How to Create a Memorable Unboxing Experience

Branded packaging is one of the best ways to promote your brand.

  • Written by Matt Holman
  • Published on June 5, 2020
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Your goal as an e-commerce brand should always be to stand out from the competition. The most common tactics to do this include improving your product, social media marketing, or optimizing your web design.

While these actions are significant, there’s one aspect of the buying process that brands take for granted: the unboxing experience.

Brands are so worried about landing new business that they don’t consider what happens when customers receive their orders. Done right; however, branded packaging can be a great way to boost retention and create loyal customers.

What is Unboxing?

“Unboxing” is when a customer opens up your order, the same way they’d open up a gift for their birthday or Christmas.

Not only does branded packaging offer an experience to the customer, it’s one of the best ways to promote your brand. Let’s understand why and what you can do to create an incredible unboxing experience.

A creative way to show off your brand

Why Branded Packaging Matters to eCommerce

With so many brands competing for customers’ attention, branded packaging is the one investment that could make you stand out. Here’s why:

It Builds a Great First Impression

First impressions matter, and it’s no different for eCommerce brands.

One of the biggest obstacles in eCommerce is that you’re not there with the customer face-to-face. A great unboxing experience fills that gap by creating a powerful connection.

Branded packaging shows you value your customers’ satisfaction and go every step of the way to deliver. As a result, you’ll boost their perception of your brand.

It Creates Loyal Customers

The best customers are not the ones who only buy once from your store. They’re the ones who repeatedly come back to your store for more and drive repeat purchases.

Brands are so focused on landing new clients that they forget one thing: keeping their current customers happy. 41% of an eCommerce store’s sales come from only 8% of its customers.

Branded packaging is one of the most effective customer retention tactics. The reason why it works so well is that it drives emotion and makes the purchase feel unique — customers won’t feel like they’re just another sale.

It Generates Epic User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content (or UGC) refers to any content created by a brand’s consumers. These can include:

  • Blog posts
  • Reviews & testimonials
  • Pictures on social media
  • And more

UGC is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand online. 79% of customers believe that UGC influences their buying decisions.

So, how does this relate to branded packaging? A memorable unboxing experience can be a goldmine when it comes to UGC. Customers love to publish unique boxes they get from brands, just like in this example:

Bali's fun product experience

In other words, it’s like getting free publicity for your business.

8 Ways You Can Create Incredible Branded Packaging

Now that you know why the unboxing experience matters, it’s time to take action. Here are eight ways that you can make your branded packaging stand out:

Provide a Handwritten Thank You Note

When it comes to engaging your customers, a simple word of gratitude goes a long way. One unique way to show customers they matter to you is through personalized thank you cards.

Use Inserts

Include inserts with every order. Tell a story about your brand, your product, or how much you care about the customer for ordering. When unboxing, the customer will never be more focused on your brand. Reinforce that with a branded insert that enhances their experience.

Give a Free Sample

Another way to surprise and delight customers is to give them more than they expect. You can do this by including free samples in your packaging. Adding free samples will make customers feel like they have more value for their money. After all, who can say no to free stuff?

Make Your Packaging Eco-Friendly

The modern customer expects brands to be sensible about social issues and adopt sustainable practices. It’s why you should make your package as eco-friendly as possible.

The best way to do this is to use recyclable material in your packaging. We’ll look at a great example of what this can look like below.

Include Discount Codes or Special Offers

To make customers feel special, you can add exclusive perks and coupons to your packaging. With redeemable vouchers, you can encourage customers to buy more and drive repeat purchases.

Add Branded Stickers Inside and Out

A low-cost way to spice up your packaging is to include various branded stickers on your box. Not only do stickers add a nice personal touch, but they can also be helpful to seal packages.

Use Colorful Packing Materials

Instead of the same boring packing materials, why don’t you mix it up and get colorful? If you need to protect the contents of a package, don’t just rely on brown craft paper – get creative!

Customize your Cardboard Box

One of the best materials we recommend for branded packaging is cardboard. It’s low-cost and easy to customize to reflect the look and feel of your brand.

Examples of Brands Killing It With Packaging

Do you need some examples of what a fantastic unboxing experience looks like for inspiration? Check out how these brands are maximizing their packaging to retain customers and deliver the best experience:


Glossier's cool packaging

Glossier is one of the leading brands in the beauty industry that sells various skincare and makeup products. They’re also a company that understands the importance of packaging.

One thing to note about its branded design is its slogan: “Skin first. Makeup Second. Smile Always.” It’s a fun way to show their personality and give customers something to post about on social media.

Jeni’s Ice Cream

Jeni's cool ice cream packaging

Another excellent example of packaging done right is Jeni’s ice cream. What’s great about its packaging is that it builds excitement for the customer with one sentence:

“Ice cream inside — please open immediately.”

Jeni’s unboxing experience shows they pay attention to detail; we can tell their customers love it based on the testimonials on their box page.

Seed Phytonutrients

Organic packaging at its best

The goal of Seed Phytonutrients is to make natural body products that also respect the environment. They partner with American organic farmers to deliver the best products for their customers.

Their packaging does an excellent job of showcasing their eco-friendly values. Each of their packaging boxes and bottles is made of 100% recycled materials.

Seed Phytonutrients’ packaging shows that their actions are congruent with their values. They don’t just talk about respecting the environment — they’re actively doing it themselves.

Wrapping Up

Sometimes, it’s the little things that count. By focusing on creating an exceptional unboxing experience, you’ll make your brand stand out and leave customers hungry for more. Remember that branding isn’t the only thing to consider when creating packaging. If you want to turn packaging and shipping into an asset for your business, find out how eHub can help you today.

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