Netflix & Print: How On-Demand is Changing the Way Brands Do Packaging

Picture this: It’s 11 am, and you’re sitting in a meeting when you get a serious craving for pad thai. Without hesitation, you pick up your phone, open your Uber Eats or Door-Dash app, and hit ‘order.’ 

Later that day, you remember that you’re out of a few household items, including those double-A batteries that you keep forgetting to pick up at the store, so you pull out your phone and place an Amazon order. It’ll be at your house tomorrow.

Fast forward to that night, you’re sitting on the couch watching one too many episodes of your favorite Netflix show (it’s just too easy, isn’t it?), and there’s a knock at your door: your partner ordered your groceries for the week, and they’ve arrived.

Within the span of 12 hours, you took part in not one, not two, but four on-demand services. And your expectations of fast delivery and ease of use were fulfilled. 

How The On-Demand Culture is Shaping Consumer’s Expectations

On-demand culture is the new norm. Today’s consumer wants it all. Not only that, but they want it now. Or 5 minutes ago when they thought about it. From entertainment to groceries, and even in business, consumers want their goods and services fast. 

There’s no industry more synonymous with on-demand than the entertainment industry. In fact, Deloitte reports that over half of Americans subscribe to paid streaming video services, and for the first time ever in Deloitte’s digital media trends survey, more respondents have at least one streaming video subscription (69 percent) than have a traditional pay-TV subscription (65 percent). 

What does this tell us? Gone are the days of sitting through commercials and tuning in for a television show in real-time. Now, we can watch what we want, when, and how we want. 

This on-demand lifestyle isn’t only limited to the TV screen. Today there are on-demand apps for just about everything from transportation, to grocery delivery, to dog walking, to same-day shipping, all without being bogged down by waiting. 

In fact, according to the latest PwC report, the market for on-demand mobile apps and websites will reach $335 billion by 2025. In response to this consumer push, various retailers are offering 2-day shipping, same-day delivery service, or free in-store pick-up to offer the on-demand experience. According to app inventiv, the number of retailers investing in on-demand has grown from 15% to 51% by 2018, and that number is expected to continue growing.

And as fast shipping becomes the new norm, it becomes an expectation instead of a novelty.

As a brand owner, how can you take advantage of an on-demand experience both for your consumers and for your brand? 

While ‘product packaging’ and ‘on-demand’ typically aren’t found in the same sentence, at ePac, we’ve made it our promise. You can order your packaging when you want and how you want. Digital printing makes this all possible. 

On-Demand Packaging is Our Norm 

Many packaging converters utilize traditional printing technology, which requires more time, costs, waste, and materials than digital.  With digital printing, there are no plates to create, and the prepress and press set-up time required is minimal. Like your at-home printer, our digital printers take a file and print it immediately. 

This technology, coupled with the fact that we have offices across the U.S., is what enables customers to receive their orders in a matter of days, instead of multiple weeks. Getting your order fast means getting your package onto store shelves fast, and into your consumers’ hands. 

If you’re still waiting upwards of 6 to 8 weeks (if not longer) for your flexible packaging, there’s a better way, where high minimums and long lead times are nonexistent.  Let’s take a look at how on-demand packaging can benefit your brand. 

1. Your Packaging Ships in 5-15 Business Days

With digital printing, you can have custom printed roll stock in 5 business days, and finished stand-up pouches in 15 business days, once your artwork is approved. What could be more on-demand?

2. No Plates = Minimal Set-Up Time

Unlike traditional printers, digital printers don’t require plates. In our world, that is a BIG deal. Because digital printers don’t need plates, there is no need to pay for said plates, pay for replacement plates, or endure the wait time that comes with plate set up. You can also make last-minute changes, which isn’t possible when plates are involved. 

3. Order What You Need, When You Need It

Quite literally the definition of on-demand is what you need when you need it. We think packaging should be that way, too. When you work with ePac, you can order monthly, bi-monthly, or even weekly if you want. Our low minimum orders make it possible to order in the moment and at the quantity that best fits your company’s needs. 

4. Obsolescence is a Thing of the Past

With the freedom to order to demand, obsolescence is no longer an issue. Unused inventory and waste can be fully eliminated when you order in smaller quantities on a more regular basis. This also makes changes to your design easy and cost and waste-free. 

5. Less Waste, More Sustainability

Digital printing is also sustainable because, as we mentioned before, you only have to print the packaging that you need, allowing you to react to market conditions. This means you don’t have to hold large inventories and risk the waste associated with obsolescence. And because digital printing is an on-demand technology, you can order on a month-to-month basis, and it’s easy to order more, or less, as needed.

6. Print Seasonal or Special-Edition Packaging with Ease

Seasonal, personalized or limited-edition packaging is made possible with variable data printing, a technology only available when using digital print. Because you can order small quantities of various packages, you’re free to try something new, be it a flavor, a promotion, or a seasonal item.

7. Changes Are A-Okay

In our world, design changes, ingredient changes, or color changes are a-okay. With digital print, we can make small adjustments to your file and print the updated design with ease. 

Package development today means getting to market fast, and being flexible as you run your business in changing markets.

Partner with an On-Demand Packaging Company 

At ePac, we have made on-demand packaging the norm. We focus on short lead times, no lengthy (or pricey) set up, and low minimum orders. If you’re ready to experience the digital difference, contact us today for a free quote and learn how you can take advantage of our on-demand ordering experience.