Labels have been around on products since the start of commerce. Like many other industries, the future is being shaped by technology. Small labels carry a lot of power when they carry scannable information. Aside from that, labels have become a critical part of communicating what a product is to a customer or a potential customer. From an e-commerce perspective, labels are an every day necessity. Explore what is currently trending in packaging labeling.
Label Automation and Equipment
Even for small packaging lines, labeling can be a large portion of labor required to prepare a product to get out the door. No matter what industry you are in, there is an opportunity for labeling. Of course with e-commerce there are shipping and packing labels that must go on the box. The more complex side of labeling is what goes on the product or primary packaging. Some examples include labeling produce, labeling bottles and round containers, labeling retail goods in store, and more.
Simple labeling equipment can make this process easier and remove the mundane, labor intensive efforts of labeling. Small label dispensers (whether semi-automated tabel top equipment or hand held equipment) can save a tremendous amount of time and make operations more efficient.
Using equipment also makes the final outcome more consistent. When hand labeling labels can be crooked and not adhered securely. Equipment ensures that the job is done correctly every time.
“Transparency” refers to manufacturers being completely open and honest about what the products contain. “Clean” means products are safe and don’t contain harmful ingredients. When a manufacturer packages their product in a way that makes content information clear, concise and open, it promotes trust in the company’s brand name.
Clean and transparent labeling strongly affects the packaging industry’s food sector. More and more U.S. consumers are scanning food packages with their smartphones to find out exactly what they contain. Brands answered the clean and transparent trend in 2020 with the implementation of Smart Label™. The label code immediately connects consumers to a landing page with transparent information about how clean this choice may be. This desire for transparency will likely remain strong in 2020 as consumers may be more likely to purchase a newly launched food product that has clear product information.
Labels have entered the world of IoT thanks to advancements in technology. The apparel industry has been using RFID labels for many years and this trend is reaching other industries now. RFID tags have a tiny radio transponder; when these tags are triggered from an RFID reader digital data can be transmitted. The amount of information available from smart labels is endless, from temperature to inventory level and everything in between.
Relative to business benefits, logistics and transportation segments are key areas that benefit from smart label technology, including experiencing increases in productivity as well as accuracy in delivery, all leading to a bolstered bottom line and an enhanced reputation. In these ways, the smart label has surpassed the previous use of barcode-only labels that simply cannot provide the same accuracy, readability and depth of information for productivity purposes.
Should you reconsider your label strategy?
No matter what you are packaging you are using labels. Could they be “smarter”? Could your line be more efficient and label with better outcomes? Could you be using labels to represent your brand better? Contact a PDA packaging expert to find out!