by Megan Arnold
October 20, 2021
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?
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.
And, 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.
But, 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.
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.
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!
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