Unboxing: a word that until recently carried very little meaning. Before the advent of both elaborate custom packaging and platforms on which to share simple moments, taking something out of its box was a simple and quite boring thing.
Now, however, unboxing has not only become an important part of user experience (think of the variety of different compartments when opening any box containing a new piece of technology), it is also a new form of social marketing. So let’s unpack (pun intended) the why and the how; that is why this is the case, and how you can use packaging to your benefit, encouraging customers to share their purchases on social media and engaging their followers.
For a start, premium packaging encourages shoppers to recommend the brand to others of their own accord. According to Dotcom’s report, referenced here, 40% of online shoppers say branded packaging makes them more likely to recommend a product to friends. And of those who have shared an experience about a brand through images or unboxing videos online, 59 percent said they did so to show off the product. The entire purpose of presentation is to encourage this kind of social engagement.
The sway of social media is enormous. Indeed, the aforementioned study finds that more than half of online shoppers have used social media to find a photo or video of a product they were thinking about buying. Furthermore, after watching an unboxing video, 55 percent of online shoppers said they felt intrigued, followed by 41 percent who felt excited.
The underlying facts are: people are more likely to share and react positively to products if they are well presented and translate easily into attractive and shareable online media, making it even more important to understand and capitalize on the advantages created by the digital age. This is even more important when placed in a retail context, customers not only have an interpersonal experience with the business, but physically receive and react positively to their purchases when presented with a well packaged product, encouraging their return.
For evidence, look no further than the rising trend of unboxing videos on YouTube and other platforms. Some accrue as many as 50,000-70,000 views, indicating a healthy interest in the unboxing process from online shoppers. Additionally, in the age of Instagram, photo sharing is the norm and consumers are constantly sharing life experiences with their networks in a visual way. Retailers need to make their brand worthy of customer conversation on social media. By exceeding a shopper’s expectations with premium, gift-like packaging, emerging brands can create a memorable experience that customers will share with others and value as a loyal customer.
So how do you capitalize on this phenomenon? The simple answer is: treat your packaging as an important and vital part of your business. It isn’t as much a part of your sales strategy (after all, customers only see the packaging after they have purchased) as it is a part of your marketing. Take a moment to consider the buying experience from your customers’ point of view. Even if they won’t be sharing their purchase on social media, does the act of opening your package excite them or leave them bored? Is it a brown box with packing peanuts inside or is it a custom bio-mailer with branded tissue paper inside?
Furthermore, consider what else is going into the box with your product! Little things can make a big difference, and a surprise piece of candy, a little trinket, or card can have a positive impact and be worth sharing to that person. After all, it’s all about the people that you sell to, think about what you’d be excited to see in a package!
Wrapping your products adds an extra level of mystery and excitement for the unboxing experience, and this anticipation that you build translates directly into goodwill and a higher chance that your brand will go further than just that single customer.
To close on an important piece of advice: we’ve had plenty of experience creating memorable unboxing experiences for a variety of brands, and the one thing we’ve learned is that it doesn’t have to be flashy, it just has to be memorable.
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