The unboxing experience: How to own your packaging

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

You already know that first impressions count…and you only get one chance to make a good one.

Your packaging is an opportunity to demonstrate your branding and personality, as well as tell customers more about your brand’s story. When done thoughtfully and creatively, packaging creates a comprehensive brand experience that leaves a memorable impression.

2016 survey found that 40% of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant with premium packaging.

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If you run an ecommerce business, packaging is especially important: it’s the first thing your customers see when their order arrives in the mail, and it’s (likely) the first time they’re having a tangible interaction with your product.

If you’re selling merchandise out of a brick and mortar space, your packaging can help leave your customer with a positive, memorable impression. They’ll appreciate the time and materials you spend wrapping up their purchase.

Caitlin Strandberg, an investor, writes that unboxing “can be a powerful word-of-mouth moment where your customer can turn into your promoter and advocate. The better the unboxing, with attractive colors and clever copy, the more likely you’ll have your viral moment. People love to share what they love.”

36.8% of consumers had seen an unboxing video in 2017.

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Step 1: Start from the outside

After all, this is the first thing your customers will see. So, make sure your packaging stands out and that your brand is recognizable. Before your customers even opens the package, they should know where it came from.

Instead of ordering custom shipping boxes and mailing envelopes, turn ordinary packing supplies into branded materials with mailing labels or roll stickers. Use stickers on the inside flaps of cardboard boxes to add additional messaging and a flash of on-brand delight. Also, include a few loose sticker singles that your customer can use for fun.

Step 2: Make it personal

Writing handwritten notes takes a little bit of extra time and effort, but it goes a long way in making your customers feel special. Show customers that there are real people behind your brand, and that you value their business. Use a postcard, a note card, or the back of a specialty business card to write each customer a little love note. Or, pre-print a thank-you card that you can quickly address and sign.

Step 3: Wrap it up

Wrap your product in tissue paper or wrapping paper to build even more excitement (and secure it with a sticker or two). Choose colours that reflect your branding to tie the unboxing experience together. Ideally, you should surprise and delight your customers from the moment they start opening their order. And who doesn’t love unwrapping new baubles?

Step 4: Keep it secure

Shipping something fragile? Instead of boring bubble wrap, cushion your shipments with a fun filler (like crinkle paper) or recycled shredded newspaper.

Step 5: Add a little info

Tell your brand’s narrative – literally – with an informational insert. Use a brochure or a postcard (with succinct, catchy copy!) to talk about your brand’s history and mission, and what sets you apart from the crowd. Also, include your social media handles to encourage customers to share their unboxing experience on their favorite channels.

Step 6: Promote yourself

Further thank your customer for their business with a promotional gift. Order a batch of business cards with a discount code or free shipping offer to include in your packaging…this is an easy way to inspire future purchases (and future amazing unboxing experiences!).