E-commerce packaging is very often a branding lever that is underestimated by online sellers, but that can bring enormous benefits in terms of awareness and retention, especially in the last months of the year.
For many Merchants, the months of November and December represent a real boom in terms of sales, in some cases 30% of annual orders.
It is therefore essential that the entire purchase process is carried out perfectly and you must be ready to manage shipping, customer service and everything related to your online business.
Preparing for the holidays, however, also means adopting a series of strategies for a safe packaging able to win over the customer.
Above all, if a Christmas package is made to be opened with the desire to find out immediately what’s inside, you have to make sure to send with a packaging that identifies your brand and not with an anonymous packaging that will immediately end up in the recycling.
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Storytelling Packaging: offer a great shopping experience with packaging that talks about you
Before turning to practical tips for high-impact packaging, let’s consider the shopping experience and its relationship with Christmas.
We have said that your e-commerce sales increase a lot in November and December. This means that many old customers will come back and maybe you will win new ones.
This is why Christmas 2019 could be an excellent time for a restyling of your packaging. Branded adhesive tapes or Sustainable boxes are methods that will help you stay in the customer’s mind even after Christmas shopping.
In addition, another aspect that should not be underestimated is that using high-impact Christmas packaging you can make two people happy: the buyer and the recipient of the gift.
But how to make the packaging for Christmas 2019 truly unique and personalized? Let’s look at this together.
If you want to immediately access all the tips we have in store for the packaging of your E-commerce, download the pdf version of the article or continue reading to find out more.
Choose the right type of packaging for your E-commerce
If you have a long-time E-commerce and you are used to shipping, you will have already thought of it, but it could be a great idea to rethink the type of packaging to use for Christmas.
Do you ship with packages, paper bags or maybe poly mailers? Is the packaging you use suitable for the items you send? Too big? How heavy and voluminous are your products?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask before planning your packaging strategy.
But let’s do some practical examples.
If you ship with a large box, what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- Surely you can better protect the product, wrap it with ribbons, stickers … In short, with a large box, it is easy to make the opening of the gift a unique experience.
- On the other hand, boxes are more difficult to store and are more expensive for you and the customer. For example, sending a sweatshirt with a polyethylene bag is much more practical and less expensive, even if of lesser impact.
And what about shipping with a poly mailer?
- Poly mailers are thin and flexible and, as we mentioned earlier, ideal for shipping items of clothing.
- They are also economical and durable. It is not expensive to ship them and it is difficult for them to arrive at their destination damaged.
- An obvious disadvantage is that they cannot be used to ship rigid objects such as jewelry and perfumes. To overcome this problem, poly mailers with internal bubbles that protect the product are catching on.
Finally, paper envelopes.
What are the pros and cons?
- They certainly reduce plastic consumption. In a world of online commerce that is experiencing a new phase of attention to the environment, sending with paper envelopes is a great way to make a good impression on the customer.
- Paper envelopes are a bit more expensive than polyethylene bags, even if less than boxes.
Before going into the storytelling packaging, I remind you that if you want to immediately access all the tips in our guide, you can download the pdf version of the article. So you can share it with your colleagues or keep our tips always at hand.
Packaging Storytelling: tell the story of your brand with a unique packaging
A careful choice for packaging for Christmas 2019 offers the opportunity to tell your brand and give it an identity.
If your e-commerce comes from a long and important offline tradition and selling online for you means putting the same care and dedication that you would put in managing a “physical” store, you should think about customizing your packaging to make it unique and recognizable.
In fact, your customers, especially at Christmas time, will receive lots of packages all the same. Shipping with customized packaging will help you establish a closer connection with them.
You could argue that to tell your story you can use marketing tools, the site, social networks … But receiving something tangible is different.
And above all, it can make the difference.
What does it mean to make packaging unique?
- For example, shipping with a box bearing the name of your brand and a slogan that characterizes you (your pay-off or your value proposition)
- Or using branded adhesive tapes
- Or maybe on the box, you can make room for your commitment to the environment
In short, the packaging for Christmas 2019 should talk about you or rather all the intangible aspects associated with your brand.
But an high-impact packaging is not limited to the external appearance. There are some tricks that you can also adopt for the interior. Let’s see them together.
High-Impact E-commerce Packaging does not end with the external envelope
If you use a large box, but also if you use poly mailers, you can make the inside of your packaging unique and effective.
In this way, the recipient of the gift will unwrap a package studied in detail and personalized for him.
On the other hand, the buyer will have one less thought because he will not have to think about manual packaging and he will be able to present a gift in line with Christmas expectations.
For this reason, the paper that protects the object is no longer enough for 2019 Christmas packaging.
You need to do more. Just think about how much your customers use social networks.
