We have reached the holidays — that time of year when retailers, e-commerce stores and brands go crazy with seasonal packaging, special gift sets, brand extensions and intriguing flavor options. 

More than ever we are seeing “holiday shipping wars” from the likes of Target, Walmart and Amazon just to name a few. In fact, for the first time, Target is offering two-day shipping with no minimum purchase required through December 22, 2018. The retailer said “hundreds of thousands of items” will be eligible for free, two-day shipping on Target.com.

Target also claims its “Drive Up” service — where shoppers can place their orders online and have them brought directly to their cars — will be at nearly 1,000 stores.

Amazon ships free with no minimum purchase requirement for Prime members, and Walmart offers free two-day shipping with a minimum purchase of $35. 

What does this mean for brands not part of Amazon’s e-commerce platform or club or big box stores? Patience. After all, many consumers still like to shop in-store to see decorations, listen to holiday music and hunt for bargains firsthand. And, they may not even know what they are looking for.

Mick Clark, managing director at WePack, says that brands should consider seasonal packaging to encourage impulse buys, as consumers are likely to choose a product that mirrors the season’s festivities in some way. For tips and mistakes to avoid, visit packagingstrategies.com/webexclusives.

According to bigcommerce.com, last-minute shoppers make up nearly 30 percent of online holiday sales. So make sure to have your online store loaded with holiday specials.

For private label brands, the holidays may mean something different. To create holiday packaging for store brands may be more timely, costly and inefficient for retailers especially considering the length of time it will be on-shelf. Do note that seasonal packaging works to differentiate from other brands in-store. Personalization is one way to grab consumer attention at the shelf or online.

The good news for store brands? Nielsen reported last year that more than one of every five items sold across the U.S. was a private label product. And it’s growing. Read about private label brands and see neat package design examples on page 14. 

Happy holidays from all of us,