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The Unboxing Survey 2022

Home > Unboxing 2022

Lifting the lid on the online
shopping experience in 2022

Our seventh annual unboxing survey has lifted the lid on the online shopping experience of over 1,000 consumers during 2022. Throughout July and August, 1,010 people revealed what they thought of the packaging online retailers have been using and how it can affect their shopping habits.

Here are the highlights…

Paradigm shift

In the seven years since we launched the UK’s largest annual unboxing survey a lot has changed. Online retail has seen huge growth, and in the last three years has vastly overtaken in-store retail.

This was largely accelerated by lockdown restrictions, with our own 2021 unboxing survey reporting that
88% of shoppers spent more time shopping online, with a whopping 64% saying they expected the
change to be permanent.

Key changes in retailer priorities over the last seven years

Unboxing Experience Results in Graphs

100% open rate

Why branded packaging is a must for modern businesses

Transit packaging has a 100% open rate. This distinguishes it from all other forms of marketing media and offers online retailers an unparalleled opportunity to connect their customers’ digital and physical brand experience.

Unboxing Experience Results

59% of packaging was branded in 2022

Unboxing Experience Results

41% of consumers report branded packaging encourages them to purchase again


of UK respondents to a Sharp End survey said they would be happy to use connected packaging*

Connected Packaging

Connected packaging is packaging that has been printed with QR codes, barcodes or images that can be scanned with a browser based app to connect consumers to relevant content or experiences. Experiences can range from a link to a web page right up to launching an augmented reality event. Connected packaging can take your branded packaging to the next level and provide a truly rich, immersive unboxing experience.

*Sharp End is a digital marketing agency

Unboxing Experience Results 61%

61% of consumers get MORE excited about a parcel arriving if the packaging is branded

Source: Bourvier Kelly

Unboxing Experience Results 52%

52% of consumers are likely to purchase again from a retailer if their delivery arrives in premium packaging

Source: eDelivery

Unboxing Experience Results 40%

Customer loyalty can increase as much as 40% when personalisation is used on packaging

Source: Konica Minolta

The above statistics are from the independent sources cited

The future of packaging is sustainable

This year, over 25% of our respondents said they wouldn’t buy from a retailer whose packaging wasn’t sustainable. Year on year, this is an 8% increase and we expect it to continue to grow.

Positively, we’ve seen an increase in the volume of packaging survey respondents were able to recycle.
In 2022, 81% reported the packaging they received was easy to recycle, vs. 73% in 2021.

Unboxing Experience Results 11%

11% of consumers weren’t sure they could recycle the packaging they received

Unboxing Experience Results 27%

27% of consumers won’t purchase from a retailer if their packaging isn’t sustainable

Unboxing Experience Results 78%

78% consumers reported in the 2022 survey that they believed the packaging they received was sustainable

Unboxing Experience Results 81%

81% reported the packaging they received was easy to recycle

The verdict

Consumers expectations are on the rise. So, for online retailers to stay ahead their packaging must deliver not just their product, but also a successful brand interaction and customer experience. They must also ensure it minimises their environmental impact.

Unboxing Experience Results 60%
Unboxing Experience Results 7%
Unboxing Experience Results 14%

Sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging is now a must for retailers. It is becoming an essential component in the unboxing experience and is already affecting consumer purchasing decisions. So, improving the recyclability of packaging and choosing recycled content materials will be critical. As will the decision not to over use these materials when packing.

Because retailers need to be mindful of the balancing act between product protection and excessive use of packing product, the right packaging solution is key.

Intelligent design plays a big role in delivering a good unboxing experience, as does the use of advanced packaging materials like performance cardboard, or packing automation, which makes packing more efficient and reduces damages.

Unboxing Experience Results 41%
Unboxing Experience Results 27%
Unboxing Experience Results 40%

Branded packaging

Branding on packaging also has a big influence on consumer perception and buying behaviour. More retailers should be taking advantage of this opportunity. It’s a chance to set your unboxing experience apart and align the digital and physical customer journey, with options like connected packaging in addition to regular print to really gain a competitive edge.

Supporting your growth

  • We have an extensive range of sustainable packaging solutions
  • We have the tools and facilities to help you deliver a memorable unboxing experience while controlling the cost of your packaging
  • We have the experts and infrastructure to support you on your packaging journey
Packaging Optimiser

The Packaging Optimiser

Our Packaging Optimiser can show what your packaging is costing your business and the planet, and how to drive these costs down.

Innovation Lab

The Innovation Lab

You’ll find our Innovation Lab is kitted out with the design, sampling and testing equipment needed to create your perfect packaging solution.

Macfarlane Lorry

International support

We have international infrastructure in place across the UK, Ireland, and Continental Europe, including our own distribution centres, delivery fleets and in-house team of retail and 3PL experts.

The Unboxing Survey 2022, Unboxing Experience

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