Every year, thousands of businesses across the UK brace themselves for the peak season rush. Yes, we’re talking Christmas.
“Peak” is the term used to describe the busiest time of year for ecommerce and retail businesses, typically lasting from October to January. During this period, it’s critical that businesses ensure their packaging supplies, processes and logistics are all thoroughly prepared for the increased demand.
Many packages are time sensitive during this final quarter, meaning a bump or two along the way could lead to a set of unhappy customers. Instead, it’s smart to begin organising your packaging processes as soon as possible, giving you time to iron out any issues before it gets especially busy.
With that said, here are five tips to help your business prepare for peak-season packaging.
1. Review your packaging process
Like many other businesses in your situation, you’re likely expecting the volume of orders to increase during the festive period. If that’s the case, it’s vital that your packaging is streamlined to get maximum output with minimal waste.
From reviewing pack benches, to ensuring material locations are organised in the most efficient manner, just a few small changes could make a huge improvement to the efficiency of your operation.
For example, make sure the most used packaging materials are stored closest to your packing area, and that they’re arranged in a way that is easy to locate. This will eliminate wasted time spent by employees looking for materials or having to walk across the warehouse for a roll of tape.
Time is money. If your packaging process is too long, lead times may suffer, and then you’ll be at risk of losing customers to competitors.
2. Think sustainable packaging
A staggering amount of waste is created during Christmas, resulting in tonnes of packaging materials being set to landfill. To put things into perspective, the amount of Christmas plastic packaging that was wrongly placed in the general waste bin prior to COVID-19 was estimated at 114,000 tonnes.
It’s also said that 300,000 tonnes of cardboard packaging is used over the festive season, which is enough to cover London’s Big Ben roughly 260,000 times over.
Consumers are becoming more and more aware of their material usage and disposal habits over Christmas. Just last year, new research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) revealed that over half (53%) of UK adults who celebrate Christmas believe that that it’s important to do so in an environmentally friendly way.
This has a direct effect on gifts that are purchased solely based on how sustainable its packaging is. So as a business looking to thrive during peak season, recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable packaging options should be at the top of your list as well as packaging that is easily returnable.
At Swiftpak, we take pride in helping our customers reduce waste and explore sustainable packaging options that don’t break the bank. As an environmentally responsible packaging supplier, we believe that it’s our responsibility to help businesses like you meet their environmental goals. By producing automated packaging waste reports, conducting audits that focus on eliminating waste, and suggesting alternative solutions that promote sustainability, we can help reduce your footprint over the festive season and beyond.
3. Consider automation for simple processes
Spending hours taping, assembling, and void-filling boxes, or strapping and wrapping pallets is not an efficient use of time - especially during peak season. When order volumes are on the rise, the word ‘busy’ can sometimes be an understatement. With the introduction of automated machinery, the opportunity to reduce package handling will help cut down on labour costs and allow you to focus more on customer satisfaction.
This can be achieved through the use of automated taping, stretch wrap, void fill and strapping machines, which we explore in further detail here.
4. Focus on customer experience
Customer experience should always be at the forefront when it comes to ecommerce and retail packaging solutions. If you want your brand to be perceived as premium, you could use the peak season as a way to launch a new, luxury packaging solution.
Think of your packaging as another way to market your product. A memorable unboxing experience will keep your customers loyal and wanting to re-order as well as share their positive experience through online reviews.
5. Plan and prepare for the worst
A great way to excel in the peak packaging season is to be prepared for anything and everything to happen. The more prepared you are, the better you can react to any issues that arise. Plan well ahead by ordering in more packaging products than you expect to use – especially given the recent packaging struggles and shortages faced.
You should also review data from the previous year and make a list of products that saw a spike in sales. Knowing what the most popular products are likely to be will help you prepare and foresee any packaging shortages that could occur over the festive period.
Prepare for the peak season with packaging from Swiftpak
Busy sales periods are your chance to convert one-time buyers into long-term customers. Now is the time to re-evaluate your packaging solutions in order to impress!
Here at Swiftpak, we have over 45 years of experience in the industry, supplying businesses of all kinds with the packaging solutions they need to succeed. If you’d like to learn more about our range and what we could do for you over the peak season, get in touch with our expert team today – we’d love to hear from you.