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Holiday Packaging Tips for a Joyful Unboxing
  by:  |  Nov 19, 2021
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Last updated on April 28th, 2023 at 08:25 pm

Many businesses enjoy peak sales during the gift-giving season, and the numbers back it up. eMarketer forecasts that the total US holiday retail sales for 2021 will hit a whopping $1.093 trillion.

If your business is among the 30.2 million SMBs that make up the US market today, how do you ensure that you’re also on the receiving end of that sales stream?

According to BIGCOMMERCE, “Focus on the unboxing experience. It’s your only guaranteed 100% open rate.”

How to Design a Joyful Unboxing

Packaging plays a significant role in your buyer’s journey, amplified during the holiday season.

Quality products in festive packaging offer a convenient, gift-ready option to those who don’t have the time to shop and wrap presents. It is wise for businesses to ensure that their merch is delivered to delight and create a meaningful holiday unboxing experience.

While companies can use various telephone systems for business for customer support or focus on creating a user-friendly website, better packaging will help attract more customers and make them resonate with your brand.

After all, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to gain repeat shoppers for the new year. So, make that holiday impression count!

Related read: How to Gain Loyal Followers With the Perfect Unboxing Experience

With the help of UPrinting’s design pros and our very own unboxing expert, Joy Go, we’ve put together some tips to bump up your packaging game this season of #UnboxingJoy.

1. Add an element of surprise.

A present in itself is already a surprise, just waiting to be unboxed. And with a clever packaging design, you have a chance to help turn a surprise into a cherished memory.

By simply adding holiday patterns to the inside print of your custom box, you bring forth a sense of wonder and warmth that people look forward to during the holidays. Plus, you introduce the impression that your brand sincerely cares about creating holiday experiences. Win-win!

UP unboxing tip - custom boxes

2. Seal your package with a thoughtful message.

Economical, effective, and evoking holiday spirit, stickers and labels can be the cherry on top of your Christmas parcel or a quick way to spruce up an otherwise plain package with a short and sweet message.

Not only that, you can even include them as freebies! Pick out some holiday designs, have them printed into die-cut stickers, and voila—another fun surprise for your customers will appreciate and remember you.

UP unboxing joy - holiday stickers

3. Play with negative space.

If you’re working with custom pouches, you can harness negative space in your design to create strong symbolism and hidden surprises. Popular holiday icons like Santa Claus, snowman, and pine trees have the advantage of being recognizable even in the context of a minimalist layout.

You can also place dynamic QR codes linked to memorable holiday offers to guarantee repeat purchases and open up opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

We often see designers playing with negative space in logos and movie posters, making for iconic visuals. Why not give it a whirl for your limited edition holiday packaging?

UPrinting unboxing joy - holiday custom pouch

4. Choose a focal design element.

Just like writing a story, designing your holiday packaging becomes more effective if the main information or intention is clear—like a title if you will.

The primary element needs to be highlighted, which you can emphasize through size or color, and then sprinkle the remaining space with smaller holiday shapes or text. Giving these elements hierarchy ties up all your components nicely while shining the spotlight on the focus of your design.

UPrinting Unboxing Joy - holiday sleeve designs

Early Holiday Packaging Prep

Early planning and preparation can save you from stressful waiting with holiday packaging. It also gives you the edge of having your products ready for early gift shoppers.

Now that’s something many marketers would say. But we wanted first-hand insight from a small business, so we reached out to Morgan Dent, the owner and designer of Ophelia by Design, a handmade clay goods & accessories brand.

Morgan tells us that her prep work starts with research and many customer interactions to build enthusiasm.

“My shop is focused on handmade earrings. In preparation for holiday-centered pieces, I share behind-the-scenes photos of my workspace and ask my audience questions about what they want to see to get them excited and involved.”


She adds that the holiday season starts in September for small business owners like her. A stressful and overwhelming time, she admits, but also fun and exciting.

Halloween for Morgan is when she gauges what her customers want to see for the rest of the holiday season. This can vary from business to business, but for this savvy entrepreneur, it’s the perfect time to figure out if her audience is into holiday-specific earrings or want a more subtle look that they can give as gifts and wear all year long.

Ophelia by Design handmade clay earrings

So yes, in addition to designing unforgettable holiday unboxing, timing is an equally important factor if you want to benefit from the high demand for gift-ready pieces.

Make the most of this unboxing season to grow your sales, build your audience, and expand your brand’s reach. These will all help you make a smashing entry into the new year.

Do you have a holiday packaging tip to add? Let’s share it with the UPrinting community!

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