What is Tactile Packaging?

Tactile packaging uses a customer’s sense of touch to attract them to your product, keep them engaged with it, and help you stand out in a crowd of similar items.  

What Does Tactile Mean? 

Tactile is used to define anything that is connected to a person’s sense of touch. It also refers to what can be observed when an individual physically feels a tangible item, as well as goods that are specifically designed to be perceived through touch.  

Connecting with Brands and Products 

A person’s sense of touch is inherently reciprocal. Whenever we reach out and touch an object, another person, a pet, or anything else, we will always be touched in return. This creates a sense of connection with virtually everything we come in contact with, which is great news for retailers and marketers. When a customer picks a product up off a shelf, they may not realize it consciously, but they’ll feel an immediate connection to that item. Because of this phenomenon, the question that must be addressed is how sellers can leverage the sense of touch to encourage consumers to pick their goods over everything else. 

Feeling is Linked to High Quality 

Before focusing on how your product packaging feels, it’s necessary to create appealing and intriguing visuals to draw the customer in and get them to physically pick up the item. This is the moment when the sense of touch becomes essential. Through special effects like glossy coatings, foil stamps, interesting folds, 3D embossing, and more, the consumer will feel an immediate sense of added luxury and premium quality. This feeling can even be created from something as simple as the weight of the paperboard packaging or the texture of a cardboard box.  

Customers Expect More from and Pay More for Decorative Packaging 

In a 2014 study of tactile packaging in the cosmetics industry, 80% of respondents indicated that they will pick up an item in order to evaluate its merits and to determine if they will purchase that specific product. Furthermore, more than 50% of the individuals surveyed stated that they believe high-quality goods are packaged in decorative materials, while 46% said that they would in fact pay more for an item packaged in such a way.  

How to Include Tactile Elements in Your Packaging 

Introducing new tactile components to your existing packaging materials may seem a little daunting, but there’s no need to fear. Tactile packaging can be manufactured to look and feel like a wide variety of goods, such as leather, sand, rain, and much more. Two specialty types of coatings for paperboard include Soft Touch, which creates a velvety feel, and Hi Rise, which imitates an embossed look and feel to provide enhanced graphic images. Beyond additives, you can also utilize high-end materials to create a package that your customer will always remember. These could be anything from a foil stamp or glossy coat to folded ridges that are interesting to the touch or a heavier weight paperboard.  

Consumers Use All of Their Senses 

From sight to touch and even sometimes to the senses of smell, hearing, and taste (though we hope the last one is only for very specific products) consumers often utilize each of the five senses when determining what they want to buy. Once the customer has picked up your product and removed it from the shelf, they’re clearly interested and likely willing to make a purchase. The feelings they experience once the item is actually in their hand are essential to finalizing their decision to spend money and bring your product home.  

Enhance Your Packaging, Your Brand, and Your Sales 

With intriguing packaging materials and special tactile effects, customers are more likely to consider and purchase your products. In fact, some studies show that special effects in printed or POP marketing can actually increase sales by up to 18%. While you may have to spend a little extra to implement these exciting elements, the returns are sure to be worth it in the end.