How to create the perfect unboxing experience with your postal packaging

When it comes to your customer unboxing an online order, it pays to make the experience memorable. Unforgettable moments like this are one of the easiest ways to brand and market your products: making sure your customers remember your brand, that they’re inspired to buy from you again — and rave about it on social media. How to actually go about creating an experience like this can be tricky, however, and there are lots of elements to it. In this article we’ll take you through some of the most practical ways you can create a great unboxing experience, and ultimately use your ecommerce packaging as a tool for both positively boosting brand awareness and prompting social engagement (for proof of the latter, just check out our instagram page, it’s full of customer unboxing experiences and the engagement stats speak for themselves).

Why unboxing deserves your attention

When your customer unboxes your product, it will often be the first bit of physical contact they’ll have had with your brand. Savvy brands refer to unboxing as an experience: a marketing tool that can immediately enhance the premium feel of your products, and the feeling every customer loves of receiving something new.

First impressions count

Selling online is unique. Unlike shopping in-store, your customers’ first encounter with your products is when they receive and unbox their order at home. It’s the moment of truth: when they discover whether the photos on your page are the same in real life.

If the unboxing process is too difficult with excess tape or bubble wrap, or flimsy boxes are the only things protecting your products, customers will quickly start to question the quality of their purchase.

On the other hand, delivering a positive experience with great quality boxes that are sized to fit snugly around your products, with a handwritten note perhaps, and customers will be more likely to love the product, shop with you again, and be happy their purchase arrived in one piece.  

Creating the right unboxing experience can be an effective way to ensure a repeat purchase, and the likelihood that your package (and therefore products) will be shared on social media.

The social element is huge

Type “unboxing” into your search engine and over 100 million video results appear — and the most popular vlogger accounts can attract over a million views per video.

From vintage clothing to the latest iPhone, people love to share their first impressions of products — which is why packaging is key. People love viewing them too: 62% of viewers use these unboxing and first impression videos to help them purchase, and often base their decision on these reviews. And if that’s not enough of an incentive, a further 73% of consumers feel more likely to buy a product after watching a video review explaining it.

Even if your product hasn’t caught the eye of a superstar vlogger, don’t overlook the potential value of word-of-mouth marketing. Social media makes sharing information easier than ever, and everyone from your grandmother to your work colleague can influence your purchase decisions — not just famous Internet stars. 40% of consumers will share an image of a recent purchase on Facebook and Instagram if the packaging strikes their attention. In other words, make the unboxing memorable and your customers will spread the word about your brand.

Creating your own unboxing experience

From the right box for your product, to the finishing touches and how to enhance your brand image, there are an unlimited number of ways to make your unboxing experience memorable. It doesn’t matter what your budget is, small changes where it counts can make your packaging go from forgettable to something worth sharing. Here are some of our top tips to get it right:

Make it match your brand promise

Every brand has a message and a target market. So, the first question is: what is yours? Are they a tech-savvy gamer who loves a new gadget, or a fashion lover looking for luxury? When a customer orders from you, they need to receive the whole package — literally. Assess whether your unboxing experience supports your brand’s message, and if not it might be time for a packaging upgrade.

We recently worked with Drop Dead Clothing to do just this. They deliver fashion with an edgy, rock-inspired attitude, and their collections are limited edition, painstakingly curated — and packed with personality. With a highly distinctive brand image, ‘plain old’ plastic packing just wasn’t going to cut it.

We came up with something that was uniquely theirs: pop-up mailboxes with a rich black exterior and a blood red interior, customised with the company’s logo. Simple, striking and in tune with the rebellious mood the brand was going for. An unboxing experience that reminds customers why they were drawn to the brand in the first place.

In stark contrast, Reed Comics, known as the comic experts, were looking for the best packaging option to communicate their creative products. They opted for our specialist C-com bookwrap, stamped with the company’s brand image. The message was clear: we know how comics should be cared for — and you can trust us to send them to our customers in perfect condition. It’s what every brand wants to be known for.  

Make it as easy as you can

Customers don’t want packaging to be a struggle — and over-packaging your products can make customers fall out of love with your brand pretty quickly. Not only does it make unboxing take longer, more customers are also becoming conscious of the effect of plastic on the environment and resent the excess waste. Follow these tips for a pain-free unboxing experience:

  • Choose a snug-fitting box: this should be large enough to house and protect the contents, but not too big that your customers have mountains of wrapping and filler to deal with. Close-fitting cardboard twist wrap will protect products well, and self-sealing boxes remove tape as an extra step.
  • Make it recyclable: picking packaging that can all be placed in the recycling bin is much better for the environment.
  • Avoid packaging ‘puzzles’: try not to make your customers work hard open their new purchase; a tear strip opening with hinged lid can be the best choice for pain-free unboxing. 

Add a personal touch

An unexpected pleasant surprise can make a great impression and give your unboxing experience that wow-factor. This might be a voucher for their next purchase or something more tangible such as a free sample of a new product.

Likewise, don’t underestimate the power of a simple, personalised thank you note in the box. Research shows that more than two-thirds of customers value a personalised experience. And if customers feel they are getting excellent service that’s been taylor made and personalised for them, they will be much more likely to come back for more.

The bottom line

With so much competition online, memorable packaging isn’t just an option anymore: it’s mandatory to make it in such a saturated market. Luckily, enhancing your packaging with these changes is easier than many business owners think. If you’re interested in learning exactly what steps it takes to create your own memorable unboxing experience, head over to our bespoke packaging service for more information.

Thanks to our awesome customers for providing us with their unboxing shots:

OhGoshSilver  •  The Crafty Pinup  •  Neat Nutrition

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