach your products, not prevent them from doing so.

Some packaging designs allow for a perforated edge that tears away for access to products. These are typically used when products are pre-packaged inside somehow, and simply loose inside the box. Customers see the outside packaging, reach in, and put your products in their cart.

Other designs are focused on having a tearaway top that only leaves a tray, or something with higher sides for more branding space. By using a try, it keeps your products organized on the shelf, and looking more premium than your competitors nearby that are scattered around.

2. Don’t Overcomplicate The Design

Shelf-ready packaging should be simple, and make it easy for the customer. Without proper design rules in place, you could end up with a lot of confusion when customers are trying to access your product from a box that’s a pain in the ass to open.

If there is any aspect that isn’t 100% useful or practical, cut it out. Don’t add things unless they’re going to help the customer experience in some way, shape, or form. It could be as simple as adding perforated lines so they can easily find where anything needs to tear through without opening the whole box.

This isn’t the time to come up with the most complex design to wow everyone.

Shelf-Ready Packaging is all about form meets function. Start with the function, and design the form around it.

Related: 7 Design Elements Of SRP

3. Use Different Graphics For Each SKU

If you have different products inside the same packaging, how are customers going to know that without spending time investigating? Each Retail-Ready Package you make should be designed around your SKUs because it enhances the overall brand.

The more variety that customers see on a shelf that feels like it’s from the same company, the more premium you look. So use that to your advantage!

Depending on your volume, there are different print options available for you. But our favorite to recommend is High-Speed Digital Printing. Digital Printing used to be focused on short runs, but now it’s used to utilize more complex marketing strategies.

Related: Get Products On The Shelf With SRP

4. Calculate Your Supply Chain And Look For Savings

Look at your supply chain and map it out. What can you do to reduce costs through your packaging design? Can you shorten the amount of time they need to be stored by using a different material or have a larger quantity ordered?

How is this going to affect your timeline, and how long will it take for them to arrive from the moment they’re produced until they reach a store? If there is a huge delay in terms of the cost worth delaying everything else along with it.

Examine each step of your supply chain, and see if a simple design change could improve it. That’s what makes Shelf-Ready Packaging so powerful.

Related: 10 Benefits Of Shelf-Ready Packaging


5. Start With The Retailer’s Guidelines

There are some pretty strict rules when it comes to the design of Shelf-Ready Packaging, and if you don’t follow them you might never get your product placed. Check with your manufacturer to see if they are retailer compliant, or have access to the retailer’s guidelines.

Read through the retailer’s guidelines for SRP, look at what other brands are doing while collecting data on what works best to stand out while not breaking any rules or potentially wasting money.

This isn’t something meant to be cut corners with!

Getting an SRP will make your product more accessible by customers, but only if they can find it in store. The whole point is that you take away barriers between buying your products and having a better customer experience overall.

Start Creating Shelf-Ready Packaging Today!

Now that you know some of the basics about shelf-ready packaging, it’s time to start creating your own! Keep in mind the tips we’ve given you and think about how you can apply them to your business. Remember, form meets function when it comes to designing retail-ready packages. Make sure everything is easy for the customer to use and they can quickly identify which product is theirs.

If you’re struggling with design or need help getting started, reach out to us. We’re more than happy to help get your products on shelves and increase sales through better packaging design.

Contact Bennett Packaging today to get started on a quote and a new design!