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7 eCommerce Shopping Days You Can't Afford to Ignore

The Christmas Holiday season is fast approaching. Whilst the sun is shining many are busy thinking about the impending (and much colder) peak season.

Planning for peak season is currently top of mind and the key to a successful (and stress free) season starts with understanding when peak season is going to hit. According to ecommerce consultancy Salmon this year we could see November overtake December as the year's peak trading month.

78% of ecommerce businesses say that meeting the additional demand for orders at peak times was an ongoing challenge in 2016 and with expectations of next day/same day delivery becoming the norm for customers delivery failures are a big no no!

Managing peak trading is dependent on efficient planning and getting forecasting right. It's never to early to start planning for peak and to kick start your planning we've created a peak season calendar featuring the 7 key shopping dates for 2017.  

To avoid the issue of insufficient stock hampering your productivity and profitability can be tackled by using Duo's free stock management tool which monitors usage against projections and provides you with an insight led delivery schedule. For more information about how we can help your brand maximise productivity and profits during the peak season contact Duo on 0161 203 5767 or email enquiries@duo-uk.co.uk

 

7 Ecommerce Shopping Days You Can 't Afford To Ignore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download 2017 peak season key shopping dates here so you're not lastminute.com

Delivery & Returns: Are you meeting customer expectations?

Drapers Image

As featured in Drapers Report Chapter 6: Getting Sustainability Wrapped up

The only consistent thing in fashion retailing is change. Today retailers find themselves being led by, rather than leading, the consumer, who dictates how they want to browse, buy, receive and return. You might be meeting customer expectations now, but are you looking ahead and asking, 'how will I meet those needs tomorrow?'

Duo were asked to share their expertise in Drapers exclusive report which identified some of the business critical trends online retailers need to know about, here are the highlights:

Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchases. A 2015 study by research company Nielsen of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries revealed that a brand's commitment to the environment has the power to sway the likelihood of a purchase for 45% of consumers.

As scale of distribution of online orders grows, online retailers are under pressure to try to reduce the environmental impact of their online order packaging - as required by their corporate social responsibility commitments. Aside from the volume, type and durability of the packaging needed for home delivery and returns, they are also concerned with the potential waste produced by each order. Consequently, CSR action plans and changes to online order packaging are being put into force.

At the beginning of the supply chain are the packaging companies, who work closely with online fashion and lifestyle retailers to ensure their packaging is sustainable and reaches environmental goals, without impacting processes and productivity.

"Environmental goals differ, depending on the brand's goals, whether reducing waste to landfill, reducing carbon footprint, encouraging customers to re-use packaging, or reducing the volume of packaging used to distribute their products," says Zoe Brimelow, Brand Director for packaging company Duo UK. She adds that a defined environmental target or focus and a team engagement plan often attribute to goals being achieved.

Packaging for online orders should be functional and durable and now thanks to innovations in packaging materials it is possible to also minimise an etailer's environmental footprint. 

Zoe Brimelow explained,"Key innovations in the packaging industry are those that don't pollute the waste stream and [are] easy innovations for companies to adopt. The environment is an emotive topic that can create deeper, loyal relationships between consumers and brands"

Here are the latest innovations in sustainable packaging which will help your brand achieve its sustainability goals.

GreenPE - A sustainable alternative to oil-based polythene, created from sugarcane, can be manufactured in the same way as polythene and is 100% sustainable, 100% renewable and 100% recyclable.

100% Recycled Packaging Material - Made using UK scrap polythene that would otherwise be sent to landfill, the recycled product range is completely odour neutral meaning it can be used to distribute porous products like clothing

Closed Loop Recycling - There is a huge demand for recycled polythene but there's also a shortage of waste material so we've made it easier than ever to reduce, reuse and recycle using our UK - Based closed loop recycling system.

Delighting today's shoppers is no mean feat, but retailers who transform their delivery and returns processes - with convenience at the heart - are those who will have the most success.

 

For the latest innovations in sustainable packaging visit DuoGreen

Drapers, the number one source for breaking news, business advise and expert analysis for the fashion industry.

To read the full report, Delivery & Returns: Are you meeting customer expectations click here

 

Source * http://guides.drapersonline.com/4341.guide

Life at Duo

Nikita Apprentice

Duo Digital Marketing Apprentice Nikita Briggs revealed to the Manchester Evening News what life is like at Duo, why she choose a career in the manufacturing industry and gives her advice about what it takes to become a Digital Marketing Apprentice.

What made you want to get into this line of work? 

