The Impact Of A Great Unboxing Experience On Your eCommerce Brand

The Impact Of A Great Unboxing Experience On Your eCommerce Brand

In today’s world of online shopping, the need to offer a great unboxing experience is a pre-requisite to be noticed as a great eCommerce brand.

unboxing experience

While the moment a customer places an order is very crucial for your eCommerce business, you must keep in mind that the moment of delivery is also something to be celebrated.

Providing superior unboxing experience is an extension of the overall customer experience and brand experience. It’s the final chink in the chain as far as first impressions go and it needs to be stellar. 

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What Is Unboxing?

Unboxing in literal sense means the act of a person unpacking an eagerly awaited package. A carefully curated unboxing experience is much more than just a regular delivery.

It speaks a lot about the brand and the care & attention that goes into making this experience memorable.

The whole unboxing experience is a performance. It is all about the ritual of opening the package and feeling the product for the very first time.

The emotions it evokes can be compared to your very first memories as a child of unpacking gifts on a Christmas morning. This marketing strategy ensures that your brand stands to gain a real edge over other similar products.

Why Does Unboxing Experience Matter?

Some brands just dismiss the whole unboxing experience as a ‘momentary craze’.

However, research shows that 40% 0f online shoppers are willing to share an image of their purchase on social media if the product came in a branded packaging.

To put it differently, offering a memorable unboxing experience is deeply rooted purpose and in fact, is a classy post-purchase marketing strategy.

Delivery is the final interaction of your brand with a customer which is why your brand should put the best foot forward.

Leave a positive last impression and leave them wanting to purchase again. All this and more are all made possible through a memorable unboxing experience.

1. Drives Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is as flaky as it can get. Especially, in today’s age, when multiple options are available at the click of a button; all from the comfort of your home, customer loyalty is surely a rare quality.

A research conducted by Yotpo indicates that 37% of customers see themselves as loyal to any brand after making at least five purchases. That’s something, right?

So, how do you (as a brand) ensure that customers come back again and again?

Again there are different ways to do it. Some brands are in the habit of introducing loyalty programs to boost retention rates.

Yes, this strategy is surely effective but is equally complex to design and implement. On the contrary, the unboxing experience is a much simpler and powerful strategy.

The whole unboxing experience plays with the psyche of the customer. The customer feels a personal and emotional connection with the brand and the product. By empowering the customer, you influence them to return.

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2. Makes A Great First Impression

eCommerce is very different from an actual brick and mortar store in terms of touchpoints between your brand and your customer. Buying online can sometimes feel impersonal.

However, it is very important to make the most of those few touchpoints and capitalize on those opportunities.

Delivery of the goods is one such opportunity. During this time you can change the customer’s perception of your products.

A branded, attractive, and well-presented package makes the whole experience of receiving the products a highly pleasant and overwhelming one. 

3. Increases Perceived Value

In this internet age, it is very difficult to offer a unique or one-of-a-kind product to the customer. To gain that competitive edge, your brand needs to offer much more than just ‘an innovative product’.

This is where an unforgettable unboxing experience can turn the game in your favor.

Let us consider the example of Tiffany & Co. Their robin’s egg blue jewelry boxes for holding engagement rings are an icon in itself.

The box, popularly known as the ‘Tiffany blue’ is a perfect example of elegance, luxury, and class, all rolled into one. 

While this is a luxury brand, offering high-endn products and class-leading unboxing experience, your eCommerce brand can take cues from how to present the product in a manner that moves your customers.

Remember, a well-executed strategy makes the whole experience as desirable as the product itself.

4. To Tell your brand’s story

Brand storytelling is much more important to the success of any brand than people usually give it credit for. Today, the need to show the uniqueness of your brand is immense.

Delivery is the one such time where your customer is eagerly waiting for the product to arrive. You have their undivided attention during this time.

A great unboxing experience with an appealing branding strategy will surely charm the subconscious mind of the consumer. This strategy goes a long way to set up a deeper cognitive recall value for your brand.

5. Boosts social media marketing

Encouraging customers to add unboxing photos/videos to your brand’s social media channels open the doors for greater engagement opportunities.

Your followers witness the actual joy of a customer receiving the product. They end up picturing themselves going through the whole unboxing experience.

This gives social media marketing a whole new meaning by adding a dimension of ‘emotive marketing’.


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6. Builds brand trust and credibility

You might not immediately understand how an unboxing experience can garner a customer’s trust; but just know that the key to it is in your packaging.

The materials you use in your packaging and the thought you have put into it together give you the opportunity to show the customers who you are exactly and how much you care about them and their experience.

Since you don’t get to hand over the product to the customer’s face to face in the world of eCommerce, an unboxing experience is the best way for you to provide your customers a personal experience.

It’s not an ad or an anonymous review, but a real feeling that your customer gets to feel. The better that feeling, the more trust towards your brand.

7. Helps you reach new customers

Unboxing videos have gained immense popularity over the past few years. In fact, unboxing has become a genre of video in itself.

