The Rise of Shelflation & Shrinkflation
Listening to the news lately feels like a crash course in economics. Stagflation (check out our blog from a few weeks ago) has led to shelflation and shrinkflation, which consumers are noticing and speaking up about on social.
As inflation continues to rise and usually means higher prices for consumers, many companies are beginning to implement new packaging strategies to decrease costs while keeping the price the same for the consumer – known as shrinkflation.
According to NPR, shrinkflation isn’t new, but it proliferates in times of high inflation as companies grapple with rising costs for ingredients, packaging, labor and transportation. Manufacturers know customers will notice increasing prices, but are hopeful that they will not keep track of net weights or the fewer sheets of tissue.
It’s somewhat sneaky, as manufactures rely on the change in packaging creative or new branding to help deter the eye from noticing the difference of 20-30 grams removed from a package. But in a bag of five bagels, it is pretty visible a bagel is now gone.
Savvy consumers have noticed and #shrinkflation is now trending across social media platforms as consumers call out missing bagels, fewer detergent pods, and smaller chip bags—a challenge prior generations or businesses did not have to deal with as the only way to share this information quickly was through news stories and newspapers. Social and real time information has given consumers an advantage to research and know which products are still a good deal for the price.
On the other hand, supply chain issues continue to rise globally and as products take longer to reach shelves for consumers, they have a shorter shelf life and lower quality once reaching home, which is known as shelflation.
This leads to consumers shifting their approach to buying consumables – where their frequency in shopping trips will have to increase and the number of goods purchased will decrease so that products stay fresh. However, with the continued rise in prices and tighter cashflows, consumers may have to reduce purchases all together to be able to buy gas and other necessities.
Other Packaging Strategies
Pricing is another option, providing a tiered approach through smaller product offerings that pricewise may appeal to a larger audience. This is much easier with consumables and may transfer through to a smaller shipping price to absorb as the weight and box size may decrease.
Bundling provides an opportunity to push slower moving inventory by coupling it with your higher priced and faster moving inventory. This helps with perceived value and may help consumers feel like they’re receiving a better deal for the current price, while reducing sunk costs and moving the slower moving inventory.
Shipping efficiencies help maintain a strong customer experience and loyalty is strengthened when consumers receive a quality product on or ahead of expected time. Automation helps drastically to reduce errors and decrease costs by utilizing the current team in place to be able to ship additional orders.
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As the eCommerce industry navigates high inflation and savvy consumers, learn more about how OPAL can reduce costs through automation so that your business can reduce its shrinkflation of products.
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