Internet of Things, IoT, connects individual products and items to Internet network, which is typically done through product packaging.
What are the benefits of intelligent packaging for companies and consumers?
Brands and products can offer additional information about themselves through packaging. It is possible to collect data, or the products can be tracked, measured or censored over the network. Many products cannot be attached with an identifier, but it is easy to connect to network via intelligent packaging solutions.
Intelligent packaging supports the digitalization in many businesses, e.g. in product manufacturing, in different phases of supply chain, as well as in sales and after-care operations. In critical phases of the product life-cycle, it is possible to enhance processes, offer extra value and improve customer experience. IoT provides a lot of opportunities to create intelligence to products, which can deliver a limited amount but very valuable information for the network.
Benefits of intelligent packaging to different operators
Through intelligent packaging, the real-time connection is enabled between retail store, packaged goods and different phases of the supply chain.
In Production and warehousing, intelligent packaging enables real-time tracking and visibility of production. Intelligent solutions help in managing material flow, such as material coming in and out from the warehouse. Expensive warehousing is minimized. Production management gets easier, when data capture and transfer is more accurate and automatic. Errors in manual work are reduced and resources can be moved to more requiring work. Production and results will improve.
In Logistics intelligent packaging solutions make it possible to track material and product deliveries. Deliveries to customers can be tailored. Product transportation and receipt processes speed up and become more reliable through automated solutions. This reduces reclamations and increases customer satisfaction.
In Retail, intelligent and individual packaging can be used to differentiate the product from the competitors and gain more attention. Instead of just availability, the whole shopping experience is invested. Innovative products and packaging are used when committing the customers to a brand. With intelligent shelf and storage systems, the fulfilment orders can be placed automatically. Through interactive applications connected to packages, knowledge about the buying behaviour is gained directly from the consumers.
For Consumers intelligent packaging enables communication with products and brands, and offers useful information and content, which help in making the buying decisions and improve customer experience. The buying experience widens from the physical to digital, and the virtual customer service is available 24/7. The packages, which are easily identified with mobile devices, can be attached with features that connect the consumer e.g. in video instructions, web store, additional products, offers and customer service. Products that offer extra digital value, will succeed.
How is intelligence added to packaging?
Intelligent packages can be connected to network and cloud-based applications through RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) identifiers/tags, which are readable with smart phones or with separate RFID readers. Adding RFID identifiers to packages is easy e.g. with labels including coding.
RFID tags offer consumers following features:
- Consumers are directed to cloud service, where it is possible to offer information and interesting content about the products
- Data captured from intelligent packaging during different phases of supply chain, can be integrated to other information systems or transferred to applications, where users can utilize and refine the data further.
RFID enables innovative solutions for more intelligent packaging.