The holiday season is right around the corner, so now is the time to start prepping for holiday orders. Once Thanksgiving passes, it will be too late to make adjustments, and the bulk of the orders will start flowing in.
Due to the high volume of online orders, many companies have already switched to the ship-from-store or omnichannel packaging process, in which brick-and-mortar stores are used as mini distribution centers for online orders. Companies that integrate ship-from-store rely on packaging stations that are customized for their specific distribution needs.
Hughes Enterprises is proud to help our clients with omnichannel packaging by providing fully customized packaging stations. We help our customers save money and seamlessly integrate packaging stations.
As the holidays approach, companies using packaging stations should consider making adjustments to accommodate changes in consumer behavior during the holidays.
Increase in Volume
An increase in volume is the number one change that e-tailers experience during the holidays. Many e-commerce retailers do 80-90% of their sales during these few short months. This means much more packaging than usual.
How much do you need to increase your packaging supplies? One way to measure this is to evaluate your previous year’s e-commerce sales, then consider increases and special promotions. If you are a new business or new to integrate omnichannel, industry data can help determine volume. A Hughes Packaging expert can also evaluate your packaging needs and provide insights on quantities and SKUs.
During the holidays, you can expect to see an increase in your top-selling products. These may also be products that you offer sales and promotions for during the holidays. Your top-selling products can help determine the packaging products you will need to add to your packaging station. Consider the packaging materials that are essential for your top sellers and make sure to order more than normal.
There’s a number of reasons people order in bulk during the holidays. Often people will buy the same gift for multiple people. Companies also tend to offer bulk discounts and bundle deals during the holidays, making these products good to stock up on or offer as gifts.
When people are ordering in bulk, it is important to have the right boxes, envelopes, or other shipping containers to accommodate the bulk orders. The products must fit in the boxes (minimizing multiple boxes per order) while minimizing DIM weight.
If you sell products that are gift worthy, you may offer special gift wrapping during the holidays. This is an opportunity to make extra money on your orders without hurting your bottom line. It’s worth it to make your customers lives easier and increase your brand value.
Make sure that your online order form has space for a gift message and for the recipient address. You may also want to offer the option to remove the receipt and/or tags from the order.
If you decide to offer gift wrapping, you will need to equip your packaging station with gift wrapping equipment. Ensure that your staff who is responsible for gift wrapping has the right equipment and training to create nicely packaged gifts so that you keep your customers happy and avoid negative reviews later.
You may consider specially branded wrapping materials to keep your brand visibility. Some types of gift wrapping materials that you will want to have on your packaging station include:
- Wrapping paper
- Wrapping tissue
- Gift bags
- Gift boxes
Be prepared for last minute shoppers! When orders come in at the last minute, customers are often forced to pay rushed fees, which means retailers have to have protocols in place to service the rush processing. Expect a higher number of these orders during the holidays.
Other Considerations for E-Commerce During the Holidays
The packaging station is not the only change to make during the holidays. E-commerce retailers should also consider:
- Free shipping for orders that come in before a certain date
- Expedited shipping offers in the days before the holidays
- Increasing email promotions
- Informing your customers ahead of time with changes in hours or ordering processes
- Offer special holiday packaging
If you found this article helpful, you may want to check out the following blog posts:
- Automatic Bagging Systems Help E-Commerce Streamline Packaging Demands Over the Holidays
- Get a Head Start on Your Holiday Packaging
- Are You Prepared for the Holiday Shopping Season? 3 Survival Tips for E-Commerce Packaging Operations
If you need help with your packaging station needs, contact a Hughes Packaging consultant.