More consumers shop online now than ever before, e-commerce brands have engaged in a fierce contest to make their brands stand out from their many competitors. In addition to traditional marketing channels, such as multimedia advertising, many e-commerce brands have been focusing on enhancing customer experiences by investing time and creative energy into the “unboxing” experience. For some e-commerce companies, unboxing will be the most direct way they can connect with their brand base. When unboxing your package, your customers will be connecting with your brand at an emotional and visceral level – seeing, touching, smelling, and interacting with your brand. With many consumers ordering and receiving packages during the pandemic, it is easy to see how the unboxing experience has become a touchstone for e-commerce marketing. On top of that, unboxing videos have increased from 28 million in 2015 to over 90 million today, according to refinepackaging.com. Below, we unpack the elements that go into creating a successful unboxing experience.
Reversing the unboxing process, packaging is a key element
People love to open gifts – tearing through wrapping paper to the surprise that awaits them. Much like these gifting experiences, consumers get to know and appreciate your brand when you take the time and effort to create a customized experience with an air of suspense provided by visuals that both delight customers and reinforce your brand’s image. Mindful packaging can also lead to more exposure by consumers creating and sharing unboxing videos of your products. So, what makes a standout unboxing experience? When done right the unboxing experience can lead to brand loyalty, referrals, and return customers. Remember, unboxing is all about the experience, starting with wrapping materials.
Wrapping materials should reflect and enhance your brand image. What is your brand image? Sophisticated, clever, utilitarian, whimsical? Branded tissue paper or biodegradable sleeves and bags with your logo printed on them not only create a more pleasurable experience for your customer, they establish your brand’s message in the minds of consumers. As more consumers appreciate biodegradable and recycled wrapping materials, you can enhance your brand image with sustainable initiatives like wrapping materials. For example, “cosmetics brand Glossier employs recycled pink bubble wrap and a bevy of stickers to wow their clients through unique cosmetic packaging design to reinforce their brand identity,” according to refinepackaging.com. Using the right wrapping materials to protect your products is important, as well. If your product needs bubble wrap or even more protection, top-fold boxes make an impact with various form-fitting inserts for cushioning and display purposes. One of the many advantages of partnering with a tech-supported 3PL service provider, such as Phase V, is that we can work together to customize your boxes, wrapping materials, invoices, and more.
Containers can say a lot
Some products are packaged at the manufacturing stage. Picking up your branding colors and logo design for outer packaging accentuates your brand even further. Thoughtfully designed outer packaging appeals to consumers on a visual level, as well as on an emotional level.
However, e-commerce brands must also take into account other considerations, as well, when choosing boxes, envelopes, and bags when shipping their products to consumers. We all know the grinning Amazon logo that’s printed on every Amazon delivery package and delivery van. You can increase your exposure by shipping your items in branded boxes or bright, full-color boxes with your logo emblazoned on them. However, if you sell on Amazon, the Amazon logo will be featured on your outer packaging. When selling directly to your customers, your outer packaging should align with your brand messaging and as the first point of contact with your customers, it should be user-friendly and easy to open. Other things to think about involve shipping rates and regulations that include:
Choosing the most appropriate and cost-effective containers
Package dimensions and weights can add to your unboxing expenses so it’s important to pick the best shipping container for your budget and your product. If your products are fragile, you’ll probably need a corrugated box larger than your product to be able to add protective materials – branded, preferably. If your product is pretty solid, card stock gauged boxes can display full-color images along with your logo. Working with your Third Party Logistics team or 3PL shipping logistics team, you can determine what dimensions and weights will be the most effective strategy for shipping your orders. Your Phase V shipping team is always looking for ways to save you money and help scale your business as you grow.
Inserts and surprises
Before you close the box, think about other things you would like the unboxing experience to include. People love free things in the way of coupons, samples, and gift cards to show appreciation for their support. Inserts, such as hand-written notes make a powerful impression like National Wholesale Company, which has included them in their orders since they started as a mail-order hosiery operation in the 1950s. Phase V’s pick & pack personnel will pack your orders to your specifications with the utmost unboxing experience in mind. Following your packing instructions, the layout of your packaging is important in the unboxing experience:
- Your main product should be the center stage when unboxing
- Instruction manuals, product info, warranties, and inserts should be included next
- Parts and accessories should be included last
Additionally, as a synergistic bonus, customers love to create and share unboxing videos on social media. It’s hard to explain why but it’s like watching people open gifts – there’s a certain level of excitement that comes with it. A LinkedIn article from early 2021 illustrated just how popular unboxing videos are, “Nearly 200 unboxing videos, with a title featuring the term “unboxing”, have had more than a million views in the past 12 months. According to YouTube, videos featuring amateur unboxing of everything from running shoes to dog toys have been viewed more than 1.1 billion times. At least 60 million hours have been spent watching other people open things.”
On another level, “a Google Consumer Survey shows that 62% of those that watch unboxing videos do so when looking for a particular product.” Consumers are watching unboxing videos as part of their research before purchasing products. “Viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video.” E-commerce companies benefit from customers creating and sharing unboxing videos in several ways:
- As a clever marketing tool for increasing your exposure and brand footprint
- As customer endorsements that are authentic and are as valuable as good reviews.
- Videos often include how to set up or use products that reduce call center inquiries and returns.
- Unboxing videos extend the customer experience to other consumers.
The unboxing experience is an important part of an e-commerce brand’s marketing, growth strategy, and overall customer experience. Contact Phase V to help you create unforgettable unboxing experiences for your customers with perfect packaging for your brand’s products.