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When the sun is scorching hot, all we can think of is laying on a beach. Even when we’re sitting in an office, it seems like the whole world has slowed down. However, it is the best time to start thinking about the busiest season of the year in e-commerce - Christmas!
A solid preparation can prevent you from too much stress and heat. In order to see how some companies prepare for the Christmas time, we have asked Wojciech Zajac, the owner of the Happy Socks store in Warsaw, to share his golden recipe for Christmas.
Packhelp: Last time we met you've mentioned that some of your customers ask about the packaging itself because they like it so much. Does it motivate you to change the design of the boxes often? What is the strategy of Happy Socks?
Happy Socks: Yes, that’s true. We do have customers coming back to our shops, asking about the boxes. You see, they are very colorful, their shapes are slim and elegant - they simply look good. Some customers want to buy these boxes as storage places in their homes. For us, it’s an opportunity to upsell - they often buy one or two pairs of the socks more and get our product with the custom packaging.
How do you prepare for Holidays?
Packhelp: On the one hand, many stores consider summer as a sales period only. On the other, it is a calm before the storm, because Christmas campaigns are about to start.
Happy Socks: Summer is not necessarily a moment when sales plummet down, but it is harder to get people’s attention. We tend to think more about the days off at work, rather than planning a Christmas campaign. What’s more, our products are often bought as presents, which means there shouldn’t be that much seasonality after all.
Having said that, Christmas is the busiest period for Happy Socks. Therefore, we begin to plan our campaign already in late July and August. We start the designing process in August to purchase all the necessary materials in September. Only in this way we can be sure that we will be ready with everything in October.
The later you start, the more things pop up along the way and create chaos.
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So what’s the place of packaging in this pre-Christmas strategy?
Happy Socks: Packaging is essential to our strategy. You see, these boxes are not only protection for our products. We see them as a part of our marketing mix. Happy Socks is a brand with a positive attitude. When people buy our socks as gifts in sock packaging, we want them to use these boxes as the final packaging. It needs to be safe, protective packaging, but also quality gift packaging.
It’s a whole unboxing experience that matters here.
Hence, we have to estimate the size of our orders much, much earlier. It’s better to be prepared, have the boxes in stock. We cannot imagine a situation when we ran out of the branded packaging in the hottest sales period. And the printing time on Christmas is significantly longer. You know that guys, don't you?
We start the designing process in August to purchase all the necessary materials in September. Only in this way we can be sure that we will be ready with everything in October.
Does Happy Socks design a special type of boxes for Christmas?
Happy Socks: Yes! We believe in the magic of Christmas. It’s colorful, it’s light and positive. It perfectly describes our brand. As I said earlier, our boxes are often used as Christmas gifts, so we want them to look fancy. Generally, we like to change designs.
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Do you have any tips for other retailers and online store owners?
Happy Socks: I’d say that there are many things that you need to take care of. The most important one is obviously getting the right amount of product in stock.
Packaging is also important. When you start early, you have the opportunity to think about every detail. Your box design is meticulous, it’s not cheesy or hastily done. You can precisely estimate the size of the order, even think about creating a better unboxing experience for your customers. Happy Socks uses a packaging set of boxes, paper bags, and poly mailers and they can all be Christmas-themed.
We start with the designs now. We give ourselves time to think about it. Once we’re done, we order all these solutions in September. Even if we feel that we might need something more, there is still time. I think that packaging is one of these things that you can plan ahead. It saves a lot of stress. You see, many brands start thinking about these aspects very late, around November. But the truth is, it’s already too late at that time.
I think that packaging is one of these things that you can plan ahead. It saves a lot of stress. You see, many brands start thinking about these aspects very late, around November. But the truth is, it’s already too late at that time.
Make your plan for the Christmas campaign
August - Prepare your designs and make them ready for the online box editor
September - Order your boxes without any stress
October - Receive your boxes on time
November - Plan your sales with boxes already at your hand!