Many of them like to capture the moment when they open gifts and share them with friends, how can you take advantage of all this?
You could elegantly wrap the product with a quality paper, perhaps by adding a note on which the buyer can write the wishes. Or imagine how custom-made stickers with your brand would be appreciated.
A small gesture that always receives great success and denotes passion and attention to the customer.
If you want to immediately access all the tips we have in store for the Packaging of your E-commerce, download the pdf version of the article or continue reading to find out more.
E-commerce Packaging for Return
After the peak of Christmas sales, you must prepare for the peak of returns.
On average, online order returns have now become 15% of total orders, and the percentage reaches up to 30% in the fashion world, in standard periods.
After the peak sales of the holidays, the problematic situation becomes critical.
After the holidays, in fact, returns can even reach 40% of shipped orders and certainly, you don’t want 40% of your customers to have a bad return experience, after all the efforts you’ve made to convert them.
So, if returns are to be taken into account, it is worth offering a comfortable and problem-free experience.
The data show a very high percentage (96%) of customers willing to buy again from the same Merchant to whom they returned a product, if and only if the return was satisfactory.
So how can these two requirements be combined when it comes to packaging?
Here are some practical tips:
- Use resealable bags or add an extra poly mailer in each package
- Include instructions in the package to allow the recipient to use the same return package
- Add a return label in each shipment
With these small tricks recipients who want to return the product will find it very easy.
Do you have all the necessary stocks to cover year-end sales?
Offering an optimal shopping experience also means being fast in shipping.
A speed that is even more in demand at Christmas.
Are you sure you have everything you need to ship? Are you ready for an unexpected amount of purchases?
From this perspective, it can help an estimate of the stocks needed to deal with Christmas orders by finding the right balance so as not to run out and not overload the stock, and your revenue account.
How? If you have the sales history available it is quite simple:
- Calculate the sales history in the last months of the year (in quantity)
- Apply a trend based on the percentage increase (or decrease percentage of traffic you had in the last months of the year)
- Multiply the number of sales by trend and find the requirements to cover all year-end sales
Let’s take a practical example, starting from the 2018 data
- Sales obtained from here to the end of the year in 2018: 1000
- Sales trend (2018 vs 2017): + 10%
- Total requirements 2019: 1100 packs
Obviously, it is not necessary to take stock of all the needs immediately, but you can cover at least in the first instance with 40% of the total, and make a running change.
There is no exact science in these cases, always remember to use your common sense and do not forget to take into consideration any minimum order or reordering times from the suppliers of your packaging.
Be sustainable and tell your customers
Unfortunately, it is a fact that during the holidays 25% more waste is generated than in the rest of the year.
And at this precise historical and cultural moment, another branding lever you can exploit to your advantage is the sustainability of the packaging.
Besides being eco-friendly, focusing on the sustainability of your packaging allows you to stand out from the competition.
In practice, how should you act to respect the environment through packaging? Let’s see it together:
- Do not use too large packages. Is that big box for such small items really necessary?
- Ship with packaging easy to recycle. Your customers want to separate and at the same time avoid headaches for all that paper or plastic to be disposed of.
- Encourages customers to recycle. Being sustainable also means talking about sustainability and spreading good practices.
Optimize the entire workflow for Christmas 2019
So far we have seen how to win over customers with customized and eco-sustainable packaging. But are you ready for all this?
If you want to maximize your profits, nothing has to go wrong.
From the supply of packaging, as we said before, to the purchase process on your site. You need order management software to run smoothly, offering buyers the option to indicate that the product they are purchasing is a gift. In this way, in fact, you can set up a Christmas-themed package.
Moreover, as regards the packaging, you should always have a plan B if you finish the customized packages supply.
For example, unbranded packages will not be as elegant as the former but are still very useful.
Finally, one last fundamental question: are your carriers reliable? Do you know their delivery times?
Delivering a package, even if beautiful and undamaged, after Christmas or long after the expected delivery time is like an own goal. It does not encourage customers to give you a second chance.
Want to learn more about packaging for Christmas 2019?
The packaging is important, but that’s not all if you want to seize all the sales opportunities of the last months of the year. The packaging alone will certainly not be enough to help your E-commerce make a step forward.
On the other hand, before your customers can appreciate your packaging, you have to “convince them” to buy on your site.
This article is part of a series of guides we have created for E-commerce companies that want to survive Christmas sales without losing even a sales opportunity.
In particular, in these guides we talk about:
- Mobile Commerce
- Shipments and carriers’ deadlines during the Christmas period
- Paid Advertising and PPC
- Merchandising and Promotions
Test your E-commerce and consult our free guides that summarize in just a few pages all you need to know to maximize your Christmas sales without going crazy.