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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

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 

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

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

With peak holiday season, dare we say it...less than 3 months away,its time to start planning your in-store and online packaging requirements to take full advantage of peak trading. With spending habits becoming increasingly difficult to predict, we've pulled together a list of the key shopping dates so you can ensure your packaging stocks are ready to pack all of those orders.

Need some help planning your packaging usage forecast and delivery schedule? Duo understands that it is critical that you have the right packaging at the right time and our visual stock control tool allows you to track your stock levels of each product line and forward forecast your supply, contact Duo to find out how this tool can help your business.

 

Key Dates For Retailers In The Festive Season Image 

H&M's 'Conscious' effort keeps clothing in the loop and out of landfill

Last year 350,000 tonnes of used clothing ended up in landfill and a huge 95% could have been reworn or recycled. This is estimated to be worth £100 million of clothes going to landfill.

Global fashion giant H&M have launched their strategy 'Towards 100% Circularity' to create a better future for fashion. One strand towards achieving their vision is to extend a garments life and send zero waste to landfill. Fabric recycling is achievable using a closed loop recycling system and is arguably the best option for garments than can no longer can be used. H&M have successfully used 20% recycled fibres without the loss of quality or durability in their range 'Conscious'.

H&M Conscious Collection

What is Closed Loop Recycling?

Closed loop recycling is the process where waste is returned back to its original raw form and this recycled material is then used to make a new product.

This recycling process is used to recycle many different types of material from fabric to polythene packaging. At Duo we're committed to creating a future where it's easier than ever for companies to close the loop when it comes to their waste polythene packaging. To achieve our vision, we invested in a polythene closed loop recycling system. Demand for packaging made from recycled content is on the increase as companies are actively adopting a more sustainable business model, however, there is a still a shortage of waste polythene. We've made it easier than ever to reduce, reuse and recycle waste polythene by introducing a waste polythene collection service for our customers.

 Closed Loop Recycling Process Flow Diagram

 For more information about closed loop recycling please click here

Every year more than 2,500 tonnes, which is equivalent to 500 pallets of polythene scrap material, is recycled using Duo's closed loop recycling system. This results in 2,500 fewer tonnes of polythene waste going to landfill and less oil used for polyethylene production!

Thanks to polythene closed loop recycling it has been possible to produce 100% recycled content mailing bags - the perfect solution for companies looking for an economical, sustainable option for their ecommerce packaging requirements. The quality and performance of a recycled content products compared to 'new' used to questionable. However, thanks to advances in recycling capabilities and better quality scrap, recycled material can now be used for critical applications such as mailing bags and can also include an intricate print design.

H&M's commitment towards 100% circularity is proving to be a great success as in 2015 12,000 tonnes of fabric garments were collected in their stores and recycled saving them from a destiny in landfill - that's equivalent to more than 60 million t-shirts! H&M also produced 1.3 million garments which were made using closed loop material - that's an increase of over 300% more garments than in 2014.

We're committed to helping promote sustainable alternatives and reduce our own and our customers environmental impact. In 2015 we launched DuoGreen as a platform to celebrate new environmental innovations and to share ideas to help packaging users achieve their environmental goals.

Be inspired and learn how packaging can help you to achieve your environmental goals visit DuoGreen.

What do you get when you cross Social Media with Packaging?

Packaging that includes brand icons taps into the heart and minds of consumers. 

Social media and packaging may not seem in any way related but together they form a powerful marketing force that can really bring a brand to life! 

For brands, packaging is an important marketing tool to engage consumers and persuade them to buy a product.

Smart brands are using packaging concepts to increase online exposure, a great example being the use of hashtags on packaging to spread a social message. 

But the key to grasping the power of packaging and social media is to make the shopping experience personal to the customer in every way possible.

A great example of this is Coca-Cola's campaign #ShareACoke, where the company replaced its logo with first names. 

 Share A Coke

Coca-Cola's personalised packaging helped to make a personal connection with customers and certainly increased motivation to share on social media! 

Coca-Cola then went a step further to ensure everyone was included in the campaign, adding a feature on its website where customers could personalise their own bottle.

The campaign went down a storm on social media, especially on Twitter, with 235,000 tweets shared throughout the campaign, from 111,000 fans, using the #ShareACoke hashtag.

By using unique social media icons on branded packaging, businesses aren't just creating something to look good - they are selling and engaging people into the brand itself.

Social networks are used by 2 billion people worldwide and more than two thirds of the UK are active on social networks. This huge audience provides the perfect channel to promote a brands personality and values and connect with customers on a more personal level.

Packaging is a really versatile and powerful marketing tool. Packaging items such as mailing bags used for ecommerce deliveries and luxury paper bags used for retail store sales, can be printed with anything from bold designs to intricate images. With small print runs available, it is now possible to order specific packaging to coincide your social media campaigns. View our full range of packaging products that can be personalised for your brand.

This is also featured in The Juice Academy Blog

Get social with Duo @DuoUK

Bucking the 'FOUR ELEMENTS' Trend

The design of packaging can now make or break a company's sales success.

Sales success is about first impressions and reflecting a brand's ethos in the way it wraps its products. The four key elements of packaging design used to be; it must be seen, it must be engaging, it must communicate a message, and it must sell.

We've seen a significant shift in attitude to packaging over the past couple of years. Mail order companies used to see packaging as nothing more than protection and opted for the lightest, most robust material that was functional and fast to pack outbound goods into.

However, now design enhancements like carry handles, twin glue lines and engaging branding that captures the attention of passers-by, as well as the shopper, has transformed the mailing bag from a practical item to a marketing tool.

Packaging designs are now also frequently including social media icons to encourage customers to engage with the brand online. We carried out a study that showed a clear link between how luxury items are packaged and repeat purchases. The study showed a number of halo effects with gift-wrapped purchases, including an increased propensity to repeat order (35%) and more likely to recommend to a friend (20%). 

As featured in Packaging Gazette 

February 2016

Returning to make a repeat order?

The Royal Mail's annual tracker study into the expectations and ambitions of UK SME e-retailers has revealed growing businesses confidence with 8 out of 10 SME e-retailers confident they will increase sales in 2016. The SME e-retailers recognised how a good returns process can drive sales and increase customer satisfaction.

- 49% believe a good returns process will make a consumer more likely to be satisfied with their service

- 45% believe having a good returns proves increase to likelihood to order in the first place

- 40% believe this increases the likelihood to become repeat customers

Returns are a real headache for almost all online retailers, with some analysts quoting a return rate of 30%. However, helping consumers to repackage goods can boost the customer experience as well as offering other business benefits:

  1. Make your packaging reusable: Adding a double glue strip to your mailing bag allows consumers to re-use the packaging to send their unwanted product back to you in the post. This improves the customer experience and reduces the need for additional packaging items
  2. Reduce damage caused by inadequate packing: Make sure your packaging can withstand the weather and the rough and tumble of the sorting office. Damaged packaging can lead to damaged goods and poor impressions; almost 95% of consumers claim poor quality or damaged packaging negatively impacts on their perception of a business.
  3. Recycle your returned packaging: While cardboard is widely perceived as a recyclable commodity, other types of packaging, including polythene are also easily recycled. In the UK there is a shortage of good quality polythene scrap leading to an increase in the price per tonne, this means recycling makes economic sense as well as fulfilling CSR aims and reducing landfill tax.

 *Royal Mail annual tracker survey and Direct Commerce Jan/Feb 16

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