The Complete 2020 Holiday Packaging Checklist

So far, 2020 has had some significant high points and low points. For business-minded individuals, the year introduced a couple of new ways to do business. However, it has also caught us unaware many, many times.

With the current lack of stability in the economic climate and consumer behavior, brands should anticipate a stressful Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM). But we’re going to show you how to navigate through stress this season.

Why You Need A Packaging Checklist This Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Online retailers usually experience a dramatic increase in sales during the holiday season, but this year might be more intense. One of the impacts of COVID-19 is that a whole lot of customers will be shopping online.

This means that more than 65 percent of businesses will be online this year. Hence, every eCommerce store should expect a significant increase in business activities on their website. But not every one of them will make significant sales.

One of the reasons why some brands will do better is that they have a great customer fulfillment plan. Packaging is an important part of fulfillment. Getting it right gives you an advantage over your competitors.

Below is a complete checklist to make the most of these holiday sales with the right packaging:

1. Set Up Inventory Control 

Inventory management is one of the most important skills for holiday sales. And packaging is one of the most important factors in the fulfillment process. You have to know what is left in your store, what you need to restock, and the right amount of materials you need.

Some businesses hire 3PL companies or fulfillment providers to help monitor and coordinate all the pieces of their inventory and take care of all fulfillment headaches over the holidays. Whether you do it yourself or not, you have to get the ball rolling months before the holiday season starts.

To ensure you are always ready, review your inventory frequently. Every time you neglect your inventory, there’s a customer that is left unsatisfied. Every customer wants their products to come in a beautiful package.

2. Work On Your Supply Chain

Having a well-articulated delivery plan is also one of the things to consider in your checklist.

Creating a beautiful box is only one aspect of the packaging process. You may have to start thinking of how these products get to your customers in shape. Making sure your supply chain is fully optimized is essential for holiday sales.

3. Focus On Your Brand’s Strength

Though we’re expecting brands to try new ideas this holiday season, we want you to use new ideas as a backup. Trust me, this is really not a time to make unnecessary packaging decisions. In fact, in an ideal world, you will have tried your new ideas before the holiday sales.

Before the holiday season swings in, you ought to have published a detailed report on which packaging idea sold more last year. This will help you identify what the ideal customers liked most. 

There’s a huge chance that the same individuals that bought these products last year will do so again this year. Focus on what works for your business. And even if you’re trying new ideas, they should improve these products not change them.

4. Be Up-To-Date With Current Packaging Trends

Being abreast of the current packaging trend in your brand’s niche is key to success. Trends are very important. It shows that your brand is up to date with the industry. Every customer wants to be the first to tell their buddies about the new trend in town. 

For instance, brands are now turning to white on kraft packaging ideas. If it’s working for many, it can work for you too.

A “white on kraft” design example
5. Design Seasonal Holiday Packaging

Sending a valuable-looking box to your customers during the holiday season has become one of the golden rules of business.

According to a report, 72 percent of American consumers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by the packaging design. We get that customers are interested in great offers, but they’ll love you more if your packaging is not boring. That’s why we advise you to create a personalized unboxing experience for this season.

The truth is, you can create a great experience with just tissue paper, custom scissors, die-cut inserts, and a hand-written note.

Turn everything in your favor with creativity but don’t forget to make it personal. Some of your competitors are already creating personalized boxes for this season.

6. Ensure Your Packaging Materials Are Eco-Friendly 

Customers are interested in how you source your packaging materials and the impact of it on the environment.

Using eco-friendly materials not only improve sales, but it also makes the public want to do more business with you. Materials like recycled paper and cardboard, cornstarch, organic fabric, and corrugated bubble wrap are great options.

At Arka, all our products are FSC certified, and this is part of our commitment to sustaining our environment.

7. Bank On Customer Fulfillment

No matter how great your ideas are, you’ll be losing a whole lot if your packaging is terrible. Starting early gives you time to try a few ideas to know what your customers prefer.

The novel coronavirus has influenced consumers in so many ways. And one of them is that they have realized that brands can do better in consumer fulfillment. Today many customers will prefer to do business with brands that provide additional value to products.

Since consumers will likely buy from the best, we should expect stiffer competition for online sales this year. But there’s no cause for worry because we’ve got you covered.

Creating customer-focused packaging is all you need to win the heart of many. Ensure you put your customers first in everything you do. Here are some of the things you can do to be ahead of your competitors.

  • Offer other valuable services for free
  • Include a personalized note in your packaging
  • Add gifts or free samples
  • Include a how-to-use guide
  • Give discount offers, and reward loyal customers
  • Ensure your packaging is easy to open and dispose of

The Checklist

Here’s a simple checklist that includes all seven of the points mentioned above.

  1. Set up inventory control 
  2. Work on your supply chain
  3. Focus on your brand’s strength
  4. Be up-to-date with current packaging trends
  5. Design seasonal holiday packaging
  6. Ensure your packaging materials are eco-friendly 
  7. Bank on customer fulfillment

Holiday sales are important to every business in the U.S., and we believe it’s also essential to your brand. You don’t have an excuse not to be among the winners of the holiday season this year. Simply go through our checklist and follow the steps. Don’t forget that starting early affords you the time to be at your best when it matters the most.

Want to learn more about packaging? Check out this course on Shopify Compass: Introduction to Packaging Your Products.

About the Author

Vitor Botega is the Head of Partnerships of Arka with over a decade’s experience in digital marketing. Vitor has gathered expertise in multiple industries working with SaaS, ecommerce, Agency, and several digital media platforms.

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