New research reveals the power of persuasive labels

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Stationary manufacturer Avery UK has published the results of a unique psychological study that reveals just how much labels really matter when it comes to consumer decisions and customer loyalty. The in-depth research focuses on how e-commerce businesses can have power and influence customers using their shipping and product labels.

Working with an established behavioral psychologist, Avery UK tested consumer response to small business label designs to reveal how certain elements can encourage positive reactions to the items they are attached to.

The study explored important aspects for anyone selling goods online. It considered how various label designs affected how much someone was willing to pay; how they made people feel toward a company; and how likely test subjects were to make a repeat purchase.

Fiona Mills, marketing director at Avery UK, said, “This has been ground-breaking research for us. We suspected there was more to the science of label design than might first meet the eye, but the discoveries have been extremely enlightening. We can now speak with the utmost authority to say that labels really do make a difference to the performance of e-commerce businesses.”

The Research

The research included three scientific approaches to understand what makes a successful label. A literature review of 159 academic papers about previously conducted research helped to identify the gaps in knowledge and shape the rest of the study.

Cutting-edge eye-tracking apparatus was then used in controlled laboratory conditions to trace exactly where a label can lead the eye. All test subjects were no stranger to buying from small businesses.

Finally, three online experiments were conducted testing 1,108 British adults to examine the more cerebral and behavioral aspects of labels. There were two sides to the research: one centered on product labelling and the other featured mailing and shipping labels.

The results have uncovered many insights into how small businesses can make label design work for them but two major principles really stand out. They involve the eye and the brain of the consumer:

Catch the eye

It may sound obvious but if a label can grab customer attention above all the competition then you’ve won half the battle. The Avery UK eye-tracking experiments confirmed that bright colors and large labels help your potential consumer stop and look; while bold lines, borders and stripes mean that your label could be viewed 42% more than plainer labels nearby.

Engage the brain

Now that you have a consumer’s attention, the best way to hold it and convert it into a desired outcome (like a purchase or a positive opinion of your brand) is to make the brain think and engage with the product or package. This can be achieved through emotion, information, priming, heuristics (helpful decision-making shortcuts) and curiosity.

Mills added, “While we don’t recommend businesses stick labels on their packages for the sake of it, there is a clear business case for going above and beyond a simple plain address label. An address label, a company brand label, a return address label and a friendly special message label will give enough space to get across the important information, your brand, your professionalism and your heart for your valued customer.”

Click here to read the full report from Avery UK.

September 6, 2017

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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