It’s All About The Unboxing

by Megan Arnold October 20, 2021

A number of packages sitting on a doorstep outside of a home

When it comes to marketing your brand, you probably think eye-catching  packaging with a big in-store display. But, times have changed. Instead of venturing to the store, people are buying from the comfort of their own homes. According to Statista, over 2 billion purchases were made online in 2020 and e-commerce sales grew by more than 25%. So, how do you capture the attention of buyers and grow your consumer base when people aren’t shopping in person anymore?

It’s time to turn your marketing efforts on where the customers can be found – the internet! And one of the best tools in your new digital toolbox is the popularity of unboxing. But, unboxing goes beyond just viral videos or popular media influencers. So, what exactly is it and why should you care?

What is Unboxing and Why Is It Important?

Unboxing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the moment a customer receives and opens their package. In fact, if you haven’t already, do a quick search on YouTube for “unboxing”. You’ll find thousands of videos of people opening everything from books to cosmetics. On Instagram, there are over 2.5 million posts using the hashtag #unboxing.

Person unboxing a package with a custom branded shipperAnd, for ecommerce, this unboxing moment is critical. Online, there’s no fancy display, no eye-catching staging, no immediate sensory experience that compels someone to buy. Instead, people are going to discover your product because of word of mouth. That’s why you need to deliver the kind of experience someone wants to talk about. Remember, 43% of shoppers turn to social media to do their research before purchasing.

With this kind of experience, you can’t focus on the product or even the product packaging alone. You have to consider the whole picture. Is the outer packaging branded? Is there enough protection so nothing is damaged in the mailing process? Are the packaging materials sustainable? Have you added a personal element to make the customer feel special?

For you as a company, that unboxing moment is about creating an experience for your customer. Ideally, one they’d want to share with others. Just think about your own experience. What would you rather post on Instagram – the plain cardboard box and bubble wrap or the branded shipper with tissue paper and a personalized note? That added detail makes a customer feel special and will inspire them to talk about their experience and come back for more.

Does This Affect Me?

Custom branded corrugated shipperBut, whether you’re a small business with only an ecommerce presence or a large brand with products in stores around the world, this ecommerce experience and the idea of “unboxing” affects everyone.

Even if you have an established customer base built in brick-and-mortar stores, customers can still be quick to ditch your brand if they find another with a better experience.

Just think about it. In this ecommerce world, the last impression a lot of people will get of your company will be the impression they get when they open their package. And arguably, that may be the most important of the whole process. If you leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth, they aren’t going to want to shop with you and they certainly aren’t going to want to tell their friends. That means one less customer for you and no word-of-mouth marketing to help increase your customer base.

Practical Steps You Can Take

So, what can you do to improve that unboxing experience for your customers? Whether your company is big or small, there are tons of things you can do to make the experience special and memorable.

  • Make Sure It Fits – People are more eco-conscious and you’re going to turn off a lot of customers if you send a small item in a box three sizes too big, so make sure your outer packaging fits whatever is inside. In addition, make sure any packing material is eco-friendly. For example, opt for crinkle paper instead of bubble wrap. It may not be as fun to pop, but it will be sustainable and probably look better too!

Shipper closed with custom branded shipping tape

  • Brand Everything – Every piece of your package, from the shipper to the packing list, is an opportunity to make your brand known! Create a custom shipper with printed graphics, add your logo and a fun design to your polybag, get branded tape to seal your boxes, add your logo to the packing list! Even just adding a sticker with your logo to the outside of the shipper is better than nothing at all.
  • Make It a Gift – Your product is like your gift to your customer, and you want to present it that way. Wrap products in colorful tissue paper and seal them with a branded sticker. Add a custom thank you note. Toss in a little freebie. Remember, you want to make your customer feel special so put some thought and effort behind how you’re shipping it out.


In this new age of ecommerce, brands can no longer rely solely on their product to earn them loyal customers. Instead, they need to consider every square inch of the package that’s headed out the door. So, the next time you send out a product, put a little effort behind every aspect of that package and maybe it’ll wind up on the YouTube trending page!



Megan Arnold
Megan Arnold