When the time was creeping closer to making a decision about whether to go to university or to get a job I decided to be proactive and look for work experience to help with my decision. I approached my neighbour, Anthony Brimelow, as I knew he was a Director at Duo and handed him my CV to consider me for a work experience placement. Anthony was always so passionate and enthusiastic when telling me about Duo, he changed my pre-conceived idea about what manufacturing is like. When I visited Duo for the first time, there was a real buzz about the place and couldn't have been further from my original perception of manufacturing.

How long have you been doing it? How long with this company? 

In August 2014 I started my work experience placement and in September 2015 I was become a full time member of staff as Duo's first Digital Marketing Apprentice. 

How did you get the job? Can you remember your interview?

I started out on a work experience placement - I was only 17 so I was very green! I remember being really nervous on my first day in the office because it was all so new and I'd never really been in a professional environment before. I never really had a formal interview as I worked across a range of different office departments until I came to marketing, which is where I found my calling! 

Give a two-sentence summary of what your job involves

As Duo's Digital Marketing Apprentice, I help to create fresh, new and creative marketing content to share with our clients and attract new customers to help grow the business. I produce reports that analyse the success of our marketing efforts and make suggestions to keep improving and build on our successes.

What's the most interesting thing you've done at work this week?

It's a really busy time for us at the moment as we've just launched the world's first carbon negative mailing bag and we did a big PR push about it last week so this week has mostly been spent responding to the hundreds of tweets and messages we've been receiving from people on Twitter and enquiries via our website! I get a real buzz when it's busy like this and with us doing something so positive for the environment it really feels like we're part of a massive global shift towards more sustainable packaging - it's exciting! 

What do you love about your job? 

I love how enthusiastic everybody is, it's honestly infectious and really makes a difference to your day when you're surrounded by positivity. I also love that as one of only 7% of women carrying out an apprenticeship in manufacturing, I am hopefully helping to carve the way for more females to consider this fast moving and progressive industry. 

And what do you hate about your job? 

There's nothing I hate but it can be hard to switch off from anything social media related as we're surrounded by it all the time - I could probably benefit from a little less screen time! 

What qualifications, skills and personal qualities do you need for the job?

You need to be able to communicate really well and have a natural flair for writing and creating interesting content and a genuine interest in continuous learning as marketing is fast pace and is changing constantly. In terms of qualifications for an apprenticeship you usually just need 5 GCSEs or equivalent including maths and English.

Any advice for those wishing to join the profession? 

Be prepared to work hard and be prepared to fall in love with the manufacturing industry. Get stuck in and don't be afraid of doing something wrong if you're learning on the job like I have - as long as you learn from your mistakes you can't go wrong! 

Source: Manchester Evening News 11/05/2017

 

 

 

 

 

6 Ways Packaging Can Help Reduce Your Company's Environmental Impact

6 Ways Blog Header

Packaging is a critical business necessity, but it doesn't have to put a strain on the earth's natural resources and can actually help improve your company's environmental performance.

Download our handy chart to find simple, tailored, solutions to improve the eco-credentials of your packaging here.

5 Steps to a more successful & profitable online business

5 Steps To A More Successful And Profitable Online Business

UK ecommerce sales are expected to top £70 billion in 2017 helped by a strengthening economy and growth in smartphone-based buying. For growing online businesses, keeping on top of the game requires constantly re-evaluating end to end business processes.

The packaging selected to pack and ship the customers order in is the final impression. We've listed the 5 key steps to deliver a great brand experience end-to-end.

Step 1 - Selecting Your Packaging Range

Packaging selection on many occasions falls solely to procurement buyers, however, the role packaging plays and its catalytic properties to improve profitability and customer satisfaction, deciding on the specification is best not decided in isolation. The inclusion of representatives from CSR, logistics and warehouse and marketing to ensure the final range performs functionally, in-budget, on brand and ethically. 

Step 2 - Optimising Packing Performance 

Product lines and customer buying habits frequently change. To check if you packaging range is performing at its optimum, conduct an end of packing line audit. Seeking the views of the packers on the front line about the usability of the packaging, reviewing the presentation of the outbound parcel, assessing the range and number of items packed per order plus reviewing the design of the outer packaging helps to understand areas where your range could be improved. 

Step 3 - Consistent Customer Journey

Customers engage with retailers across a number of channels, consistently reinforcing the brand message across all touch points enhances the customers overall experience.

The increased visibility of postal packaging outside of the home bolsters their power as a marketing tool. Take advantage of this cost effective and versatile product by changing the design in line with current marketing promotions or trends. 

