The holiday season is upon us with Christmas and the New Year just around the corner. This also means that e-commerce retailers are gearing up for the season’s sale with attractive deals and offerings. It is a highly competitive market. Customers are spoiled with choices but are more discerning and expect more for their dollar. According to research reports, it all boils down to brand loyalty.

It is not easy for e-commerce merchants to build brand loyalty, as people are bound to compare and are also willing to try new products and services and brands. So, how is it possible for a brand to create that one “wow” experience in a sale, to make sure that it retains its current customers and also attracts more for the holiday season? Perhaps the answer to this question lies in a lesser-known statistic that may make you rethink your packaging strategies.

Surprising statistics

Research suggests that 40% of consumers are likely to share pictures of their packages on social media. While most brands do not pay much attention to their packaging, it could actually bring in sales during this season and could be a critical factor for your brand.  If brands use premium packaging, there could also be a 30% rise in consumer interest. Also, with so much awareness about environmental issues, today’s customers prefer reusing the packaging; In fact, 90% of them do so, say the research reports. Custom packaging is an important aspect of branding.

The social effect

Commonly seen and known human psychology indicates people of all ages are thrilled to see and receive beautifully packaged gifts. In fact, even if one has ordered a product for themselves, and it comes well packed, especially a bit customized or themed according to the season, it brings cheers and a smile. It is equally true that however good the product inside maybe, a shabbily packed item can be a big turnoff as well.

Today, millennials are now taking to social media like Facebook and Instagram to share their experiences. From the simplest of things to the greatest of moments in life, almost everything is shared, often with pictures and captions. It is seen, liked and reshared. If the posts happen to have an element of your branding in it, one can imagine the kind of free marketing and brand value that one social media post can bring in.

A picture of a beautifully custom-packaged gift shared on social media can actually be your ONE big marketing strategy for the season! People get to see it, ask about it, talk about it, check up on it and perhaps may even end up ordering it for themselves or for someone else. Hence, even the most established brands in the world go for personalization/customization with their packaging, as part of their marketing strategy. Coca-Cola, Goldfish, Crayola, Owlcrate and many others have shown how it can be done.

The nitty-gritty

What should a brand concentrate on to use this aspect to boost holiday sales? The idea is to ensure custom packaging with the help of a dependable partner like Arka. The options include custom boxes, shippers or cartons, backed by some custom tapes or stickers. Colors matter a lot, and attractive custom boxes with personalized or eye-catching messages can go a long way in establishing an emotional connection with customers. Arka offers you all this and more with unbelievably fast turnaround times, attractive pricing and a promise of eco-friendly materials.

If the product inside lives up to the great experience created by the packaging and the reveal after unwrapping, then it could just be the beginning of a long relationship with that customer. Word of mouth matters a lot, and a happy and delighted customer who talks about and shares the experience, especially on social media, might win you the branding war.

Another benefit occurs when these customers reuse these boxes or packaging material for gifting others. It is like passing on their good experience with your packaging to someone else, thereby creating additional advertisement of your brand which might otherwise cost time and money to build up.


When you have a team like Arka at your disposal, you can easily create a strategy for custom packaging without going overboard with your budget or with your designs. Something simple and unique that makes your brand stand out in all those shipping boxes, and something attractive that increases the product’s desirability can be the underlying strategy. You can also choose custom options for colors, themes, messages, age groups or certain product categories. You never know what might become a hit out there and go viral. Before you know it, you may have a myriad of new customers looking at your products. 

Blog post by Sarah Mooney, chief marketing officer at Arka, a Rithum partner.