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In recent years, unboxing has evolved from the simple joy of opening a parcel to a powerful e-commerce marketing tool.

In fact, unboxing has become such an invaluable industry experience that Instagram accounts show how products are packaged and online shops then include those reviews for their own marketing purposes.

For e-commerce companies, the sent package represents the most direct touchpoint and connection to a customer. In fact, it is also one of the most untapped marketing opportunities. Originally, packaging came out of the need to protect products during the shipping process but online retailers have learned that by focusing only on that functionality they overlook the full marketing potential of their packaging. A branded packaging and unboxing experience is a great opportunity to safely deliver the product and at the same time create an unforgettable moment for your customers.

unboxing experience beautiful parcel

What is a brand packaging experience?

Overall, you can see a thoughtful selection of shipping and packaging materials as well as the way you have chosen to present your shipped products.

Furthermore,  the message you want to communicate with your brand is also conveyed properly and in line with your online store. The goal is to create added value for your customers and your business by creating a positive first impression of your product.

Online retailers have fewer touchpoints with their customers to make use of than physical retailers. The advantage of the efficiency of online shopping can go at the expense of the tactile, hands-on experience with a product before purchase. That's why it's important to pay attention to the touchpoints you have at your disposal to create an unforgettable brand experience for customers and differentiate them from the competition.

Why a branded packaging experience is important

Building a long-term, sustainable brand means bringing customers back again and again. Regular customers will generate more revenue for your business and investments in customer retention and loyalty marketing can get you off the so-called “Treadmill of Acquisition”.

survey by Dotcom Distribution showed that 40% of consumers are likely to order again from an online retailer with premium packaging.

The same study also found out that premium packaging makes the brand feel upscale and increases the anticipation of the delivery.

In general, people like to share the great experiences they’ve had. For example, if you search for the word "unboxing" on Google, you'll find countless blog posts, pictures, and videos. Much of this content has been created by customers which helps companies to increase their brand awareness.

7 Fulfillment Tips for Your Success in E-CommerceCreating an individual packaging experience

Many elements must work together to create a well-designed brand packaging and an unpacking experience. Of course, you don't have to consider all of those available options.

Instead, you have to decide which possible improvements to your packaging offer the best experience and the greatest added value for your customers. Strategic investments in the fulfillment process can make a big impact and contribute to an unforgettable unboxing experience.

  • Packaging:
    The most important element to consider is the basic packaging. Depending on your product, it can be a box, a bag, or a poly-shipment. White and brown corrugated boards were once considered the only option because they were cheap, durable, and admittedly do the job, but they may not make the good first impression you'd want.
    The actual package is the best opportunity to create a "wow" experience. However, the additional costs that occur are rather high.
  • Tissue paper:
    Packaging your products in tissue paper adds extra excitement by adding another level of anticipation to the unpacking experience. Individually printed paper or colored tissue paper are both recommendable options to consider.
  • Filler:
    Traditional filling options include polystyrene chips, foam inserts, air cushions or bubble wrap. Although for some of us bouncing bubble wrap can be great fun, it's not visually appealing and doesn't feel great. Other forms of packaging material that should be considered are corrugated papers (colored or brown) and wood wool, which are also better for the environment and can create a better feel for the customer.
  • Stickers:
    Stickers are a useful option as they are versatile and quite inexpensive. If you use tissue paper, a branded sticker can also seal the paper. You could also put a sticker on your box instead of a custom print to give the packaging a specific branding.
    Moreover, there is the possibility to add a few extra stickers along with a short note to thank your customers for making the purchase.
  • Promotional material or business cards:
    Business cards offer a cost-effective way to add small promotional items to your package. Remember, they don't need to have the aesthetics of company business cards.
    Some companies include inserts in their packages, including a printed newsletter.
  • Adhesive tape:
    Today, there are a variety of colorful tape options to complement your custom packaging. You can also create a brand tape à la Amazon for instant brand recognition.
  • Pattern or gift:
    Based on the customer's current purchase history, you can also consider a free sample of another product. Ideally, choose something your customer is likely to be interested in. For example, if they have purchased shampoo, a sample of complementary conditioner would make sense. This tactic can help you to cross-sell by introducing a customer to new products.

unboxing experience

Resources for customized brand packaging

If you are looking for packaging materials to give your customers a great branded unboxing experience, we can definitely recommend our colleagues from Packhelp, since they have really a big selection for every type of product.

Cost of branded packaging experience

A disadvantage of brand packaging can be the associated costs, which include both time and price.

Based on your average order size and profit margins, you can decide what options are financially feasible and what value they have for your company and your customers.

Custom boxes are usually the most expensive cost to create an unboxing experience. If your products don't need the protection of a box, it may be worth choosing lighter packaging, such as envelopes, to reduce the overall cost.

Sustainable e-commerce supply chain e-book

Creativity can help you save costs and achieve similar results

In almost all cases:

  • The larger your order quantity for the different packaging materials, the cheaper the costs.
  • Plan strategically which items you want to use and place larger orders to reduce costs.
  • Also, consider the impact of weight variations when considering the total cost of your packaging. Higher weights translate into higher shipping costs, which can affect your overall shipping strategy.

Learn more about how to reduce your packaging costs here


Make the unboxing experience unforgettable

This one unpacking experience can be the competitive advantage your company needs to not only generate repeat sales but also win new customers. Andy Dunn, the founder of Bonobos, says: "Ultimately, you're not building an e-commerce business, you're building a brand that has e-commerce as its central channel."

We think that hits the nail on the head.

In conclusion, your unboxing experience affects your business in many different ways. If you're looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, associate your brand with memorable moments.

Maybe you've felt like taking the time to re-evaluate your packaging. Consider how much you currently spend, your average order size, and profit margins, and see what you can do to give your customers a better experience. Have fun and all the best.