In fact, according to Google, people have spent more time watching unboxing videos on YouTube, than the time taken to watch a full-length Hollywood movie more than 20 million times.

Since people find out about new brands a lot on YouTube, unboxing videos could help a lot of people discover your brand.

8. Source to get great customer reviews

If you think a great product is the only way to get great reviews from customers, you’re wrong.

There are factors more than the quality of your product that could add to the overall satisfaction of your customers.

A great product received in an ordinary way might not encourage them to write a great review for you or your product.

However, if you were able to enhance their experience of receiving the product by providing a great unboxing experience, they might return the favor by writing a great review.

9. Enhances shareability

The Internet has proven that people love sharing what they like. Be it a funny cat or dog videos, personal videos, etc. and that includes unboxing videos.

You might feel that an unboxing video is someone else’s content and why would anyone share it. If the unboxing is that good, it automatically turns into publicly likable content and starts getting shared by people.

In the worst-case scenario, even if it didn’t go viral, the audience of your customer will definitely see it, and it would lead to at least some word-of-mouth marketing for you.

10. Gives you an upper hand on your competition

If there’s a competitor who provides the same product as you, how would you beat it? The one thing that can make you stand out even with the same product is a great unboxing experience.

For instance, a customer receives your competitor’s product in an ordinary fashion. The same customer receives your product later along with a great unboxing experience.

Who do you think your customer will buy from the next time? Of course your brand!

They are receiving the product in both cases, but they would be happier when you add to their memory an unforgettable unboxing experience.


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Brands That Offer Class-Leading Unboxing Experiences

1. Apple

Apple makes use of an ‘unboxing room’ to experiment with various packaging scenarios. The experiment aims to extract the ‘perfect level of emotional response’ from all consumers.

Apple packages are smooth, sleek, elegant, and marked with their branding. You lift the lid, and the product you paid for is sitting right there; screen up!

While you may argue that Apple’s unboxing process is quick and plain, let’s not forget that the whole approach is very structured.

With this strategy, Apple ensures that it gives the customer the experience even before they have the whole product out of the box. The design ensures that unboxing begins the moment the box is ready to be opened.

The clean, minimal appearance of the Apple brand seats the product in full focus. The customer cannot resist starting to use the product as soon as they lay their eyes on the product. 

2. Thrive Market

Thrive Market, a grocery service, brings a farmer’s market right to your doorstep. The target customers are mainly health-conscious customers looking for fresh food and dietary supplements.

The box is branded both on the inside and the outside and divided lengthwise to ensure that the products fit perfectly. The brand takes special care of using all biodegradable packaging materials.

Apart from the killer box branding, Thrive slips in a little ‘thank-you note’ with the same green-and-white color theme. In other words, Thrive has a positively customer-centric approach.

Even the privately owned return address proves that the brand goes above and beyond in providing the ultimate experience. The whole unboxing experience focuses on accountability and customer care.

3. Caraway Home

Caraway Home sells well-designed, non-toxic ceramic cookware online. It’s only natural that they would use sustainable means for packaging.

The brand uses recycled materials with low-impact print dyes, zero-plastic bags, and biodegradable cork trivets for packaging and shipping goods.

Caraway also sends a welcome booklet made from recycled paper, along with messages that are printed directly on the packaging to help customers experience each pan, lid, and storage unit that come in the box.

The best part about their packaging is that it’s highly organized providing a great on-brand experience.

4. TrunkClub

TrunkClub, a subscription-box company, takes the customer unboxing experience quite seriously.

For instance, instead of choosing a standard box sealed with clear packaging tape, they use a custom printed box with a handle to resemble a trunk, that matches with and accentuates their brand.

The moment a trunk from TrunkClub arrives at your doorstep, you’d know that a great unboxing experience awaits you.

The contents inside the trunk are carefully laid out to create a memorable presentation for you.

To add to the custom branded experience for its customers, all TrunkClub orders include a handwritten card from a personal stylist that explains the selection of products.

Their unboxing experience makes the customer feel like a part of something special and exclusive.

5. Have A Nice Day

Have A Nice Day is an online gift store that provides its customers with an experience that is bound to bring joy.

All they use is custom tissue paper along with matching stickers and a two-tone design to show off the brand’s fun and bubbly personality.

Besides being beautifully designed, the tissue paper is sustainable, as it is made from 30 percent recycled materials and acid-free tree pulp certified by FSC or Forest Stewardship Council.

In fact, even the sticker that is used as a finishing touch is made up of FSC-certified pulp, and it is also compostable both at home and commercially.

Not only do they provide a great unboxing experience, but by showing that they care about nature, they also create a lasting impression.


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6. Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation

Nest’s Learning Thermostat comes in a brown cardboard box with a white sleeve displaying the product. It is sealed by a plastic tab and has the notice:

‘Please check compatibility at before unwrapping,’ along with an easy-to-peel corner highlighted in blue.

At the very start of your unboxing experience, Nest comforts you that your doubts about how to open the box, and how to install the product, are going to be resolved step-wise. That way it allows you to enjoy your unboxing experience.

