Published on 7/14/20  in “Kettle Talk – Summer 2020 | Retail Confectioners International” and written by Emily Page

Your sweets make the perfect gift for the holidays, but what packaging design practices will improve sales and keep costs low? The key to driving gift sales is to create a playful shopping experience where each gift gives your customer an easy opportunity to be the hero of a special moment with someone they care about.

Holiday season is hectic, people are busy with shopping, family gatherings, holiday recitals, work parties and more, and can’t always find time to shop for the perfect gift. Make finding a thoughtful, generous gift easy and budget friendly for your customer by utilizing smart packaging designs and product displays.

The following tips will help you create a memorable experience for customers while driving sales.


The best way to impress—is to preplan how product merchandising will look in stores so it will create a fun and inspiring gift shopping experience.

Colors should complement each other and be consistently used in every gift option for the holiday so everything looks like it belongs together. Focus on designing to serve the majority of your target audience, so you’ll capture and inspire more sales. To appeal as a gift for all ages, focus on more solid colors and classic holiday designs to make the biggest splash. The least risky color choices are classic colors like silver, gold, black, red and white or your brand colors for decorative packaging design. These colors can be used all year around.

Colors should be fun but not too overwhelming.
Colors should complement each other

Too many patterns and inconsistent colors could be displeasing to the eye of onlookers from the outside. Wild and crazy patterns can be fun when viewed out of the context of the whole store. Unless you know your audience will like it and buy it, wild patterns can be polarizing to some age groups. The additional negative side of picking extreme packaging designs for the holidays is that you may end up with an overabundance of packaging at the end of the season.

Be creative when telling your customers that a product is sold out and not just say sold out.
Say to your customers that a product is popular and not sold out.

If you can afford it, order smaller runs of specialty holiday gift packaging sold as a premium offering. To avoid having too much seasonal packaging in inventory, purchase smaller quantities below sales projections. Another alternative would be to order shapes or colors that could be sold year-around like a heart-shaped box. In this case, you could launch a new heart box in February, but it could also be sold year around.


Customers want gifts to feel personal and meaningful. Design packaging so that customization is easy to achieve gifting success.

Package that are customize will make the customers come back for more.
Customers want gifts to feel personal and meaningful.

Make free customizable gift tags available during the holidays, so shoppers can write on them while completing their purchase. Another option is to create holiday sleeves that slip over existing packaging and make room for a handwritten note. Keep pens at the front of the store, inviting shoppers to write a quick note to their coach, client or friend before they leave. When your packaging makes the customer feel their personalized shopping is complete, they will buy more.

Items that in three will grab your customer attrition.
Three items is pleasing

Providing multiple layers of options—all with a cohesive, complementary look and style—makes it easy for your customer to mix and match as they see best for their loved one. Pairing a small item with a large item will make a gift appear more regal.


Design colors and patterns for a broad audience, but segment marketing to specific groups of your audience. Remember there are many different people who need gifts each holiday. For example, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers. Consider parents sending small gifts to their kids or friends sending gifts to other friends (Gal-entine’s Day). Large companies offer corporate gifts on holidays to stay front of mind. Each customer has a different purpose—increase sales by both offering gifts that appeal to everyone on their list and remind them of an opportunity to buy for those people with effective marketing.

In your brick-and-mortar store, display products with destination signs to guide their shopping and remind them of loved ones. Some options that work well include: “Perfect For Dad,” “Office Gifts Under $5” and “Gifts for Dark Chocolate Lovers.” Quantity discounts, such as 1 for $5, 2 for $8, work surprisingly well by encouraging additional purchases.

Every customer has a budget in mind for gifts, which they subconsciously decide based on their relationship. Design gifts to target average spend, based on your current shopper’s cart. Segment offerings to address the value, medium and luxury gift customers. Adjust the price points to a small, medium, large spend (for example, under $3, $15, $30). Offering various price points on gift items means there is something for everyone on the list.

The holidays are all about experiences, so make sure to always keep in mind that packaging design and display help customers get excited about giving. To win sales and serve customers' shopping needs during the holidays, keep design cohesive, consistent and simple, encourage customization and remind them of everyone on their list.


Showcase the products that will be pleasing to your customer's eyes.
Products that are pleasing to your customer's eyes.

Want to learn more? Click to watch this video on: “5 Steps To Design Y

our Chocolate Candy Packaging - Case Study On Product Line Extension for Albanese”


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Emily is CEO of Pearl Resourcing and has managed and launched multiple 7-figure brands in Costco, Williams-Sonoma, Kroger, and Amazon. She’s bringing you the expertise, resources, and mentors you need so that you can develop products and make them sell. /

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