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Upgrade Your Unboxing Experience

January 25, 2018
You may not realize it, but you’ve been unboxing for years and can tell a great unboxing experience from a poor one. Wait. What is unboxing and what does it have to do with eCommerce? DotcomWeavers’ Content Strategist, Reed Patterson, says, “Unboxing is where expectation meets experience. It is a brand marketing opportunity at a critical touchpoint in the sales cycle. It happens when a customer receives their order and opens it.”

That’s right. Unboxing is when someone takes something out of a box.
But the way a customer feels, the experience of it, matters. It matters so much that you’ll find almost 2 million YouTube videos devoted to unboxing, with popular channels exceeding 2.4 billion views.
That’s a LOT of brand exposure for eCommerce businesses’ and we’re talking about people opening boxes.

The packaging is as Important as the Product

Seriously. The packaging is (usually) the first, and one of the few, physical interactions a customer has with an eCommerce business. So, you’d better make packaging an extension of your brand because, like Grandma says, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”
Everything about it is intentional and classy. From the way the products are packaged to the little extras like the handwritten note – you can be sure customers will remember it.

Why risk a bad impression with bland packaging when you could win a repeat customer with a thoughtful unboxing experience?
But many eCommerce companies have trouble reconciling the value of a memorable unboxing experience with the cost of creating one.
They ask, “Isn’t my product enough?”
The answer is yes, but it,s the bare minimum. Why stop there when almost 70% of consumers claim that packaging influences their perceptions of a brand? And 62% of people watching those 2 million unboxing videos are researching a potential purchase.

If you haven,t considered upgrading your unboxing experience, now is the time to start.

The Unboxing Experience as an Investment

Remember when we discussed the importance of following eCommerce trends in 2018? Well, a great unboxing experience is one of them and you can bet that your competitors are working theirs right now.
All other things being equal, the company with the better unboxing experience will earn more sales.

Need more proof? Consider Apple. Unboxing is so important to Apple’s marketing strategy that they have an ‘unboxing room’ dedicated to creating memorable unboxing experiences. Within, designers experiment to create the perfect combination of brand marketing and emotional response when a customer opens their Apple order.

The level of detail and effort Apple pours into their unboxing experiences keeps people coming back for more. It’s practically its own product!

If one of the most successful companies in the world puts this much emphasis on the unboxing experience, you should too.
But how do smaller companies create memorable unboxing experiences on a limited budget?

It’s the Little Things

Thrive Market is a membership-based eCommerce retailer offering natural and organic food products at reduced costs. They have made an artful science of the unboxing experience without an Apple-level investment in their packaging.
Every part of Thrive’s unboxing experience is carefully branded and thoughtfully designed. It also makes you feel good about what you ordered and why you ordered it.

When you open a Thrive box, there’s a little thank-you note that tells how your purchase helped their charitable mission to feed the hungry. Next, there’s a layer of packing paper that protects your order AND heightens anticipation. You tear it away and Thrive’s friendly green brand colors invite you in. Finally, your food is wrapped in clearly eco-friendly packaging, another nod to your values.
Unboxing a Thrive order is exciting and we’re not ashamed to admit it!

With a few pieces of branded paper, Thrive has connected their brand to a feeling of happiness that starts long before the customer eats the food they ordered. And you can bet that they’ll want that feeling again.
Sound good? Let’s keep going.

How to Upgrade Your Unboxing Experience

An awesome unboxing experience is UX planning applied to shipping, packaging, and presentation. If this sounds complicated, try looking at it this way:
Go the extra mile.
Walk through your unboxing experience and look for areas of improvement. Here’s a list of easy ways to upgrade your packaging.

  • Branded boxes and bags
  • Packing tape with your logo
  • Handmade labels or tags
  • A signed thank-you note
  • Branded stickers
  • Colorful packing paper
  • An invitation to a social media competition

Some companies have created a collectible series of branded items. They include one in each order, and customers can enjoy collecting them…as they continue to make purchases!

Start Small, But Get Started

You don’t need to lease more space for an ‘unboxing room’ right this moment. Instead, start building up your unboxing experience slowly over time.
Add your signature to a printed thank-you note with each order. Invest in some branded packing tape. Your customers will notice. And, as you improve your unboxing experience over time, you’ll build customer anticipation about what is coming next.

In conclusion, a branded and memorable unboxing experience will boost your content marketing results, drive engagement, increase sales, and improve the way your customers feel about your products.
Need help with your unboxing strategy? Want to tell us about your unboxing experience? Leave us a message in the comments below or contact us directly!’

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