As soon as you open the box, you see the product which is not stuffed with messy wires and tools. Under that is a neat envelope with visual instructions for mounting the product.

Then comes the wall mountings, back, screws, etc. along with adhesive plastic tags. You’ll also find a unique screwdriver that is white like the packaging, with a teardrop handle to give you a smooth tech-oriented feel.

The Nest provides you with an elite unboxing experience where all your anxieties about setup and installation are resolved. And it leaves you with instant pleasure and reassurance about the purchase you made.

7. Birchbox

The unique thing about Birchbox’s unboxing is that its packages keep differing, as well as the box decor. Their package easily fits into mailboxes so you wouldn’t need to sign for it either.

Birchbox sends different beauty products to its subscribers every month with a card telling them what’s in that month’s box. It also has a personal note from Birchbox founders, Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp.

Usually, there’s an internal wrapping paper that matches the colors and visual theme of the box. Inside the package are stickers with words like ‘creativity’ and ‘strength’ for the subscribers to complete the slogans themselves.

What sets their unboxing experience apart is that the subscribers end up testing the products as soon as they unbox them. Sometimes they even give out spoilers to build hype through social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.

8. The Marshmallowist

This UK-based company, The Marshmallowist is known for being the country’s first producer of gourmet marshmallows and has earned great appreciation for its luxurious packaging.

They add a dramatic flair to the unboxing process with custom-designed tissue, which also keeps the contents safe.

They showcase strong visual branding with a cohesive color palette on both the wrapping and the boxes. Their cheerful eye-catching design is like a cherry on the cake.

9. Otto and Berk

Stationery brand, Otto and Berk, have come up with a very positive unboxing experience for their customers. Their box has a pandemic-inspired custom card with a powerful message that states ‘The world has slowed so you can rediscover yourself.

Quotes, images, or illustrations that relate to people’s current world experience that has had such a huge impact in everyone’s lives have that ‘wow’ factor. It also gives an emotional reason to the customers to hold onto it for long.

Do you know what else makes their unboxing unique? Their card is made out of recycled materials, is home compostable, and they use eco-friendly tissue paper to display an intricate plant illustration.

10. Curated and Hampered

Curated and Hampered is a luxury gift hamper brand, and to live up to their brand, they need to make sure that their unboxing experience is top-notch.

They give their customers a memorable unboxing experience by playing off how such hampers let people discover new brands and products.

They use subtle yet classy branded boxes along with special inserts that describe each product and how they can be used. With their unboxing, they portray a strong brand narrative showcasing their attention to detail and expertise in gifting.

11. Loot Crate

Loot Crate (gaming merchandise subscription box service) sends its subscribers monthly boxes filled with exclusive goodies. Each box is tailored to a particular theme like the Wizarding World collection.

For instance, their Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets box comes with items like Mirror of Erised magnet, Hogwarts founder’s posters, phoenix badge, and Hogwarts or Marauders Map umbrella.

The inside of the box is designed like the Chamber of Secrets, and along comes a Hogwarts-themed letter explaining the contents.

12. VIVE Wellness

After finishing a short online consultation, the customers of VIVE Wellness are prescribed their own monthly curated vitamin and supplement pack.

The daily dose of the supplements arrives in a pastel turquoise tube, that is garnished with the white VIVE logo.

The great part is that it comes with the slogan, ‘made just for you’, with the message ‘Hi [name of the customer], your daily pack of goodness.’

To tell the customers more about the prescribed pills, they also provide circular info cards within the tubes.

13. Cousins Collective

Cousins Collective designs products showcasing traditional tattoo art that shows off its unique personality by using a 100% compostable mailer bag that is made out of plant-based materials. They send in custom tissue paper and stickers that resonate with their brand. 

They prove that you don’t need a box to create a memorable unboxing experience. Sending in a mailer that can be broken down in just 3 months in a home compost and is so easy on the environment gives them an edge in unboxing.

14. Glossier

US beauty brand Glossier upholds its brand values with its minimalist yet iconic bold and black logo that’s across the seal of the cardboard box.

Inside is a lithographic print of the slogan, ‘Skin First, Makeup Second, Smile Always’ that easily connects with the customer.

Their reusable bubble wrap zip-top pouch, product sample card, colorful stickers, and UV gloss, all add to their overall unboxing experience.

For Glossier phase kits, they send stylish white boxes decorated with a fancy pink ‘G’ logo on the top with magnetic closure.

15. Paper View Co

Paper View Co creates paper ‘forever’ flowers and stationery. To express their gratitude towards their customers, they strategically place custom cards to show a thank you message as soon as the box is opened.

They provide a personalized unboxing experience to their customers. And not to forget, their card is home compostable and made out of recycled materials.

In Conclusion

The only thing limiting you from putting together a memorable unboxing experience is your imagination.

Create a fantastic experience for your consumers so that they keep coming back again and again. Approach your packaging design with the intent of creating the best possible impression on your customer.

So, go ahead and design an unboxing process that will both surprise and delight your customers at the same time.

Happy unboxing!

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