Christmas is fast approaching, and the best eCommerce stores adapt for the season. You'll be dealing with lots of new customers buying for their loved ones, so it's super important that you make a positive impression. The first thing a customer sees when they receive an order is the packaging, so it's the best place to make a first impression.
If you're struggling with Christmas packaging ideas to surprise your customers, then we've got you covered. Here are some of our favorite Christmas packaging tips to help set your Christmas products apart from the competition, and make a lasting impression on new customers.
What makes good Christmas packaging?
The first thing to note is that what makes good Christmas packaging changes depending on whether it's for the consumer or for the business, and it's really important to make that distinction.
A lot of people will buy Christmas gifts for their family and friends but will want to look over the product themselves first, so an ornately wrapped gift with bows may look amazing but actually turn out to be an inconvenience for the buyer.
We're focusing here on what makes excellent packaging from a business perspective, but there are plenty of blogs and pages brimming with Christmas packaging ideas for the consumer too!
We'll go in to these in more detail down below, but here's a few key areas you can touch on to make sure that your Christmas packaging is ready to make an impression this holiday season:
- Seasonal additions and extras to include
- Interactive or theatrical packaging
- Gift wrapping options
- Sustainable packaging
- Including a festive message
One of the most common Christmas packaging ideas that are used by eCommerce stores is adding in some festive extras, and thankfully there are a ton of things associated with Christmas that make excellent thematic additions to a gift box. Here are a few ideas you could give your customers the option of including, but you may have some ideas more specific to your business that will make a great fit!
- Sweets and chocolate are classic additions, with candy canes, homemade cookies and gingerbread people in particular in keeping with the festive theme
- Christmas decorations such as tinsel or bunting can fill your gift box rather than boring brown paper
- Pinecones, fir tree trimmings, wreaths or other natural elements can give your Christmas packaging an authentic, rustic feel
- Anything that appeals to different senses; bells and cinnamon sticks are some great examples of a sound and smell typically associated with Christmas
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does lead us on nicely to our next topic!
Interactive or theatrical packaging
One way to really level up your Christmas packaging is by making elements of it interactive or theatrical. This is a great thing to do any time of year, but Christmas time really opens the doors for you to get even more creative with your Christmas packaging ideas.
As we touched on above, appealing to the senses is a great way to elevate your Christmas packaging experience to the next level, and really surprise and delight your customers.
We mentioned cinnamon sticks as a potential packaging inclusion, but there are other options for appealing to your customers' sense of smell too! Scratch and sniff is a classic when it comes to interactive Christmas packaging, but that doesn't mean it's not still super effective. You could include scratch-and-sniff stickers or even individual scratch cards in your Christmas packaging for customers.
The other senses may have a few fewer options, but bells are great to appeal to your sense of hearing, and there are also a few options for touch, too. Consider using more luxurious materials, such as velvet, to add a touch of class to your packaging and give customers a more luxurious experience.
You can also consider adding interactive elements, such as Christmas crackers to your packaging and giving people prizes! This will not only delight the customer by getting something unexpected, but it could also provide you with some extra social media content - the more innovative and surprising your Christmas packaging, the more likely your customers are to share it!
The unboxing experience isn't just for Christmas, though - it's something worth investing in all year round! We've written a guide full of information on how to create an engaging unboxing experience, so it's worth a look if you're struggling for ideas!
Gift wrapping options
Whilst some customers may be looking to investigate the product they receive before gifting it to a loved one, others may want it to go straight to the recipient. Even if not, they may want it gift-wrapped to save themselves the trouble. Christmas is a really busy period, so anything you can do to make your customers' lives easier will help form a positive impression of your brand.
When it comes to the packaging itself, there are many different packaging aesthetics that are perfect for the festive season. Some will likely be a better fit for your brand, but giving your customers more choice is increasing your chance that they'll convert!
Here are a few Christmas packaging ideas and themes that you could consider for your store:
- Festive colors such as red, green and white packaging to lean into the Christmas period
- Winter or snowy themes as a secular nod to the festive season
- White and gold is also a somewhat festive color theme, with a slightly more classy finish
- Polka dots, stripes or something minimalist can be used throughout the year
- There are all sorts of materials you can use such as tissue paper, construction paper and many more
- Something unconventional such as newspaper or wordsearch wrapping paper (another great interactive idea!)
- There are tons of different types of wrapping - regular ribbons and bows are a favorite, but themed options such as ivy or Christmas lights can create a unique holiday season aesthetic
- Gift toppers can be of anything at all - use festive ones or something specific to your brand
- Anything we mentioned above in the 'seasonal extras' section would make a great addition to the inside of any gift box!
Gift wrapping is all well and good, but many customers also want to include a gift note with their orders too. The impact of the gift can be massively amplified by it's accompanying message, telling them why you thought of them and how you hope they enjoy it. Lots of businesses will offer this, but one way to one-up your competitors is by making them handwritten.
Handwritten gift notes can really make a difference and make the unwrapping on Christmas day that much more meaningful, as opposed to a generic Times New Roman printed message.
Scribeless can help automate your production of handwritten notes, allowing you to print them in-house and pack them with your gift orders to help make a more meaningful Christmas buying experience. You can find out more information about Scribeless' automatic gift notes here!
So far we've covered a lot of extras and theatrics you can include to make your experience as memorable as possible, but sometimes, less is more.
Increasingly, people are becoming more and more aware of the impact their consumption habits have on the environment, and some buyers will be put off by the idea of excessive waste.
The key here is balance - offering your customers the choice between some simpler and some more advanced gift wrapping options will really help you appeal to the entirety of your customer base.
Showing how you are being environmentally conscious on your website and packaging can also really help too. If you're doing anything as a business to offset your carbon emissions, or are using recyclable materials, signposting this on site and on the packaging itself can really make a difference to your most eco-friendly customers.
Including a festive message
We've covered gift messages already, but an unexpected message from you and your company can also have a positive impact! Adding in a small Christmas card expressing how much you hope they enjoy their gift is a great way to make a bond with a potential new customer and make the experience more special.
It's worth remembering that at Christmas, many people receiving your gifts may not have actually visited your store before, as the gift has been bought for them. Maybe add in a discount code, encouraging them to make a purchase themselves in the future if they love their gift.
Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out exactly what to say in a Christmas card that's coming from your company. How formal should I be? Should it come from the company itself, or one of the team?
Don't worry, we've been there before - that's why we've made a business Christmas card etiquette guide to ensure you're nailing your messaging this festive season.
This may all seem like a lot to take on board and action in what will already be an incredibly busy time for your business, but the time and effort you put into making your customer experience more special will resonate with buyers and leave a lasting impression.
If you want to make the most of your holiday season traffic, making sure you have some great Christmas packaging ideas in place is a great place to start.
If you're looking for other Christmas tips for your eCommerce store, check out this blog post for more creative ideas on how to optimize your website, marketing, fulfillment and more for the festive season.