It’s November, which means its nearly the Silly Season.
What constitutes the “silly season”?
The obvious is of course Christmas and New Year, but also, now Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Basically, from November to December, it’s the start of a crazy period when people are rushing around trying to buy the perfect gifts for loved ones while getting the best deals.
It’s no surprise then that Kiwi’s are not exempt and are spending their fair share too.
According to an NZ Post eCommerce Insight below it’s quite clear its New Zealand’s largest spending period.
So what does this mean when it comes to Packaging?
A couple of things.
Firstly, that it is a lot of orders being placed, products being shipped, and then opened. This means that there is a lot of packaging! According to Treehugger article the US alone estimates over 1.2 Billion packages will be delivered! Now that’s a lot of boxes and courier bags!
Secondly, that means a lot of consumers unboxing orders and a lot of opportunities for brands to get it right. BUT also get it WRONG!
Which is what I would like to elaborate on. Hence the title of the blog.
“Is your packaging ready for the silly season?”
I guess the key thing to understand here is, what makes an order “packaging ready” in the first place.
From our experience, it’s pretty simple.
Getting your order from Point A to Point B, safely and efficiently.
Sounds simple right?
Because every order is completely different. Meaning the variable factor increases during this period.
Add another recent factor into the mix and that is customer expectations have also changed.
In other words, getting your order from Point A to Point B isn’t enough anymore to delight your customers.
You now also need to think about the following.
How sustainable is your packaging?
How quickly can you get it there?
Can it be tracked?
Can I easily return it?
Is the packaging easily recyclable?
These points are further highlighted in the recent NZ Post’s eCommerce Market Survey, where shoppers and consumers share what’s important to them when ordering.
What’s also interesting in that report is the shift towards consumers wanting more “environmentally friendly packaging”.
In fact, a whopping 79% of consumers prefer packaging that is more “environmentally friendly”.
So what constitutes “environmentally friendly packaging”?
From our experience, it’s packaging that is easily recyclable and preferably kerbside recyclable.
This typically means packaging that is paper or fibre-based. Consumers gravitate towards this due to its ease of recycling these types of material and they are general accepted as a “environmentally friendly” material.
We have also seen the rise of other sustainable materials such as recycled content and compostable packaging.
But be weary. Whilst the material type has strong tones of sustainability, ensuring that the consumer and user can actually compost or recycle is equally key.
If you’re not sure, there are fantastic resources available that help guide brands on this, and we’ve made a collection of those resources which can be found below.
Another point that consumers want, is to be able to return orders easily. Designing with this in mind may help the customer experience and increase brand loyalty.
For example, if you are sending out clothing or apparel in a mailer or courier bag, could you incorporate a “returns” strip. This means if the customer wishes to return the order for various reasons, they can simply use the same packaging by activating the returns strip.
Finally, I think an overlooked part of making sure your “packaging ready” for the silly season, is simply. Is your packaging is easy to open?
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to open an order or product, but having to tackle the countless amount of other packaging just to get to it!
A few years ago, Amazon implemented “Frustration Free Packaging” to help consumers, but also improve sustainability.
So if you are a brand or organization sending anything out during the so-called “silly season” then be mindful that consumers are typically more aware of the packaging during this period.
After all, your packaging will be the last touch point your consumer will remember!
If you haven’t already, then we recommend putting yourself in your customer’s shoes or “hands”, and see if your packaging is easy to open, easy to recycle or dispose of, or easy to return.
Till next time.
Team Hi-Tech Packaging