Where Manufacturers, Sellers and Consumers Meet

By Edson Perin

With or without RFID, smart packaging in the so-called Internet of Packaging era is bringing industries closer to their end buyers.

Smart packaging is a powerful marketing tool, and the Internet of Packaging (IoP) plays a key role for brands, bringing manufacturers closer to their end consumers, just as television and radio did in the past. With or without radio frequency identification, packaging is becoming active as never before, even acting as a seller of other products.

Through smart packaging, you can do just about anything your imagination can come up with (see A Reflection on Smart Packaging). The IoP surpasses technology advancements and the solutions based on same, enabling more than expected—it is becoming a vital business tool.

The market already has several solution providers, as well as some end users, with significant insights into the packaging landscape and its evolution. One of the biggest challenges, however, will be in breaking the paradigm of companies that provide technologies like RFID, and especially those whose focus is more on technology than on solving business problems—or on increasing their customers' sales and profits.

Consumer needs must be met in order to gain market share, and this is why a technology vendor needs to be much more focused on improving a customer's business than on merely what its technology does. After all, other technologies are on the market, too, and are available and ready for use. So providers must be aware of usability and the ability to generate sales for their customers—i.e., the companies that buy their solutions.

Are you a technology or business solution provider? Perhaps now is the time to ask and think better about the role of technology within an increasingly complex business solution landscape. Buyers, paying users of technology, are undergoing profound transformations. It requires efficiency when you put a product on a shelf or allow "buy online, pick up in stores" (BOPIS), but a store is more than a drive-thru—or, at least, it should be. Right?

A physical store must be where manufacturers, sellers and consumers meet. How about making this space a truly exciting and sales place like never before in history?

Edson Perin is the editor of RFID Journal Brazil and the founder of Netpress Publisher.