What is unboxing and why should it influence your packaging?

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Every year, we launch an unboxing survey about the packaging consumers receive when they shop online. In fact, our seventh annual survey launched yesterday! It asks people to share their unboxing experience, click here to learn more.

But what is unboxing? Why is it important if you’re using packaging?

With over 5 billion parcels shipped each year in the UK, ecommerce is a huge growth industry. In the ecommerce customer journey, packaging is often the first physical touchpoint in many customer experiences when they shop online. So, lets explore what unboxing is and why it’s important…

What is unboxing?

Unboxing involves filming and narrating the unpacking of a high value item, them uploading the footage to social media. It was first made popular by internet users unpacking tech items. These included iPhones, gaming systems and other desirable tech.

Since 2013, the unboxing phenomenon has grown exponentially. Now there are millions of videos on the internet of people reviewing their unboxing experiences. Google even estimates that the time consumers have spent watching unboxing videos is equivalent to watching Love Actually more than 20 million times!

Why should unboxing influence your packaging?

If you’re an internet retailer, the unboxing experience is a moment to wow your customers, and the packaging you use has a critical role to play. On the most basic level, your packaging ensures that your product is protected so customers receive their goods in perfect condition.

By creating a special unboxing experience with your packaging, you encourage customers to talk about your business. Wouldn’t you want your product talked about online and seen by potentially millions of consumers? Plus, great custom packaging can have other benefits…

Packaging, customer experience & brand loyalty

Did you know that 61% of consumers get more excited about a package arriving if the packaging is branded? That’s a great tick in the box for packaging and the unboxing experience impacting your brand perception.

Good packaging doesn’t make just you look good, it can impact your repeat sales. Consider the results of our 2021 unboxing survey

Branded packaging can make some consumers likely to buy from you again. This was true for 90% of shoppers who bought health & beauty products and took part in our unboxing research. This is backed up by other sources too – its been reported that 52% of consumers are likely to make a purchase again from a retailer if their initial purchase arrives in premium packaging.

Personalising packaging can also influence your customer experience and their loyalty,  with Konica Minolta reporting that customer loyalty can increase 40% when personalisation is used

So, branded packaging is important but there are other factors too. Almost 1 in 5 people in our 2021 packaging research said they wouldn’t buy from a brand if they didn’t use sustainable packaging too. This ties into eco-conscious consumerism and highlights how essential it is for brands to factor in recyclability when develop their unboxing experience or thinking about eco-friendly packaging products that contain recycled content.

What makes a great unboxing experience?

So, now you understand why unboxing should influence your packaging. But what makes a great unboxing experience?

If you want your unboxing experience to be memorable, you need to start with some packaging basics. As a minimum we’d recommend that you use ecommerce packaging that:

  • Provides sufficient protection for your products
  • Is easy to open
  • Is light and space efficient
  • Is the right size – with no excess material
  • Is easy to return
  • Is made from sustainable materials
  • Is recyclable

By ticking off this packaging criteria, you’ll be cutting out potential frustrations (such as damages and wastefulness) and making sure your unboxing experience is meeting expectations.

Once you’ve nailed these packaging must-haves, you can look at enhancing your packaging solutions through branding, personalisation, in-box presentation and even augmented reality…

For example, if you want to add touches of luxury to your packaging, you could consider in-box printing, tissue paper or even ribbon.  Or you might want to delight your customer in other ways, like including free samples or gifts to make your unboxing experience stand out.

If you work for a brand that really wants to align your digital and physical touch points you could even invest in connected packaging. In short, connected packaging is printed images (such as QR codes or barcodes) that are scanned with a browser-based app. The app then connects them to relevant content.  This content can be as simple as opening a web page to offers or an elaborate augmented reality event if your budget allows.

Using connected packaging can really make you stand out vs. competitors and really transform your customer journey. Plus, it doesn’t require any extra packaging material to enhance your unboxing experience – so it’s a win for your marketing without impacting the environment!

Support creating a memorable unboxing experience

Our team can support you with custom cardboard boxes, packaging design and other unboxing ideas that help you stand out. We even have a state-of-the-art Innovation Lab that can help you bring your packaging to life.

If you want help enhancing your unboxing experience, get in touch with Macfarlane Packaging today.

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