Consumers Buy With Their Eyes: The Secret to Winning at Retail

by David Marinac -

The retail landscape is cutthroat, not only for manufacturers working to get their goods in stores, but also for suppliers. Everywhere a company turns, it’s being squeezed by retailers for cost reductions. At the same time, consumers want to be dazzled with what they perceive are the latest and greatest products available. If your product is below a certain price point, it may be perceived as “cheap," while if the opposite happens, it may be deemed an indulgence and too expensive. Some of the biggest companies out there—Smucker’s, Quaker Oats and Nestlé, to name a few—may be able to seamlessly navigate these waters, but most companies cannot. So, how can even the smallest business and startups compete with the “big boys" and win at retail? The answer may surprise you.

Three words: Flexible retail packaging. With the right supplier and sourced properly, your packaging has the unique ability to not only protect your product, but make it stand out from your competitors—as well as the largest conglomerates in the world. Did you know there are packaging styles used extensively overseas (e.g., in Australia, New Zealand and the UK) that are radically better for the environment but have yet to be used by U.S. companies? Could you imagine being the first and only company to have your product packaged in something no one in the United States or Canada has ever seen before? Would that get your product noticed at Walmart or Target? You bet it would.

What if your retail packaging also cost 10 percent less than your competitors’? Would you be able to aggressively compete and win business over other companies? What if you had your packaging warehoused in a Midwest location, no more than two days from anywhere in the United States, and it was shipped to you right on time, whenever and wherever you need it? What if you could eliminate carrying months of packaging on your floor and free up that space and the cash it takes to pay for it?

Have you thought about the power of Millennials and even Gen-Xers? These rapidly growing and powerful segments of the population are highly influential and geared up to try the next trendy or exciting product. They’re also demanding to know what ingredients are being used in the items they consume (or even feed their pets) and aren’t afraid to boycott entire companies that aren’t transparent about them. They are especially taking careful notice of the packaging used for the items they buy. They don’t want big, bulky canisters and bins that take up a ton of space in the cupboard. These are busy, active consumers who want packaging they can easily take on the go. They don’t want packaging that is going to continue to clog the landfills. Would it be helpful to know there are many packaging materials and styles that not only will satisfy these groups, but cost a fraction of what most companies are currently paying?

At ABC Packaging Direct, home of, we understand flexible retail packaging, rollstock, stand-up pouches, flat barrier bags and spouted pouches for liquids. But more importantly, we understand supply chain. Who cares if you have the most innovative packaging or the best pricing if you don’t have it when and where you need it? That packaging isn’t so cheap when you must air freight it in because your supplier didn’t ship it on time, is it? What about the daily fines retailers assess the minute your shipment is late?

Because we represent the factory overseas and are their U.S. partner, we understand what it takes to get packaging designed and manufactured, and then delivered in a fraction of the time other companies can do. We’ve committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire staff and build a presence overseas, so when we say we’ll be at the factory in an hour watching your packaging being made, we mean it.

Dealing with overseas suppliers is not only time-consuming but also tricky. Companies want the cost savings and the efficiencies it brings, but cannot afford to “hope" they are working with a reputable company. They cannot afford to wire money to a company they have no clue has been in business for more than six months or six years. Just one visit to and you’ll be deluged with flashy pictures and promises of quality … all written in the most comforting language of all… “Chinglish."

Now, imagine a packaging manufacturing plant that is FDA and BRC certified, ISO and QS compliant, and audited regularly by independent labs such as SGS and Intertek—while also being represented by Cleveland-based ABC Packaging Direct and If you are interested in finding ways to make your packaging work for you (instead of the other way around) we’d like to talk. For us, it’s about building partnerships, not being just another supplier. Suppliers may quote projects aimlessly, but a partner will help you see them through from beginning to end, being there every step of the way and helping you compete like never before.

David Marinac David Marinac

A 30-year veteran of the custom-packaging industry, David Marinac is founder and CEO of ABC Packaging Direct and He helps businesses succeed through flexible packaging that helps grow their brands and is irresistible to customers. Marinac’s revolutionary approach combines cutting-edge internet marketing techniques, a powerful virtual team, unmatched customer service and a can-do-anything attitude.

Connect to ABC Packaging Direct/, booth #O33.