It's almost time for the holiday sales, and the question is, are you ready for business?
Generally, this time of the year is usually very long for business owners and retail outlets. The fact is, Black Friday Cyber Monday is a time to make huge profits, and this year will not be different. However, the presence of COVID-19 is making it difficult to predict what this year's BFCM sales will look like.
All we all know is that this year is going to be different. But we also know that packaging will play a significant role in how much we sell this year. That's why we're going to talk about a checklist for that today.
In this article, you'll find a list of everything that you need to do to prepare your packaging for this holiday season. And if you're in a rush, there's a simple checklist down at the bottom.
To help merchants chart a path for this year’s holiday shopping season, Shopify held a webinar with Arka, “Product packaging and fulfillment best practices for BFCM” to share packaging best practices, how to optimize your shipping costs, how to increase sustainability, and how to boost customer loyalty.Click here to learn more
1. Make Proper Findings
The secret to great packaging is discovering what your customers want. See it as if each customer is requesting the specifications he or she wants. Your decisions should always be customer-centered.
There are ways to find out what type and style wows your customers. And one of them is by going through last year's BFCM reports. Alternatively, you can conduct small surveys to hear from your customers directly. Another simple way is to check the current packaging trends in your niche.
2. Strike A Deal With Suppliers
Suppliers are very important when it comes to packaging materials. The truth is, only 5 percent of the materials you use will come from you. This means you'll be dependent on supplies often.
With the right negotiation, you're certain of getting the value of your money. We advise that you try different suppliers to be informed about what's happening in the industry. This will ensure you don't pay too much or too little for supply.
3. Review Inventory
Inventory management is essential in business, especially for a big week like BFCM. Trust me; you don't want to be short of anything during this period.
Most times, brands see themselves having too much stock left after BFCM week. This is probably because they had purchased more than what they actually needed. Hence, reviewing your inventory helps you keep just what you need for the entire BFCM sales.
4. Buy Upfront
Packaging materials are better-purchased upfront. It's not ideal to be struggling to get materials at the same time you're trying to sell products. This would greatly reduce your productivity.
You should buy upfront to ensure that your designs get tested before the actual showdown. This will help you eliminate mistakes to the barest minimum.
5. Create A Work Schedule
BFCM is not the best time to start asking how you'll package your product. The fact is, the brand is expected to have set up everything it needs for holiday sales in advance. For a seamless packaging process, it is important to have an organizational work schedule.
Having a work schedule is one way to control and optimize the process. This schedule spells out the resources, both material and human, that are needed to achieve efficiency.
Packaging schedule summarizes the activities, commitments, and important decisions involved in preparing your package. Here are some of the important things to always remember when preparing a schedule list.
A. Make The Schedule Practicable
A work schedule should only include activities that are practicable. Your schedule should spell out the processes and how each is to be handled. Spell out the activities that require professionals and the ones that require ordinary laborers. That's the only way these activities will be easy to repeat irrespective of who handles them.
B. Ensure It Is Easy To Understand
Creating a work schedule that is difficult to read and understand makes no sense. In fact, the whole packaging process will crumble if your schedule is not clear enough. However, you can allow changes that are still within limits.
C. Make A Budget To Work With
Budgets are one of the ways to avoid waste, and that's why you need to always stick to them. Ensure that your budget reflects the actual need for each packaging process, so you don't have to alter anything on the list.
D. Publish Work Schedule Early Enough
Your schedule should be ready before you initiate the packaging process. The lead time of your schedule should be enough to allow your staff to internalize the processes involved.
E. Make A To-Do-List
Breaking down your schedule into simple steps helps you achieve efficiency. A to-do-list will help your staff focus on the important things. That way, they'll be more productive without having to use the whole day.
F. Leave Room For Evaluation
Irrespective of how good your schedule is, there's always room for improvement. Make out time to review or evaluate your work schedule to see what needs to be changed. This will help you always keep improving.
6. Ensure The Packaging Reflects The Mood Of The Season
One of the common things consumers lookout for during BFCM is the unboxing experience. It's a season of surprises, presents, and love. Hence, you've to ensure your packaging is not saying otherwise. Here are a few things to try out this season.
A. Customize Your Packaging
If there's any time you'll never make mistakes with custom packaging, it's the holiday season. Customers want to feel special during the holiday, and you have no idea what a crafty and attractive packaging could do at the time.
A whole lot of people will be buying gifts for their loved ones. You can save them the stress of wrapping the gifts.
Customized prints can be made on corrugated boxes, poly mailers, Kraft papers. You don't need to empty your savings to go beautiful on your products. However, it's important that you are aware of the prevalent packaging trend in your niche.
B. Personalize Your Packaging
There's always something beautiful about making your customer feel like they're the only ones getting your attention. To them, you'll always be different from those brands that are only after what they are from customers.
By adding just a harmless thank you card to your packaging, you'll be winning the heart of many persons. We believe you'll even sound more credible if the customer's name is printed on the cards. That way, he or she will identify with your brand like never before.
Handwritten notes can also go a long way in packaging. Since it's a season of love, seize the opportunity to send your greetings. Tell them they are valuable and ask them to have fun this season.
In addition to this, you can include small gifts or send a note telling them about great offers this season. Make them feel like it's a privilege to have the information.
C. Know Your Colors
Most often, we've come to identify each holiday with one particular color or group of colors. Now, not many people know how effective this can be. Using holiday colors for packaging is one way to tell your customers that you know what time of the year it is.
D. Use Eco-Friendly Materials
Using eco-friendly materials is one way to stay ahead of your competitors. As much as customers want an exciting box, they also want to be sure your brand is committed to the fight against deforestation. They want to know you've sourced your packaging materials reasonably.
Using recyclable materials is very important. You can trust recycled papers, organic fabric, and corrugated bubble wrap. These materials are better for getting a lightweight package. It's both safe and efficient.
Here in Arka, all our products are FSC certified, and this is part of our commitment to sustaining our environment.
Packaging is one of the fundamentals of BFCM sales. If you don't get it right, you'll be losing a whole lot of money and opportunities. We understand that this is a very sensitive aspect of a business, and that's why we have given you a checklist to work with.
Here's a simple checklist that includes all six of the points mentioned above.
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.