Think smart: are smart labels the future of packaging?

By now, we are all aware of smart technology. But just when you think you’ve seen it all, it has now taken over the packaging industry by storm.

But what exactly is a smart label? And how can your business use it? We explore smart labels and their functionality like we have never seen before in our guide.

What is a smart label?

A smart label offers more to a consumer than a traditional label. It allows a business or brand to create an immersive experience that is more than just its shell.

If used correctly, smart labels can be a powerful force that transforms how product information is conveyed, brands are perceived and can differentiate itself from other products of a similar nature.

Traditional labels are turned into a digital platform, using a QR code or a NFC tag, with the aim to create an interactive experience and brand recognition that reaches beyond the first purchase. It’s about making it a memorable and meaningful experience for customers.

How can smart labels be used?

Whilst traditional labels are still practical and functional, the features are limited to a small space. Smart labels allow for much more.

Authenticity Labels

A unique way to use smart labels is by an ‘authentication’ feature. As brands, high-end and designer, are and have been increasingly popular amongst consumers – the ability to know whether the product is genuine and authentic can often remain up in the air.

An authentication NFC label has the ability to put minds at rest by allowing the consumer to verify their purchase at the tap of a screen. Saving many from purchasing counterfeit items and parting with their hard-earned money, something generic labels simply cannot offer.

Real-time messaging

Smart labels allows for the functionality of adapting product messaging in real-time. You may wonder where this could be useful? Beverages and produce, that’s where.

From expiration dates, to nutritional content, or any changes to regulations…this can all be done super-fast and with little to no hassle. Brands have the ability to keep their customers informed of their products and any changes made, so that they are up-to-date at all times.

What’s more, this allows for less clutter on packaging. Keeping the product as the main focus and the branding to have a clean aesthetic overall.



This is a great way to increase repeat customers and gain direct sales. The method is simple. Once your product has been purchased from online or at a retailer, they can simply scan the QR code which takes them directly to the product they ordered from your website. Allowing them to re-order again through you, or to learn more about your brand and the other products you may offer.

This may be ideal when a brand is an ecommerce business, looking to incorporate a subscription service to their business model.


Whilst product videos aren’t new, the use of video on smart labels are becoming increasingly popular. Brands are able to tell a story of the products they offer with the use of animation, demonstrated through smart labels.

The key to this is to think about what you want your consumer to know. What is there to champion about that product? Was it how it was made? Where the idea began? Or who designed it?

Each of these allows your consumer base to know more about your brand. It’s a grey way to differentiate yourself from other competitors on the market.

As one of the UK’s leading packaging suppliers, Smith Packaging is excited to see how smart labels are redefining packaging.

Whichever label you decide is right for your business, we have a wide range of packaging solutions to suit you.

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