How to Create a Memorable Unboxing Experience for Your Customers

Small dog in front of custom shipping boxes

Creating memorable experiences for your audience is important for any business, but it is infinitely more important for an eCommerce business. More specifically, the experience of unboxing a purchase. The moment the customer receives the item they ordered is the biggest touchpoint in eCommerce. Think about it. Online stores have few, if any, brick-and-mortar stores, meaning fewer opportunities to connect with their audience in person. No matter the company, big or small, you should always invest in the moments your audience interacts with your brand in person, such as that unboxing moment. Here is how to create a memorable unboxing experience for your customers using custom mailer boxes and more!

person holding a box wrapped in kraft paper

Why the unboxing experience matters

Wondering why the unboxing experience is so important? It’s not so different from the experience of opening gifts on holidays. Half of the fun is the anticipation of finding out what is inside. Sure, you know the big-ticket item because you ordered it, but what else is in there? Just because you know what is going to be in the package when you open it, doesn’t mean you know how it will be presented. Will there be a personal note thanking you for your business? Colorful tissue paper wrapped around your item? Or maybe even some fun stickers! 

Knowing how much your customers are anticipating their packages, would you want it to show up in a generic brown cardboard box, or would you rather make a statement and grab your customer’s attention from the moment they spot that package in the mail? I think the latter. People subconsciously respond to visual stimuli, in fact, one of the core principles of marketing psychology surrounds visual aspects, such as the colors you use. Color psychology plays a big role in how successful brands design their products and marketing materials.

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It helps your brand express itself

The unboxing experience is the perfect opportunity to express your brand to your customer. You may offer the best product in the world that is better than your competitors, but you also need to set yourself apart from them. What is going to make someone stop and not only consider your product, but ultimately decide to invest in yours rather than the hundred others like it?

It encourages customer loyalty

Delivering your product is basically the last point of contact your customer will have with your brand, so it’s important you make it a good one. They say first impressions matter, but last impressions are equally as important. Customer loyalty isn’t born from just offering a good product or service. Like I said before, there are probably hundreds of other products or services out there just like yours. You have to offer that extra value to keep your customers coming back for more. This doesn’t necessarily mean giving things away for free, but investing in the seemingly little moments, such as the unboxing experience.

It helps you gain social media exposure

In the age of social media, having your customers post about your brand is like hitting a gold mine. Nothing is more powerful than word-of-mouth marketing, especially when that word is coming from the mouth of a social media influencer. You have the potential of reaching millions of viewers, just by creating a memorable unboxing experience that makes someone want to post about it online. There are whole accounts dedicated to unboxing videos on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Tik Tok. 

Whoman holding flowers and a custom shipping box next to her face

How to create the most memorable unboxing experience

There are endless ways you could go about your custom branded packaging strategy, and while you want to stand out, you also want your efforts to be successful. (You don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons.) Here are some tips for creating an unboxing experience your customers will not soon forget.

Personalization is key

One of the biggest marketing strategies you will read about is personalization. Personalize your emails, personalize your online experience, personalize this, personalize that. You should do all of the above, as well as personalize your unboxing experience. There are multiple ways you could go about doing this. Consider adding a personalized note addressing your customer by their name and thanking them for their purchase. You could also include a coupon for future purchases if they are a repeat customer. Give a little, and they will come back for more. Another way to add some anticipation is to offer status updates for their order. A simple email or text message letting them know where their package is will build up the excitement around its arrival.

Take advantage of all of the senses 

When someone is shopping in a physical store, they are able to pick an item up and experience it with most, if not all, of their senses. When you are in person, you can touch the item, you can see it first hand, you can even smell it if it’s a product such as perfume or a candle. You’re even probably hearing things such as music in the background. All of these things you are experiencing with each sense set the mood a little more. You don’t get even half of that when you are shopping online, meaning your customers are missing out on more than half of the experience of buying your product. It isn’t easy to replicate the experience of shopping in person in a box, but you can still make sure you appeal to more than one sense. Consider adding things such as candy (appealing to the sense of taste), or splurge on a fancy tissue paper that feels like silk to appeal to the sense of touch. 

Customize your packaging

A plain brown box is not the most exciting thing to see in the mail, but a unique box will leave an impression. You could do something as simple as print your logo on the box, or go as over the top as you want with a design. Make sure you stay within your branding guidelines so that your box is recognizable as your brand. Some brands that have gone the extra mile to cater their packaging designs to their audience include Glossier, Little Words Project, and Loot Crate. Glossier incorporates recycled pink bubble wrap and fun cosmetic-themed stickers in each package. Little Words Project includes a handwritten thank you card, a pouch for your bracelets, and a postcard with a feel-good quote on it. Loot Crate designs each box tailored to the theme. For example, their Harry Potter boxes replicate locations from the movies such as Hogwarts. Each brand has tailored its packaging to its target audience, turning the unboxing moment into an experience, rather than a moment of someone ripping into a box and immediately discarding it.

Creating a memorable unboxing experience for your customers further impresses your brand upon them. A successful business is not only built on gaining new customers, but also keeping repeat ones. How you present your brand and your product during that last touchpoint is crucial to the lasting success of your business.

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