We all love that feeling we get when we see a package on our doorstep! The anticipation of opening an online purchase is so widespread in the age of eCommerce that it even has a name: Unboxing.

This timeless ritual is linked with birthdays, the holiday season, and other happy milestones involving gift-giving. As a result, no matter our age, culture, or gender, we all love a good unboxing!

A great unboxing experience shows that your brand offers a high standard of customer service. When brands put effort into how they display their products, the experience feels special and exclusive.

This makes your brand far more memorable, and increases the odds of a customer returning to shop with you again! Unboxing and branding are two sides of the same coin. For an unboxing to establish brand recognition, it needs to represent the essence of your brand. For this reason, custom-branded packaging plays a central role in any great unboxing experience.

It's a powerful marketing asset that makes your brand the centerpiece of the whole ritual. And it doesn’t have to be complicated to be successful!

By focusing on the four elements below, you can deliver a memorable unboxing experience that secures the long-term loyalty of your customers, one order at a time!

1. The box (or shipping mailer!)

Although we tend to focus on the ‘box’ in the unboxing experience, it’s really a figure of speech. You can still deliver a lasting positive impression on delivery without it!

Unboxings are less about what container you use for shipping, and more about how you use it to display your products. If you consider the average unboxing video, the focus isn’t really on the exterior of the box. It’s on how the products are packaged inside!

Investing in custom printed boxes might work for bigger businesses sending out tons of orders every month. But they often don’t fit the needs of smaller brands.

If you sell smaller goods or usually handle smaller order sizes, boxes might be more of a hindrance than a help. They are a relatively expensive item, and often need to be paired with some kind of packaging filler, which creates another extra expense.

wrapped parcel and compostable shipping mailer

Fashion brand Betty Lane used an alternative method to create an unboxing experience for their online orders. By combining compostable mailers with branded, colored tissue paper and a thank-you note, they can still deliver on their branding without the use of a box!

Brightly colored socks coming out of patterned gift bag with tissue paper
A compelling gift bag and tissue combo by Sockshop Haight Street

For brick and mortar retailers, boxes are unlikely to factor in at the point of sale. But you can still create a memorable unboxing experience at the checkout! Pairing tasteful gift bags with some customized tissue paper shows great customer service - and your customer still gets the experience of ‘unboxing’ it when they get home!

This brings us to:

2. Customized tissue paper

Custom printed tissue paper is by far the most versatile packaging element for businesses to invest in for their unboxing experience. It can be used in a variety of different ways—from lining the inside of your box to wrapping your products.

Custom tissue paper printing is also a lot more affordable in comparison to larger custom packaging elements like boxes because the MOQs are much lower.

Your packaging design is one of the best places to show off your brand’s personality. When designing your custom tissue paper, it’s important to think about what theme you are trying to channel in your unboxing.

For example, a brightly colored tissue paper design is great for adding a bold and playful vibe. On the other hand, choosing a translucent or white tissue creates a more delicate and feminine feel.

Orange custom tissue paper with surface patterns
A cheerful colored tissue paper design by Ragonia Art.

White branded tissue paper
Calligrapher Alya Pena uses a branded white tissue to wrap her stationery.

Because customized tissue paper has a big surface area, it's a great place to bring in your larger branding elements. Brand names, motifs, and social media handles can take pride of place to build brand recognition as your customer unboxes their order.

This is the one time you are guaranteed to have their full attention - so make the most of the opportunity it offers!

3. Free samples (or treats!)

We all love getting some value-added extras with our purchases! It’s a simple strategy that is guaranteed to make customers look more favorably upon your brand. It’s also a great way to showcase upcoming collections or products!

To really personalize your efforts, make use of the order history of your long-time customers. Including samples or small gifts based on their preferences will really make your brand stand out.

gift wrapped package with handwritten thank you note

4. Don’t forget to say thank you!

Unboxings are a great piece of visual storytelling. But adding in a thank you note will really take your unboxing up a notch! By drawing attention to the bespoke nature of an unboxing, a thank you card creates a more personal connection between your brand and your customers.

It also shows off the tangible benefits of supporting small businesses - your customers get to receive a labor of love assembled by the person behind the brand, rather than off an assembly line!

Adding some customized tissue paper or a free sample to your packages might seem like small touches. But they speak volumes about your brand. The unboxing experience is more than just attractive packaging; it's a clever post-purchase marketing strategy. Why? Because it leaves your customers with a lasting impression. This makes your unboxing experience a long-term strategy to drive brand loyalty and awareness.