Step 4 - Delivery is not the finish line 

Returns are an inevitable part of online shopping and a good returns process can amplify customer satisfaction and repeat sales. Packaging plays a huge part in making this process convenient for both the customer and retailer. For example, including a twin-glue line to outbound mailing bags makes it easy for the customer to return the product and for the retailer to process it ready for resale as quickly as possible. 

Step 5 - Building Brand Equity 

Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchases. Helping them to re-use and reduce their packaging waste using simple on-pack messaging is one way to create a deeper relationship with your brand.

Visit DuoGreen for more tips on how to achieve optimum performance in a sustainable way. 

Feeling inspired to take action to grow your online business? Take advantage of Duo's free end of line packaging audits by calling our team on 0161 203 5767 or email enquiries@duo-uk.co.uk

Download this article here.

 

Make your business more successful and profitable online

How To Sell Online Blog Image

Packaging is a valuable marketing tool. Treating this particular spend as an investment can improve business performance and increase customer satisfaction, lending to loyalty and repeat sales. The packaging that protects a product in transit plays an important role in the customer's journey and may be their first tangible experience of the online brand. Considering the purpose, design and branding of the postal packaging used has a significant influence on the customer's first moment of truth.

Packaging acts as a communication tool between the brand and the consumer and has the ability to influence satisfaction levels. Its function is to complete the practical 'protection' duty as well as act an enabler to satisfy a customer's expectations of the brand.

For an ecommerce business, packaging to protect a product in transit from the warehouse to the delivery destination is an unavoidable spend, although this 'Goods Not For Resale' (GNFR) item has vast potential to maximise sales success and influence customer loyalty.

Converting this necessary spend into a business asset requires some clever planning and collaborative thinking. This starts at the end of the packing line understanding the customers average basket size per order and trend of items purchased together. This data will help you to create a range of packaging products to optimise the performance of your outbound deliveries. Having the correct size packaging range will;

  • Improve presentation
  • Reduce on outbound delivery costs (if using volumetric weight delivery option)
  • Save time in the pick and pack operation

The brands that come full circle, from simply wanting the cheapest and most practical packaging products to understanding how smart packaging, whilst an initial investment, is cost-effective in the long term, have a greater competitive advantage.

Download this article here

As featured in 'How to Sell Online' by Christer Holloman 

Cracking effort by Duo UK team #christmasjumperday 2016

On Friday the DuoUK team stuck on their silly sweats for #ChristmasJumperDay to help raise money for Save the Children.

The team showed off their fabulous festive knits in our very own #elfiebooth - what a festive looking bunch!

The total raised by the team was £117.20 which will go towards helping Save the Children continue their fantastic work.

If you would like to donate to Save the Children text JUMPER to 70050 to donate £2. Your support makes all the difference.

A cracking effort by the Duo team showing off their wonderful woollies in our elfie booth 

2016 Christmas jumper day

#WediditforTheChristie

Get the kettle on, pour yourself a cuppa whilst we'll tell you how '#wediditfortheChristie'. The Christie really are Duo's cup of tea so to help them raise vital funds they need to fight cancer the Duo team had 'a cuppa for the Christie'.

Over two days Duo's star bakers sold and enjoyed homemade cakes, biscuits and hot chocolate reindeers!

Zoe Brimelow, Duo's Brand Director said,'The Christie is a great cause which makes a huge difference to the Manchester community. Many of our employees have had contact with the facility so we have high regard for the difference it makes in our local community.'

Cheers to the Duo team for their generosity, together we raised a fantastic £128.58.

The Christie Charity raises cash to fund projects which are outside the scope of the NHS. Their range of projects and initiatives focusses on 4 main areas, research, care and treatment, education and extra patient services.The Christie is the largest cancer centre in Europe and is treating more than 40,000 patients a year.

 

We Did It For The Christie

Ready, Steady, Pack

Essential tips to keep your fulfilment operation performing at its optimum during the Madness of Black Friday

Black Friday Madness

 

In 2015 the UK spent a phenomenal £1.1 billion online. This was a huge increase compared to 2014 spending of £810 million.*  Retail Week have predicted a soaring £5billion will be spent over the Black Friday weekend* which this year is on 25th November.

As shoppers get ready to splurge, we've compiled our top tips to help your fulfilment operation perform at its optimum before, during and after the Black Friday madness.

