The unboxing experience was first popularized through the trend of unboxing videos on social media. But unboxings have grown far beyond the confines of YouTube. In 2019, they are a sophisticated branding and marketing strategy for eCommerce companies.
But why does the 'experience' of how a product is received matter so much? After all, a nicely decorated cardboard box doesn't actually change anything about the products inside.
It matters for one very simple reason. Displaying great customer service positively impacts brand perception, and so increases the odds that a customer will shop with you again. Stellar product presentation also gives your customer something to talk about! Did you know that 80% of customers will recommend a company to friends and family after a great customer experience?
So, an unboxing experience channels two powerful marketing strategies: word of mouth and repeat customers. We speak to Anna Carrol-Smith of Ted & Kip about how she created a fantastic unboxing for her own customers!
(In Anna's own words):
“My name is Anna and I’m based on the (mostly) sunny south coast of the UK. I started Ted & Kip in the autumn of 2016, as I had a small baby and a toddler at that time and wanted to be able to work around them. I’d also noticed that there was a gap in the market for illustrations and design that were colourful and magical but not overly sweet - not all unicorns are cute!”
“So, I started off by designing a small collection of enamel pins and woven fabric patches. Luckily these were well-received, and we grew from there! My product range now includes prints, cards, totes, jewellery, metal straws, bag charms, and I have a collection of washi tape coming soon!”
“I usually choose which products to add to my collections based purely on what I really want to have a go at designing! I am primarily an illustrator, and that obviously lends itself to certain things: prints, cards etc. However, sometimes the most fun part is adapting my work and making something new and totally different.”
Creating a Unique Unboxing Experience with Custom Packaging
Custom packaging is a vital element in creating a memorable unboxing experience. Why? Because unboxing is all about branding. If you think about the process as a piece of theatre, it's never going to be enjoyable when the main actor is missing!
The unboxing is a customer's final interaction with your brand, so you want to make it count. When you have taken the time to wrap up their purchase in packaging of your very own design, it's a sign that you genuinely care about making them feel special.
For Anna, custom tissue paper was a key touch to communicate Ted & Kip's creativity and fun, colorful personality:
“It’s important to me that everything I make is unique and full of happiness. When customers open the box or parcel, I want the experience to be one of total delight. Not just because they love what they’ve purchased, but because the whole unboxing experience is joyful!”
“It’s exactly because I wanted to create this unboxing experience that I chose noissue. I wanted every part of our packaging to be recognisable as our brand. I also wanted it to be fun, and this way I have complete control over how the branding of my business looks.”
“When it came to designing my custom tissue paper, my first consideration was colour. The rest of my packaging and branding is super colourful and I knew I wanted the actual design on the tissue to be very busy and intricate. To stop it from being overwhelming, I decided that black and white would be the best choice.”
“It was important that the design was fun and also obviously immediately recognisable as Ted & Kip, so I decided it should have a number of our signature animal faces (with one of them telling my customer how awesome they are, as my customers are all awesome!).”
"When packing our parcels to send out to customers, every step of the unboxing process has been carefully thought out. The parcel arrives with one of our brightly-coloured illustrated stickers on the outside, which makes it instantly recognisable as Ted & Kip."
"When you open the package there is rainbow confetti and then our beautiful noissue custom tissue paper! Every order also contains a sticker for the customer and (depending on the size) an illustrated postcard. Our thank you cards are also bright and illustrated. All these elements are in contrasting colours to culminate in a bright and happy visual experience, and this is before you have even gotten to the products!"
Pro tip: A personal note is a lovely finishing touch to your unboxing experience. In particular, putting in the time to create a handwritten note really helps your customer feel a more personal connection with your brand!
Putting effort into your unboxing experience doesn't have to mean forgoing environmentally-friendly practices! By using noissue's acid-free and FSC-certified custom tissue paper and channeling sustainability through her product range, Anna has worked hard to make her brand as green as possible:
"Sustainability is something that has become very important to my brand. I have to admit that this is a continuing work in progress, and something that I am constantly reassessing and developing. I’m always trying to find ways of limiting, for example, my use of single-use plastics in my packaging."
“I also try and find ways to make the most environmentally-friendly choices when choosing which products to produce. My tote bag collection is a good example of this, they are all 100% fair trade certified cotton and printed using sustainable practices. I also have a range of metal drinking straws which means that my customers can also make the choice to ditch some single-use plastics by using my products!"
To read more about creating a memorable unboxing experience, check out our full guide!