Receiving a package in the mail is always exciting, and for online retailers, it’s one of the few opportunities to make a memorable connection with customers.
As a result, brands have gotten creative when it comes to the moment of unboxing, investing in inventive designs that distinguish their product from the others on the market. With the goal of building the ultimate unboxing experience, eCommerce sellers have created one of the hottest retail trends of 2022.
What is unboxing?
Unboxing is a relatively new focus in eCommerce marketing that refers to the design and packaging of a product. When customers receive something in the mail, the process of opening the item for the first time can be made into a fun and captivating experience.
What started as a stylish way for brands to stand out from the rest of the crowd, the unboxing craze has grown into a near necessity when marketing a new product. In addition to building customer loyalty, distinct and creative packaging can open new and lucrative marketing opportunities.
As unique branded packaging became the norm, online content creators started making videos that feature themselves opening these packages for the first time, giving their audience a glimpse of what to expect when they place an order. Unboxing videos, as they came to be known, have since become a fixture for brands marketing their products online. For online retailers, unboxing videos are a great way to tap into a new pool of potential customers.
Benefits of Branded Packaging
Aside from just looking good, specialized packaging that sticks out from the crowd has a ton of benefits for an emerging eCommerce brand. Let’s take a look at how a focus on unboxing can bring an online store to the next level.
Online retailers don’t get the marketing opportunities offered by having a physical storefront where customers can be invited in to do their shopping. Without a brick-and-mortar extension of a brand’s identity to help build customer connections, digital retailers are more constricted in how they can express what their products are all about.
Aside from the product itself, the box that it comes in is one of the few chances you’ll have to make a lasting impression on a customer. For example, Anthem, an Italian based apparel company, brands itself as an eco-friendly clothing option that embodies surfer culture. In order to sync their packaging with this brand identity, Anthem’s products come in a biodegradable bag, sporting an off-white, sandy color.
This packaging reinforces Anthem’s core values and emphasizes the qualities that drew those customers to the store in the first place.
When opting for a basic product packaging setup, most brands settle for a one-size-fits-all box. While this might be convenient, it’s not an optimal solution in the long term.
Customized packaging means your products are delivered in a box that fits the exact dimensions of the item inside. In a time when shelving space is hard to come by, this approach helps ensure that valuable warehouse space isn’t wasted.
For retailers selling fragile items, custom packaging that’s designed to protect your product specifically can help avoid damages and warehouse returns.
Providing a fun unboxing experience also opens up the opportunity to explore avenues of social media marketing that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Working with influencers to promote a product is easy, but actually getting their fans excited about a product is another challenge.
Unboxing videos, as we discussed above, allow customers to see a trusted content creator’s live reaction to an item and can make a big difference for shoppers who are on the fence about completing a purchase.
In addition to unboxing videos, influencers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter make a living by featuring products in their social media posts. After displaying a product for their audience, they typically provide links that direct to where the item can be purchased, allowing the customer to make a purchase easily.
Live shopping and unboxing streams are a popular extension of social marketing, where a host opens items from an online store and provides customers with an idea of what to expect when the item arrives. If an exciting product arrives with eye-catching packaging, an Instagram or Facebook live stream can excite potential customers about what your brand has to offer.
Upgrading Your Product Packaging
Designing and implementing a new product design sounds like a lot of work, but there are plenty of third-party services that can put together a stellar unboxing experience for your customers. These creative design agencies build customized packaging that speaks to the brand identity and helps it stick out from the competition.
With the added benefit of a quality warehouse management system in your toolbox, adding customized packaging to your process won’t be a hassle. By simply including a few automation rules to your shipping strategy, you can easily integrate new packaging details and start sending out orders with a brand-new look.
If hiring outside help isn’t an option, simply including a few extra tokens of gratitude can make your product’s unboxing more memorable. Merchandise like stickers, coasters or greeting cards won’t add much extra weight to the shipment, and can make for a fun surprise when a customer opens the item.
Packaging is too often overlooked as just what carries an item from point A to point B. Rather than seeing it as just another tool, brands are approaching their packages like a blank canvas that can highlight what makes their brand special and heighten the customer experience when it finally arrives in the mail.
If you’re looking for a fulfillment partner to help optimize your delivery process, contact the Fulfillment Experts at ShipHero today.
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Maggie M. Barnett, Esq., COO
About the author: Maggie M. Barnett, Esq., is the COO of ShipHero. She is responsible for planning and executing the overall operational, legal, managerial and administrative procedures, reporting structures and operational controls of the organization. Barnett’s greatest strengths are leadership, risk mitigation, change management and a passion for business transformation. She is known for her expertise in delivering operational excellence and an ability to provide guidance and mitigating risk. Her leadership of ShipHero is grounded in a servant mentality, always doing the right thing for our stakeholders. Her passion for ShipHero comes from the ability to drive operational excellence throughout the organization impacting the lives of our employees, customers, and partners.