For the average shopper, the holiday season seems very far away. But you know better.
As an e-commerce business owner, your busiest time of year is about to begin, and you need to be ready to handle an influx of orders. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to get prepared for the holidays. Plan ahead so that you’re ready to ship as soon as the first order comes in.
In this guide, we’ll answer your most pressing holiday packaging questions:
• How far in advance should I order packaging for the holidays?
• What can I do if I run out of packaging in the middle of the holiday season?
• What are the most important holidays coming up? When do I need to order packaging for each holiday?
• What type of packaging do I need for my holiday orders?
• How can I make my holiday packaging more festive or customised?
How far in advance should I order packaging for the holidays?
The short answer to this question is, “As soon as possible.” During holiday rush times, shipping delays are frequent, and cutting it too close will only cause you unnecessary stress.
At DS Smith, we recommend leaving at least three to four days for delivery of regular in-stock products and two weeks for customised products. Mark your calendar with dates you expect to be busiest leading up to the holidays and work backwards.
Consult the holiday schedule of the delivery provider you use for e-commerce orders to determine the last possible shipping dates. For example, Royal Mail recommends getting parcels in the post by December 18 for them to arrive by Christmas via second-class mail.
What can I do if I run out of packaging in the middle of the holiday season?
No need to worry if you notice that your order volumes are higher than expected and you are running out of packaging in the middle of your holiday season. Make use of DS Smith ePacks large stocked packaging range and convenient next day delivery service offering.
The last possible day to order packaging in December is the 20.12. Orders will be delivered again on the 02.01.
What are the most important holidays coming up? When do I need to order packaging for each holiday?
Major Holidays in 2018
Held the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is a previously American holiday that has grown in global popularity. It marks the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season, and retailers of all kinds take advantage of the day to offer sales and deals on products of all kinds – clothing, toys, electronics, books, etc. IMRG reported that consumers spent £1.39 billion on UK online retail sites in 2017, up 11.7% from the previous year.
Date: November 23
We recommend ordering packaging by October 29
Cyber Monday, which takes place two days after Black Friday, is a key holiday shopping date for e-commerce retailers. Setting new sales records every year, Cyber Monday consists of deals that are only available online. The holiday is especially appealing for shoppers who prefer to buy online instead of in brick-and-mortar stores.
Date: November 26
We recommend ordering packaging by: October 30
Christmas Day is obviously the main focus of most holiday shoppers. Their concern is receiving their orders in time to give items as Christmas gifts.
Date: December 25
We recommend ordering packaging by November 20
Other Holidays in 2018
Small Business Saturday
Date: December 1
We recommend ordering packaging by November 4
Free Shipping Day
Date: December 15
We recommend ordering packaging by November 24
New Year’s Eve
Date: December 31
We recommend ordering packaging by November 30
What type of packaging do I need?
In general, choosing the right type of packaging is important for your brand for several reasons. It must:
• Protect your bottom line by minimising costs and waste
• Safely transport products to customers without damage
• Create a delightful unboxing experience
• Leave customers with a positive impression of your brand
When putting together holiday packaging, you still need to cover all of these priorities – but also make the unboxing experience even more delightful. Opening the box should feel like unwrapping a present.
How can I make my holiday packaging more festive or customised?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get your packaging in the holiday spirit. Simple, affordable touches go a long way. Here are a few ideas:
Gift boxes and accessories
Send your products in a beautiful red, white or black gift box. Add a ribbon in gold, red or white, and write the recipient’s name or a personalised message on a round gift label. Find a colour combination that strikes the right tone. For example, a black box with a gold ribbon is elegant, while a red box with a white ribbon is jolly.
A box full of packing peanuts and bubble wrap isn’t very merry – upgrade standard void fill with a splash of colour. Opt for red tissue paper or red or green crinkle-cut paper filler.
Make your packaging memorable; print your boxes with a customised holiday message or design. DS Smith offers a wide range of boxes that you can custom print on the exterior and/or the interior.
Are you ready for the holiday rush? Do you need help figuring out what packing materials are the best fit for your e-commerce business?
Get in touch with DS Smith, and we’ll be happy to help out. You can reach us via 0808 1691030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.