opening a gift box

The Ultimate Holiday Season Custom Packaging Checklist (2023)

With the holiday season around the corner, the influx of online shopping, orders and customers might be nerve-wracking for online retailers. A dramatic increase in online sales during the festive season is good news but are you prepared? 

According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, “Holiday retail sales are likely to increase between 4% and 6% in 2023.” It is an excellent opportunity to prepare for big revenue and generate sales by providing custom packaging to your customers this holiday season. 

Do not worry if you are not prepared. We have developed a checklist for this year's successful festive season packaging. It will help you steer through stress this season.

1. Why is Custom Packaging Important?

Custom packaging no longer holds a secondary position and has become as important as the product itself. It allows you to create a design according to the product’s dimensions. 

The value of the global custom boxes is expected to create revenue of about US$71.0 Billion by the end of 2032, rising at a CAGR of nearly 4.4% between 2023 and 2032.

 Apart from this, custom packaging is essential because: 

  • It sets your brand apart and attracts attention
  • It can hold any important information that customers need to know
  • It provides additional protection for the product.

 Keeping these benefits in mind, your brand must opt for custom packaging. 


2. Checklist for Custom Packaging During The Holiday Season

Custom packaging paired with the holiday season is an opportunity to connect with new, existing and returning customers. It is a promise that your offer is special and values the customers. 

 We have developed an easy-to-follow checklist to keep you ahead of the curve this year.


1. Start Planning Early

As an online e-commerce retailer, custom packaging is the backbone of your business. A customized package designed for holidays holds a unique promise of joy and happiness for your customers. It is a great way to impress the consumer so they can come again. 

Custom packaging plays a vital role in the business, so creating a holiday-themed calendar month is important before the season starts. Gather your team and discuss packaging ideas for holidays. Let them brainstorm, so they feel encouraged and are on the same page. 

The E-commerce industry is anticipated to increase by +4.2%YOY/ +69.2% YO3Y. The promising forecast presents a good opportunity for customer retention. A well-planned strategy works in your favor and helps you stay ahead of your competitors. 


2. Manage Your Inventory 

The sight of “out of stock” creates a poor customer experience and often results in abandoned carts. A survey found that 30%of consumers feel stockouts hurt their online shopping experience. They might find a substitute, but after experiencing it three times, 70% of shoppers go to another brand entirely.

Inventory management is one of the most important skills for any custom packaging provider. You should know about your inventory months before the holiday season starts, especially the items you need to restock. 

Order fulfillment  is a crucial part of the success of any e-commerce business. Demand for specific products increases during the holiday season, and 73% of retailers struggle with inventory forecasting. Some businesses free themselves from this stress and rely on 3PL companies.  

Whether hiring a third party or doing it yourself, make sure you have made the arrangements in advance to avoid mismanagement. 


3. Have a Thought-out Delivery Plan

Custom packaging is just one aspect of the business. Order fulfillment  is what sets you apart and is closely connected with good customer experience. Amazon now ships packages to your home the next day– it has increased the expectations of customers. They now want their packages delivered to them in a minimum time frame. 

A well-thought-out plan of product delivery is critical for the success of e-commerce. During the holiday season, the influx of demand might strain the supply chain. Supply chain management is essential as it focuses on the logistics processes such as warehousing, manufacturing of finished products, procurement of raw materials and distribution and delivery to the customer.  

So, before you jump into any custom packaging ideas, ensure business efficiency at its operational levels to stay ahead. 


72% of Americans say that the packaging design often influences their purchase decision. The race to stay ahead of competitors involves complete knowledge of current trends. Today brands need to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and they are right in their pursuit. Packaging is one of the ways to stand apart from your competitors. 

Your customers interact with your brand and packaging in ways you might not know. From placing an order online to anticipating and receiving it at your doorstep, it creates a memorable experience. Knowing the recent packaging trends will help you create a balance between style and functionality. 


As Steve Jobs said, "Packaging can be theater; it can create a story.” This is precisely what is expected of your brand. Create stories in whatever way you want, but it should connect you with your customers. 

5. Add a tinge of personalization

Instead of following a standard style for packaging, custom packaging allows you to add a tinge of personalization to connect with your customers at a personal level. Custom e-commerce packaging is a vital part of the business that includes modifying the color, shape, design, material and other nuances of packaging. 

Custom packaging during the holiday season allows you to develop a special bond with customers. 60% of consumers say they’ll become repeat customers after a personalized shopping experience. So, it is an opportunity not to be missed.

Ecommerce brands that create a memorable packaging experience for their customers expect higher retention rates, brand recall and loyalty. A personalized touch like a handwritten note saying “Thank you for shopping with us” or a custom message can greatly impact customers. A tinge of personalization will make them feel special and valued, and they will come again to have the same experience. 


6. Incorporate Seasonal Designs

During the holiday season, you can make the most of your sales. It is a great time to introduce limited-edition packaging designs. Brands can leave a long-lasting impression on their customers by incorporating attractive seasonal designs in their packaging. 

