CASE STUDY: Sock Fancy

30 May2019

Sock Fancy Delivers An “Open Pouch” Experience

In today’s subscription box culture, one subscription brand did something unlike anyone else: they chose a pouch instead of a box for its mailed goods to deliver a truly unique experience. And unique is the name of Sock Fancy’s game, delivering an unexpected product, in an unexpected package to thousands of subscribers each month.

Sock Fancy was created in 2013 to fulfill a need in the clothing industry. The owners wanted to create a brand of socks that would bring excitement and fun to the often-neglected market. By delivering creative and colorful socks directly to subscribers’ mailboxes in innovative pouch packaging, Sock Fancy is filling the void and giving consumers a better way to shop for socks.

“We wanted to build something exciting that people could enjoy, for a longer period of time. And we felt the best way to do that was through subscriptions since they offer more time to communicate your story to your customer, more exposure to the brand, and better messaging opportunities,” says Stefan Lewinger, Co-Founder & CEO.

Today, the premium sock brand ships out 20,000 sock subscriptions per month in digitally printed, premium stand-up pouches from ePac.

Why Sock Fancy Chose the Pouch

Sock Fancy isn’t just a sock company, they’re ALL about the experience. So, when Sock Fancy launched their business, they knew that they needed to deliver a better user experience than mere socks in a box.

Enter: The stand-up pouch.

The stand-up pouch delivers a premium feel, in a highly visible package that offers great space for branding and design. But for Sock Fancy, that wasn’t always the case. Before working with ePac, the company had gone through a handful of packaging options looking for the perfect one. First was a paper sealer, which didn’t hold up in the rain, then a poly bag mailer, which provided the durability the company craved, but still fell short. Not on that, but because the supplier was overseas, Sock Fancy had to deal with very long production times, huge minimum orders, and zero flexibility with order changes.

Today the company uses a fully branded, digitally printed, stand-up, resealable pouch that is aesthetically pleasing and delivers big user benefits. It fits nicely in the mailbox, is lightweight, unbreakable, and resealable, which comes in handy if consumers opt to exchange the pair they received. If they do, they simply pack the socks back in the pouch and mail them back, which eliminates the need for additional packaging.  

The pouches are also picture-worthy in a black matte finish with the Sock Fancy logo. In addition to the standard design, each month the company produces a variety of designs based on the sock stylist who packed it, current holidays, or if that month’s pouch is a birthday gift.

ePac Brings the Solution, and Then Some

Sock Fancy knew the pouch was a key part of the brand and didn’t want to stray from that. But the company was looking for a better solution from a supplier that could get product shipped quickly, and offer the flexibility to create personalized packaging.

With ePac, Sock Fancy enjoys the ability to customize its packaging, with short runs, and amazingly low minimum orders. Because ePac is a domestic supplier, Sock Fancy also benefits from reduced shipping costs, and shorter lead times, all with unmatched quality. While all of this sounds great, it wasn’t the reason Sock Fancy ultimately went with ePac. The driving force behind the decision? Variable imaging, or the ability to create personalized packaging easily and affordably.  

“Everything about the digital technology is why we moved. Sure, it did save us money but that wasn’t even the point. We are an experience-based brand… we don’t just sell socks. The variable bag printing allows us to speak to the consumer almost as much as the socks do, and that is priceless,” says Lewinger.

Variable Imaging Is the Future

With digital printing, variable imaging is made possible in a fast and cost-effective way. For example, in one run there can be 10,000 unique designs for all 10,000 packages printed. Digital printing and variable imaging allow for an order like this to print just as fast and efficiently as if it were 10,000 packages printed in the same design.

“The big reason we switched (to ePac) was the personalization aspect. Nobody else that we found could do the type of high-level customization and personalization. With other companies you have to order tens of thousands of one SKU. ePac was our knight in shining armor!” says Lewinger.

ePac’s digital printing, which leverages HP technology, allows customers the option for complete package personalization with short runs. With this technology, every SKU in a run can be a unique design. With no plate set up or fees, time to production is fast, and flexibility is a normal part of the process.

“We didn’t know that short runs with variable designs in one order were even possible. This opens up a whole new world for us. Now we’re only limited to how quickly we can design a bag, not how long it takes to get produced. We’re only starting this now, but it will go a long way to further the brand image.”

With digital printing, companies like Sock Fancy can create a truly unique experience for each of its customers, offering a personalized experience delivered straight to the mailbox.