How Ecommerce Brands Can Achieve Unboxing Experiences That Rival In-Store Shelf Branding

Published On: August 20, 2020

Photo Credits: Codexbeauty

According to a PMMI study, 95% of consumers report packaging significantly affects their online purchase and almost half share their experience on social media. While creating consumer engagement through packaging isn’t anything new, the growth of e-commerce is changing consumer expectations. How? Online brands can be at a disadvantage when it comes to customer-product interaction prior to completing the purchase. Because shoppers cannot physically touch or experience the product before making a purchasing decision, but instead the first engagement will be when they receive the product and personally experience the product reveal, the unboxing experience is key for e-commerce brands and products.

The unboxing experience gives brands the opportunity to create a “Retail” experience upon delivery and elicit a positive response from the customer. The key to success? More product personalization, a memorable unboxing experience, consistent branding and unique packaging.

Create Consistency Between the Digital and Tangible World

It is crucial to create consistency between the digital and tangible world to avoid mismatched expectations and reality. Consumers don’t physically interact with your product until they receive it at their doorstep and they will form expectations about your product based on what the consumer sees online. Therefore, as a brand, it is your responsibility to ensure that the product meets the consumer’s expectations and stays consistent with your physical product.

To create this consistency, the experience that consumers have with your product should be no different than the experience they have when they are visiting your website and social platforms. This can be done by designing the product packaging in strategic ways.

Brands can create consistency between the consumer’s digital and physical experience by:

  • Using the same branding in their packaging as the one used in their website and social channels
  • Accurately portraying what the quality of your product is on their website and social channels
  • Creating an unboxing experience that matches the energy of their website and online presence. For example, if your brand conveys high-energy and vitality, your website may use bold colors and fonts.
  • Including marketing collateral within the packaging that tells the brand’s story

Photo Credits: Codexbeauty

Make the Unboxing Experience Memorable

Direct to consumer brands can create an engaging unboxing experience for customers by:

  • Remembering to include tactile elements to the design. A memorable unboxing experience includes as many of the senses as possible. While many brands remember to include exceptional visuals in their unboxing experience, unique textures like matte finishes or glossy coatings can also stand out to the customer and create a positive association with your brand. 
  • Designing packaging with modular inserts or trays for a high-quality look. A well put together package shows the customer that you care.
  • Having organized sections or trays is an easy way for customers to unwrap an item and experience an element of surprise. Creating suspense in your packaging will allow your customer to interact more with the packaging and is a fun and exciting way for customers to remember your brand.

Stay True to Your Brand

Keeping your ecommerce packaging in line with your branding is vital to a successful unboxing experience. While ecommerce packaging that does not match the company’s usual branding will leave customers confused on whether or not they are getting the quality product they paid for, staying true to your brand will let the customer know what to expect.

Furthermore, including branded marketing collateral within your packaging is a great way to stay in line with your branding while allowing you to have control over the narrative of your brand. With ecommerce packaging, the product is already in the customer’s hands, giving you their full attention. Being in front of your ideal customer is the goal for many brands – so why not use the opportunity to tell your brand story? Printed brochures, thank you cards, and other forms of marketing collateral help you effectively communicate with the customer about your brand’s origin story, values, and mission.

Use a Unique Structural Packaging Design

In retail environments, the stores dictate the layout and shelf space of their featured brands, and brands must adhere to those restrictions. This limits the shape and size of your packaging. However, with ecommerce packaging, there are fewer limitations on structural design. While brands do want to keep shipping costs and protection of the product in mind when creating ecommerce packaging, companies can be creative and design a unique structure that catches consumers’ attention and conveys the brand’s story. For example, if you want to convey that your brand’s product is luxurious and high-end, a well-branded kit with custom inserts may be a great way to elegantly and cleanly show off your product.

At JohnsByrne, our structural design department works with brands to create a packaging design that perfectly fits their story, values and goals. Our team engineers customized packaging to fit your product, no matter the weight, shape, or size.

Get Started On Your Next ECommerce Project

With ecommerce, the unboxing experience replaces the initial interaction consumers have with retail products on the shelves. To ensure that packaging creates an engaging unboxing experience for the customer, there are many factors brands must consider, including structural design, branding, online expectations, and more. To get started on an ecommerce packaging design that will excite your customers, reach out to one of our experts at JohnsByrne.

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