3 unboxing facts that small businesses need to know

Recent posts

Over 1,000 people shared their experience with us in our latest unboxing survey, and the findings are just as important for small businesses and scale up online retailers as they are for well-established brands.

Understanding what consumers value in the unboxing experience is  an excellent opportunity for smaller businesses. Learn what your potential customers expect, and you can satisfy them more easily.

Buy why is this important? Well, the IMRG report that 65.7% of consumers said a good delivery experience encourages them to buy again from a retailer. Unboxing and the packaging materials you use play a big role in achieving a good delivery experience.

That’s why our latest Packaging 101 article focuses on three key unboxing facts that small businesses need to know. We’ll explain the Macfarlane Packaging Unboxing Survey, the latest survey results, and how they apply to small businesses…

Blog Contents

unboxing survey 2022

What is the Macfarlane Packaging Unboxing Survey?

The Macfarlane Packaging Unboxing Survey is a piece of research aimed at assessing the appropriateness of the packaging used by online retailers.

We’ve been conducting a survey for the last seven years to learn more about consumer unboxing experiences. It uncovers insights into customer opinions towards packaging and the impact packaging and the unboxing experience can have on their shopping habits.

As mentioned, this year, we had over 1,000 consumers share their experience with us. Responses cover a wide range of industries, but the majority assess packaging from the following: Fashion, Food & Drink, Home & Garden and Health & Beauty – all of which have a significant presence in the small business market.

why unboxing matter

What we’ve learnt about unboxing and why it matters to small businesses

When you’re an online retailer (small or large), packaging often represents the first tangible and physical interaction with your business. You need to make a good impression…

A poor unboxing experience can lead to bad reviews, returns, and loss of sales. And no one wants that, do they?

branded packaging

1. The increasing importance of branded packaging

Our unboxing survey found that almost 60% of packages were branded in 2022 and that just over 40% of consumers say branded packaging will encourage them to buy again from a retailer. That’s a lot, right?

In the past seven years, we’ve seen more and more retailers turning to branded packaging to make their unboxing experience stand out. As a small business, you might not be sure where to start with branding, but there are simple options like custom printed packing tape to get you started.

If you’re still unsure about printing or branding your packaging, then the impact per industry could change your mind. When we break it down, there are several sectors where using branded packaging makes a big difference to repeat purchases…

The markets where consumers are most likely to be influenced to buy again by branded packaging are:

  • Jewellery
  • Art & Crafts / Stationary
  • Floristry
  • Health and Beauty
  • Fashion
  • Pet

How you add branding to your pack will differ depending on your business, but in a previous Packaging 101 blog, we highlighted some easy ways of branding your small business packaging. It offers some simple to implement steps to brand your packing materials, click here to learn more.

why is sustainability important for small businesses

2. Why sustainability and eco-friendly packaging are an unboxing essential for small businesses

Over the last seven years, our unboxing survey has noted the the steady rise of the eco-conscious consumer. And packaging trends reflect that…

From 2017 to 2022, there was a 62% increase in the number of parcels consumers could recycle.

More recently the sustainable credentials of a retailer’s packaging materials are starting to influence consumer buying decisions. This year 27% of consumers wouldn’t buy from a retailer if their packaging isn’t eco-friendly.

On top of this, over 90% of survey participants report they try to recycle, but 12% still weren’t sure if they could recycle the packaging they received as it wasn’t clearly labelled.

All these facts highlight how eco-friendly packaging is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have for retailers of all sizes. Recycling is as much a part of the unboxing experience as product delivery these days, so communicating how customers can dispose of your packaging is a must too.

For example, many customers will know that a cardboard box is recyclable, but they may not know that paper tape is too. So, if you are utilising products that are 100% recyclable, let your customers know! You could print the information on your packing, print the info on your outer box or bag or even lave a note inside your pack containing all the recycling information.

damaged packages

3. Getting the unboxing basics right with protective packaging

Protective packaging is essential if you want to stop your products from getting damaged during shipping or storage. Damages can have a significant impact on your bottom line and what customers think of your brand.

That’s why we were happy to see that only 7% of products arrived damaged in this year’s unboxing survey. 7% may seem like a lot but it’s gradually been dropping since 2016 when 10% of consumers their goods arrived damaged.  

So why is this important for small businesses? Keeping your percentage of damaged packages as low as possible helps you keep costs down, encourage positive reviews and repeat sales.

As your customers’ unboxing experiences matter, having damaged goods will impact their brand perception long term. So, we would suggest measuring the percentage every week/month/quarter/year, whichever is most beneficial for your business.

Understanding this will give you a good step forward in learning where your improvements are; maybe there is a specific product that breaks in transit consistently or a packaging product that isn’t giving you enough protection.

On the other side, it’s important to remember that 14% of retailers still use too much packaging. So, there is a fine line between over packing and under packing.

To learn more, check out the essentials of protective packaging for small businesses we outlined in a previous Packaging 101 article.

how macfarlane packaging can help

How Macfarlane Packaging can help your small business

If this has interested you, don’t forget to download the full 2022 unboxing survey results here, there is a lot more information for you to discover.

If you want to learn more about packaging, we have covered many other great topics in our Packaging 101 series! We work with small businesses daily to help them with their packaging, so if you want tailored expert packaging recommendations or advice, get in touch with Macfarlane Packaging today!

Contact Us