Pre-Black Friday

Accurate stock management of your outbound packaging items is vital to avoid having non, or the wrong packaging to ship your customer's orders. During the Black Friday sales, it is imperative that your customer service level remains consistent, orders are delivered on-time and presentation remains unchanged with other times of the year. Running out of a size or style of packaging item may reduce presentation of the outbound parcel and could incur additional costs per unit to ship.

Reviewing your projected order schedule in advance of Black Friday and ensuring your packaging stock levels correlate with expected volumes help to reduce the risk of any shortfalls and avoid disappointing customers. At Duo we offer a free stock management service to help manage this process for our customers. The stock management tool is an easy to use, clear way to track your packaging stock levels, usage projections and forward planned deliveries so you can rest assured that you always have the right packaging at the right time. Find out more about our free stock management service here or speak to your Account Manager today.

Black Friday Madness

With £5billion expected to be spent during the Black Friday Sales and previous years' predictions totally exceeded, we have a sure fire back up plan to keep your packers packing and customers happy. If sales outstrip all predictions Duo have a buy-now, next day delivery range of mailing bags specifically designed for online retailers. This range of mailing bags are made from 100% recycled polythene so as well as avoiding packing lines coming to a stop they are also stopping valuable waste polythene from a destiny in landfill.

From small individual items to large oversized uglies, this range has a size that will protect and perfectly present your product ready to ship.

DR Range

Request free sample pack of the range by emailing enquiries@duo-uk.co.uk

Black Friday - the aftermath

Ideally customers would love all their Black Friday purchases but many shoppers go 'deal crazy' and impulse buy. In fact, in 2015, 1 in 3 customers returned the goods they purchased on Black Friday.*

Returns are an inevitable part of online shopping and such an important part of the customer experience. Avid online shoppers can spot a previously returned item and may even return an item on this basis so achieving consistent outbound items is key. Guarantee all outbound and returned products are consistently protected and presented using our range of clear, high clarity, retail returns bags. The size range has been created to pack and present retail garments from lingerie to oversized coats so they are all packed quickly and present the item ready for resale.

Free samples of the clear retail display bags are available, to order, simply email enquiries@duo-uk.co.uk with your name and address.

Clear Retail Display

Source:Making sense of the online shopping day phenomenon Retail Week Whitepaper 13.10.2016

 

 

 

The Gift of Gift Wrapping

White & Red Ribbon , Stickers And Tissue Paper 2 

Gift wrapping serves two purposes; firstly, it helps your customers deliver a gorgeous gift to their recipient without having to take it home and wrap it themselves and secondly it gives you an opportunity to incorporate some of your own branding into the gift wrap to really build brand advocates.

To help you get started and inspire your seasonal packaging range, we've teamed up with Neelam Meetcha, the UK's most acclaimed creative paper and gift wrapping artist, to offer you some expert advice on how and why to consider incorporating gift wrapping in-store:

Tip 1

The choice of gift-wrapping makes a statement about the quality of the product inside so if you've got a higher priced item, consider using luxury materials and incorporate exquisite details such as branded stickers and ribbon. Great packaging creates excitement for both the buyer and the gift recipient - think of the packaging as part of the gift and every layer that the recipient unwraps is building the suspense for what's inside.

Tip 2

Stores that gift-wrap are seen as a one-stop gift service which is very important to time-stressed customers who will remember this service for other special occasions.

Tip 3

Time is of essence when stores are busy but there are really simple things you can do that add a bit of luxury without taking up too much time. For instance, a layer of tissue paper inside a luxury paper bag or closing the bag with a branded sticker are perfect for a quick, simple, and effective gift-wrap solution when the queues are long.

Tip 4

In-store gift wrapping also gives your staff an opportunity to speak with your customers during the wrapping process - this is a key part of building rapport with customers.

Tip 5

Finally, Neelam's top tip; create beautifully wrapped products and strategically place them around your store, this adds value to your customers shopping experience and increases sales, the customer has bought the service before they even reach the tills!

Our experts here at Duo UK can help you to select gift wrapping items to compliment the brand experience you want to create and suggest materials, prints and finishes that are within budget.

Most importantly though - our team are also on hand to advise on packaging that helps increase sales and repeat business as well as to advise on lead times and re-order points to avoid shortages and express shipping charges. 

Contact the Duo team today on 0161 203 5767 or email enquiries@duo-uk.co.uk 

For more infomation about Neelam and her gift wrap services visit: www.giftwrappingcourses.co.uk

Download this Gift Wrap Guide here

Discover the DUO difference for yourself,
call us on 0161 203 5767 or email enquiries@duo-uk.co.uk

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