Although sometimes it’s hard to tell what season we’re in just by looking at the weather, in the UK, most businesses take the seasons into account. Depending on what products or services your business provides, it’s likely you have at least one key market opportunity according to the calendar. If so, you need packaging and/or delivery solutions in place to help you meet a seasonal increase in demand.
These days, consumer spending revolves around the time of year more than ever before, particularly with regard to high-profile national and international sales. We’ve taken a look at how to prepare for date-led sales in more detail in another article, but here we turn our attention to seasonal events in general.
Seasonal packaging is perfectly suited to some businesses, but even if your company doesn’t make use of seasonal-themed packaging, there may be other ways that you should be considering the seasons in terms of how you pack and present your goods and services. For example, do you invest in more heavy-duty water-resistant packaging during the winter months? Do you take precautions to guard against the increase in transit damage a busy time of year can cause?
“Don’t get caught out and face a scramble to get ready”
Even though the same seasonal events happen at the same time every year, it’s easy to underestimate the amount of time it takes to prepare, especially when it comes to stocking packaging and delivery solutions. Don’t get caught out and face a scramble to get ready, use our guide to find out how and when businesses should use packaging to make the most of their customers’ seasonal buying habits.
First things first – packaging whatever the weather
Before we look at seasonal events more closely, does your business need to think about the impact of the weather on your packaging needs? As we’ve already alluded to, the UK weather is notorious for changing between four seasons in one day, but even so, seasonal weather can and should still play a part in how businesses approach packaging, transit and delivery.
If your business ships, sends or delivers items to customers or clients, wet weather must be a consideration at all times. The heavens can open any time of year, and while your courier should ensure your goods don’t spend any significant length of time outside, it’s best to be on the safe side and pack up your products in packaging that can withstand wet conditions. Make sure your products have sufficient protection from the rain with tough and durable water repellent polythene mailing bags, which self-seal to form a secure water-tight covering. You can also invest in water resistant self-adhesive document enclosed envelopes to attach to the outside of any package.
High-value items such as furniture must be completely protected from the elements; even the slightest moisture inside the packaging of a mattress or sofa can lead to a build-up of damp while in transit or storage. Look for strong, thick 250-gauge mattress and sofa bags when transporting these items, and seal them with waterproof packing tape.
Why you should protect your products with cellophane where possible
Completely impenetrable by water, cellophane , or polypropylene as it’s also known, is a hydrophobic material with which to wrap your products. If you need to guarantee waterproof packaging for your goods, cellophane is for you. Don’t wrap your goods tightly in cellophane, instead wrap it loosely to be most effective. Cellophane wrap rolls contain a large amount that can be cut to any size you need.
Tailoring your packaging by season
From seasonal celebrations such as Easter and Halloween, to international sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday , the calendar is full of opportunities for retail and service-driven businesses to generate extra income. Take a look at our Sales packaging guide for a full list of the biggest seasonal events each year.
While there are some seasonal events that virtually all retail businesses can benefit from, such as Christmas, others are more specialised. For example, confectionary companies and florists may find themselves very busy around Valentine’s Day, while stockists of fireworks will do most of their business leading up to Bonfire Night. Studies have found that seasonal packaging can evoke positive emotions for consumers, so investing in themed packaging products can encourage both new customers to engage with your brand and increase brand loyalty of existing ones!
There are a huge array of off-the-shelf seasonal themed packaging products available, especially for the biggest seasonal events such as Christmas and Easter. Brighten up any Christmas package or display with festive printed tissue paper or cellophane wrap, a printed cellophane bag and printed ribbons. Create seasonal gift hampers and stock up on envelopes, bags and sleeves for greetings cards.
You’ll know if you have the type of business that can boost revenue through seasonal-themed packaging, but if so, there are certain things you should be aware of.
For example, if you want a bespoke seasonal packaging product, such as a Christmas-themed carrier bag incorporating your company logo, you must allow for plenty of lead time. Creating a custom design gives your seasonal packaging a great personal touch, but your supplier will need at least four to six weeks to turn it around , and you may want to make changes to your design before finalising the print run. At busy times of year, such as the run up to the festive season, it’s best to plan even further in advance. Here at Transpack, we stock high volumes of nearly all of our seasonal packaging products all year round, so we’re ready when you are.
However, while custom printed packaging will be right for some businesses, it won’t be the best solution for all. Minimum orders tend to be larger for custom print runs, so take care not to burden yourself with a large amount of packaging product you won’t need. If budget is a factor, remember that you can create a seasonal feel with your packaging without including a specific design. For instance, simply using festive colours, such as red, green, gold or silver can give your packaging a nod towards the time of year without requiring a bespoke print run.
You may also want to consider expanding the theme of your seasonal packaging in order to give your products a longer shelf life and a wider appeal. Rather than using the word ‘Christmas’ on your packaging, using the word ‘Winter’ instead can extend the relevance of your goods beyond December. In a similar way, avoiding traditional yet religious imagery in your packaging designs (such as crosses at Easter) will make your goods stand out to a much broader customer base.
Avoiding product damage during busy seasons
For most businesses who ship their goods to customers, a busy season can mean more returns coming back. The right packaging and delivery solutions can help you minimise the number of returns you receive as a result of product damage during transit.
Cardboard cartons and boxes are a great way to ship multiple items at once, but take care how you pack your goods. Don’t be tempted to use scrunched up newspaper to pad out your goods; not only will it look unprofessional, paper compresses under pressure rather than bouncing back so really doesn’t offer much protection at all. Lightweight loose fill packaging such as packing peanuts and polystyrene chips provides a springy cushion and can stop items shifting about inside, but overfill your box and you risk the package bursting open. On the other hand, underfilling your box can mean your goods can be damaged by knocks and bumps. Ideally, you should aim for enough loose fill packaging to comfortably fill the empty space around your items, don’t be tempted to stuff it full. Double up your protective packaging by wrapping delicate products in bubble wrap and filling empty space with loose fill packaging.
For more protection, why not try an air cushion machine? Using a specially designed inflation machine, you can inflate as many cushions from a roll of air cushion film as you need to protect your goods during shipment.
Large loads or pallet loads consisting of multiple boxes may also benefit from stretch wrapping. Designed to form a tight layer around a package or pallet load, clear clingy stretch wrap can greatly improve the weathering and security of goods before they’re sent out.