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Creating a Memorable

Unboxing Experience

By: Michael Gertin

With the holiday season upon us, people all around the world are getting ready to unwrap and unbox gifts. By far, the most exciting gifts to open are those that have had a lot of thought and care put into the presentation. Clever, attractive, or otherwise eye-catching packaging designs make the gift-giving experience all the more special for that special someone.

Packaging receives more attention during the holidays than at any other time of year. Canada Post estimates that over the course of this holiday season they will deliver 1.4 million parcels per day for a total of 80 million packages – more packages will be delivered in just one season and by just one carrier, than there are people in Canada!

The attention paid to packaging at this time of year offers brands an excellent opportunity to revisit their own packaging and assess the customer's unboxing experience.

What's in the Box?

Ultimately, a positive unboxing experience for your customers will drive loyalty to your brand. Repeat customers are more valuable to companies than one-time buyers thanks to the strong long-term relationship they develop with a brand. There are fewer costs associated with motivating an existing customer to make a purchase than there are in attracting a net new customer.

One Last Communication

If you are a retailer that relies on ecommerce revenue, you have a unique challenge when it comes to building customer loyalty. Unless you offer a truly unique product to your customers, there is a good chance other online options exist for your customers to choose from. A key differentiator to pursue then is relationship-building with your customers.

Emails and promotional offers can help make a one-time customer a repeat-customer, but no email blast will ever reach 100% of your audience (on average, only 20% of emails ever get opened). A product’s packaging is the last guaranteed touchpoint you have with a customer after the transaction has taken place, which means it is your last opportunity to build a lasting impression.

Unboxing Experience

Reach a Wider Audience

Consider, for a moment, the spike in popularity of unboxing videos. A simple search of “unboxing” on YouTube brings up countless videos, many with tens or hundreds of millions of views. That is a huge reach for a single product, and it all starts with the packaging.

If you can make an impact on your customer, he/she will be much more likely to talk about your brand and recommend it to others. You don’t need to start an unboxing YouTube channel to leave a positive impression on customers with your packaging. A memorable unboxing experience will be shared with others, increasing brand awareness and attracting new customers while increasing loyalty with existing customers.

How to Craft a Memorable Unboxing Experience

Overall, you should consider how your product packaging interacts with each of the senses before, during, and after the unboxing process.

1. Brand Your Boxes

At the very least, every package you ship should indicate your brand on it somewhere. If you just send plain boxes to your customers, you risk hurting your brand reputation – unmarked cardboard boxes are forgettable!

2. Consider Product Presentation

Once the recipient opens your box, what do they see? The product thrown in, seemingly without care for how it is received? A little extra effort here will go a long way, especially if you tie the presentation into your brand. For example, if your product is positioned as premium, make sure everything about the presentation reflects luxury (Apple is notorious for this, but even recently Samsung has received praise for its premium presentation of the new Galaxy Fold).

3. Personalize and Customize

Putting in a little extra effort will do wonders for the perception of your brand. Whether it’s adding in a thank-you note from the packer, a leaflet explaining you or your company’s story, or even just coupons – extras in each package demonstrate to a customer that you put thought into the recipient’s experience. It is so easy for companies to focus on customer experience during the buying process but forget about it once the transaction has taken place. By showing that you are still thinking about the customer experience even after purchase, you make each recipient feel a little bit more special and appreciated.

4. Design for Practicality

When designing packaging, you should keep in mind how people will interact with it. Aside from functional and protective elements, packaging must be intuitive to open and remove once it arrives at its destination. Adding design elements that make it easy to tell how to open or use the packaging are a great way to make the customer experience that much better. In our Sustainability in Packaging blog, we talked about some ideas for how to reuse and dispose of packaging in an environmentally friendly way.

Examples of Great Unboxing Experience

Excellent examples of products that emphasize the unboxing experience.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are a small business trying to build and maintain a loyal customer base, or a large company fulfilling high order volumes, understanding how the customer will interact with your product’s packaging before they actually use the product in question will help you design for success, reinforce your brand, and increase customer satisfaction. Accomplishing this will ultimately make it more likely a net new customer becomes a repeat customer.

At Gertex, we work with our partners to find customizable solutions that fit the needs of our customers. Contact us today for a free assessment, and to find out how we can work together to help make every transaction memorable for your customers.

Michael Gertin Gertex Solutions

Michael Gertin
Vice-President and Co-Founder