There has been a lot of research surrounding consumer behavior. One key finding is that it takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand.  A well-designed holiday season and custom packaging strategy can go a long way. It leaves a lasting impression. Brands that incorporate seasonal designs in their packaging stand out. 

Planning for the upcoming season requires attention to intricate details. Each brand wants to stay ahead and apart from its competitors. You can make your designs more interactive with digital prints and online illustrations. 


7. Use Eco-Friendly Materials

The introduction of environment friendly packaging has fueled the market growth. Choosing sustainable products makes you a responsible brand that leaves minimum carbon footprints. By optimizing your packaging process, you are making your eco-friendly customers happy. 

Customers today want to know how you source your packaging materials and their impact on the environment. Materials like cornstarch, organic fabric, corrugated bubble, cardboard and recycled paper are some of the material options that businesses use. By opting for eco-friendly products, businesses not only see a significant improvement in their sales, but it also helps build customer loyalty. 

At Arka, we take pride in all our products as they are FSC certified. We play our part in sustaining the environment. So, make sure you choose eco-friendly packaging, as it plays a significant role in customer retention and loyalty. 


8. Focus on customer fulfillment 

Packaging the product is an important aspect of any e-commerce business model. Creating customer-focused packaging gives you a chance to communicate with them at a personal level. 

Enabling end-to-end order visibility, offering valuable services for free, adding gifts or free samples, giving discounts and offering guides are ways to encourage customer retention and fulfillment. 

To wrap up, here’s a checklist to keep you sane this holiday season. Ensure you follow the steps and leave no stone unturned to please your customers. 

  • Start planning early
  • Manage your inventory 
  • Have a thought-out delivery plan
  • Know the packing trends
  • Add a tinge of personalization 
  • Incorporate seasonal designs 
  • Use eco-friendly material

Custom Packaging Tips for The Holiday Season

Now that the checklist is there to help you steer your way through the holiday season. Some tips for custom packaging might come in handy to help you make the most out of this holiday season. 


Add a Personal Note

A personal touch or a note can go a long way. A little whisper of gratitude and warm welcome informs the customers how special they are to a business. A handwritten thank you card is one of the simplest and most inexpensive inserts you can add to a packaging.

It gives you a competitive advantage. You can experiment with the idea, and it will work in your favor. 


Add Gifts or Free Samples

Adding free gifts or samples of your products is a great way to delight your customers. Your customers do not feel that you are trying to sell something; since it is unexpected, they are more likely to use it. 

A free gift or sample does not have to be expensive. Additional inserts are always a delight; let your customers know you value them. 


Ensure Your Packaging is Easy To Open and Dispose of

Any product that comes in a beautiful customized package will guarantee customer satisfaction. If you ensure that the packaging is easy to open and dispose of, you can give your customers a great unboxing experience. Opening a package should not annoy the customer, and disposing of the remnants should not be a big ordeal.

For any e-commerce business, delivering a package is not the end of the process– what follows is as important as getting an order placed. Make sure your packaging style is simple yet innovative and gives a memorable experience so customers can come again. 


Choose Holiday Season Colors

Holidays offer an invaluable time and opportunity to introduce limited-edition packages. There is something unexplainable about the holiday time. Families gather and buy gifts, and the excitement of unboxing the festive packaging gives immense joy. It is a festive season, so choosing holiday colors for custom packaging makes sense. 

Seasonal designs enhance the festive mood. You can make the best use of this time by choosing festive colors so you can be a part of your customers’ celebrations. 


Intricate Design Patterns

Intricate designs encourage customers to admire the aesthetics of a package. There is much room for e-commerce businesses to experiment with the design. You can try experimenting with abstract shapes, theme-based patterns, and illustrations. Give your customers a chance to admire the packaging by embedding subtle details. 


Use Festive-Themed Illustrations

Illustrations are a perfect way to tell your customers that what they are about to experience will last a long time. It is a great way to build anticipation. 

Add festive-themed illustrations like Christmas trees, snow, candy canes, etc., to keep the spirit alive. You can experiment with the illustrations by keeping your brand colors and voice in mind. 


Eco-Friendly Packaging 

Sustainability is the core element at Arka, and it matters a lot today. Customers want to know the source of packaging. The Coronavirus transformed consumer behavior, and they are now more cautious about wellness and hygiene. 

Shoppers are more careful with the result of their choices on the environment. They choose sustainable and eco-friendly packaging. Choosing eco-friendly packaging for your business is a great way to invite people to do business with your brand. 



Now is the best time to start thinking about the festive season strategy. As the holiday season is peeking through the window, it is better to gather your team today and start planning.

Creating a custom packaging strategy is just a starting point. You must align your strategy with marketing campaigns to reach your customers quickly and encourage more sales. 

When it comes to custom packaging, Arka has a solution for all brands; whether you need custom shipping boxes, mailer boxes or gift boxes, we can help!. This guide has laid a foundation for kickstarting the process and generating sales this holiday season. 

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