Designing the Perfect Unboxing Experience

The moment of truth: Your customer receives their shipped order. This package contains the item they’ve been anticipating since the moment they clicked ‘Submit Order’.

For this precious minute, you have your customer’s full attention. This is your brand’s time to shine. Are you optimizing this unparallelled opportunity to curate a customer’s experience of your brand and product?

If it’s been awhile since you evaluated your products’ unboxing experience, chances are you can be doing more to take advantage of this important step in your customer’s journey.

What is the unboxing experience?

An “unboxing experience” is, quite literally, the experience of unpacking a product from its box. For products sold in brick-and-mortar shops, the unboxing experience can assist in display and sale of the item. However, for products shipped by mail, this moment is often the first time a customer is physically experiencing the product in-person. This moment can single-handedly dictate a customer’s experience of your brand and product. You’re not just selling a product. You’re selling an experience. A feeling.

The unboxing experience is the most direct touchpoint connecting an ecommerce company and its customers. During an unboxing, your customer is seeing, touching, smelling, and thinking about your product, and feeling the emotions it evokes. This is a prime – and fleeting – opportunity to have a customer’s undivided attention. How can you optimize this moment in time for both your customer and your company?

Benefits of a Remarkable Unboxing Experience

Increase customer happiness and brand recognition

A thoughtful unboxing experience can make your customer as giddy as if they were unwrapping a surprise birthday gift. Interrupt your customer’s day with something awesome. Make your product stand out from the competition with a well-branded and memorable experience.

Maximize customer loyalty and increase sales

A pleasurable unboxing experience makes customers excited to receive items from your brand. Give clients something special to look forward to when they reorder from your company.

Drive engagement

As we’ll explain further in this article, the unboxing experience can be tactically designed to dictate a call to action, encouraging engagement from purchasers.

Support content marketing and increase social proof

Strategically designing your product’s unboxing experience makes customers more likely to share their experience. Ultimately, a great unboxing process becomes a clever marketing tool for your brand. A delighted customer can become your best ally by sharing their exceptional experience via social media and word of mouth. Give customers something unique to tell their friends about and take photos of.

Beautiful unboxing experiences also encourage bloggers and YouTubers to review your product, benefitting you two-fold:

  1. Unboxing videos serve as social proof for potential customers, and act as word-of-mouth endorsements for your products.
  2. Unsolicited unboxing videos serve as direct feedback from customers, doubling as market research for your company.

People love to create unboxing videos. A quick search for “unboxing video” on YouTube pulls up over 28,000,000 videos at the time of this writing. Twenty-eight million unboxing videos. How many are of your product? A 2014 survey by Google stated that unboxing video views had grown 57% since the previous year and 50% more uploads of unboxing videos. Not only are people watching unboxing videos in record numbers, they’re uploading them almost as quickly. Another key takeaway from Google’s survey is the realization that 62% of people watching unboxing videos are viewing to research with intent to purchase.

Decrease product returns and reduce customer service inquiries

A well-designed unboxing experience reinforces a product’s value proposition. Furthermore, a proactive approach that supports a customer from the start (by anticipating a customer’s questions and supplying pertinent information), can easily reduce the need for a buyer to reach out to your customer service representatives.

How To Create the Perfect Unboxing Experience:

Designing a memorable unboxing experience is a rewarding opportunity to increase customer happiness and loyalty. Be intentional about the full experience your customer has when first interacting with your products. Here are some questions to consider:

How do I want my customers to feel upon opening their product?

What is the ethos of your brand? What feelings do you want to invoke when your customer receives your product? Translate that into the packaging and design of your unboxing experience. For example, if you want your customer to feel like she is opening a premium gift, you may tie your box with a silky or leather ribbon. If you want your new subscription member to feel like he’s “joined the club”, consider including an official members card inside the box.

What do I want my customers to know upon opening their product?

Anticipate customer questions by providing appropriate product information and setup instructions. If your product requires maintenance, be sure to include this information in an accompanying manual. Ensure customer service contact information is handy so your customer feels supported and cared for.

What do I want my customers to do upon opening their product?

Be strategic with this opportunity to have your customer’s full attention. While a customer is unboxing a new product, this is prime time to feature a call to action. Do you want to promote your brand’s social media channels, a loyalty program, an upcoming event? An easy way to increase engagement on a social media contest can be as simple as including a card with clear instructions to “(1) Snap a photo of your new goodies, (2) Share with friends on Facebook or Instagram, and (3) Use hashtag #iLoveShipMonk to be entered to win!”

Presentation Sequence

Pay attention to the order in which your customer will unwrap the boxed items. Layout is key to the product presentation.

  1. Product: The main product should be front and center upon unboxing. Let it shine.
  2. Instructions: Inserts and necessary information should be included, such as product information, instruction manuals, and warranty cards.
  3. Peripherals: Secondary items such as parts and accessories are up last.

Components of a Product Unboxing Experience

Outer product packaging

This is one of the earliest stages for your customer to begin forming an opinion of their overall experience. Ensure the outer packaging of your product is aligned with your brand, and also customer-friendly. Is your outer packaging protective, but difficult to open? Avoid customer frustration by opting for simplicity and ease-of-use when possible.

Product package inserts

Inserts such as promotional or informational material can be an important part of the strategy behind your unboxing experience. However, simplicity is always favored over clutter. Streamline the unboxing process by opting only for inserts that lend to the best customer experience. When aiming to increase customer engagement, focus on only one clear call to action.

Inner product packaging

Packaging should do more than just protect a product. It should capture your branding whenever possible. Feature brand colors, slogans, or value propositions inside packaging to create an experience that flows cohesively.

Your turn!

How will you optimize your customers’ unboxing experience? Have you had success implementing creative unboxing elements? Email us your tips to be featured on our blog!