Using the Unboxing Trend to Your Advantage in the World of E-Commerce Packaging

Posted by Steven Sokol on Wed, May 18, 2016 @ 09:14 AM

Sokol Packaging Group would like to tell you about our new favorite trend. It's called “unboxing” and it's here to stay.

Maybe you're already familiar with unboxing. All over the internet, there's an increasing number of amateur videos showing consumers anxiously opening shipping packages only to then present their received products to the masses. And as ridiculous as it may seem, or might have seemed twenty years ago, millions of people around the world actually love to watch these videos. But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense; for that brief few minutes it takes to watch an unboxing video, the viewer not only learns a little something about the product they're interested in but also gets to share in the excitement of a fellow consumer – someone they identify with. It's like watching a birthday party with the thrill of knowing that your birthday party is just around the corner – and the presents are on their way.

Last August, we had a post entitled, Premium Packaging and Tips in the World of E-Commerce, in which we extolled the benefits of making a good first impression with a high-quality shipping package. Basically, what we said was that, in the old days, a consumer's first interaction with a brand was often at a store, grabbing a product off a shelf to take a closer look. But, in the world of e-commerce, that initial physical interaction doesn't happen until much later. Other than a few pictures, the first time a consumer interacts with a brand physically is usually after the product has already arrived on their doorstep. So the use of a high-quality shipping package is crucial to the way your brand is perceived as a whole.

Dotcom Distribution found that 52 percent of consumers are more likely to make repeat purchases from an online retailer if products were delivered in premium packaging. They also found that nearly four in ten consumers would share an image of a shipping package on social media if it was unique.

The unboxing trend provides brand owners and online retailers with a fantastic opportunity to create some much needed buzz. By turning the unboxing of a delivered product into a memorable experience that can be shared on e-commerce websites and social media, shipping packages can be used to not only delight current customers but also to wet the appetites of customers to come. A high-quality shipping package strengthens a potential consumer's sense of trust in a brand, as they can plainly see, by watching the reactions of their peers, that they will be in good hands.

Here are some ways to make your shipping packages stand out:

1. Use the right shipping box.
Brown boxes are fine, as they are recyclable, and environmental sustainability is a concern for many consumers. However, there are other ways to enhance a box so that it doesn't feel cheap. For instance, you can modify its shape and size, or add custom printing to show off your brand.

2. Besides the product, what else is inside the box?
Tissue paper can make a delivered product feel more like a gift. Likewise, there are filler options, beyond styrofoam and bubble wrap, to elevate the experience from the ordinary.

3. Don't be afraid to get creative by adding an extra touch or two.
The use of stickers, ribbons, and other add-ons sends a message about the quality of a brand and the care that is put into each transaction.

4. Surprise!
Adding an unexpected custom note, a sample of a related product, or even a small gift can go a long way towards making a consumer feel special, and that feeling will surely come across in an unboxing video.

A number of companies have done an amazing job with their e-commerce packaging. Here's a few of our favorites.


Birchbox does an excellent job curating beauty products and features festive, impactful packaging.BB2.pngTRUNK CLUB

Trunk Club has taken e-commerce packaging to a new level, creating a custom branded experience with a package that looks like a trunk. 


Click here for a link to a sample Trunk Club unboxing video.

Please share with us your favorite unboxing videos or e-commerce packages. And here's a sample of the many packages Sokol Packaging Group has created for our clients.  

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With the unboxing trend on the rise, now more than ever, the once overlooked shipping package is at the forefront of making a good first impression with your customers.


Topics: creating packaging for e-commerce, brand impression with e-commerce packaging, packaging, e-commerce packaging development, premium e-commerce packaging tips, branded packaging experience, unboxing trend and videos on YouTube, -commerce, e-commerce packaging

Premium Packaging and Tips in the World of E-Commerce

Posted by Steven Sokol on Thu, Aug 06, 2015 @ 10:18 AM
Packaging Tips resized 600

In the world of e-commerce, first impressions are more important than you might think, specifically when it comes to a consumer's initial contact with a brand through a product and its packaging.

With traditional retailers, initial contact with a brand often happens when a consumer spots an item on a shelf, takes an interest in the item, and then picks the item up to study it further. It's a crucial moment, in which the brand behind the product is assessed for better or worse. Obviously, in situations like these, high-quality packaging can make all the difference.

But what about e-commerce?

Beyond a strong presence on the web, a consumer's initial physical contact with a brand often doesn't happen until a product arrives at their door. With the purchase having already been made, many brand owners might think, “Why bother with high-end packaging?” – let alone high-end shipping packages! However, this would be a mistake.

Savvy brand owners know that this initial contact, the process of receiving and opening a package, is just as important as the in-store experience – if not more. It speaks volumes to the consumer about the brand's quality, about its scope, and about its relevance in the wider marketplace. It affects how they feel about their purchase and, most importantly, it affects their decision to make the purchase again. And so savvy brand owners are not only maintaining their current standards but also putting more of their resources into high-quality packaging, seeing it as a major form of communication with the consumer. Many brands are even ditching the old brown box, instead opting to ship their products in boxes more appealing to the eye. This makes for a delightful first impression, adding to the consumer's thrill of knowing their package has arrived.

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Here's a colorful sample of an award-winning e-commerce shipping package from Hanky Panky, a brand we have worked with in the past. Note: Sokol Packaging did not produce this box pictured.

Consumers are ready to share.

And there's a bonus to this tactic. A recent Dotcom Distribution study has shown that consumers, especially young consumers, ages 18-25, are much more likely to share their purchase on social media and recommend a product to friends and family if it comes with high-end packaging. And every brand can use a little free, word-of-mouth marketing. 

“Customers look for the ‘WOW’ factor when shopping online and when receiving a package, as they miss out on the in-store experience,” Dotcom Distribution president Maria Haggerty says in the 2013 study. “Premium packaging for online purchases delivers a brand’s in-store experience to an eCommerce customer.”

A couple of trends to consider: 

1. Premium packaging, including flashier, standout-shipping packages, can make consumers feel like a brand is still concerned with their satisfaction even though the transaction has concluded. And this isn't limited to luxury brands.

2. Sustainability is our friend. The use of sustainable packaging not only appeals to today's eco-conscious consumers but also can be achieved economically if quality, recyclable materials are sought out wisely.

At Sokol Packaging Group our goal is to develop and manufacture innovative premium packaging solutions that express a brand's promise at the highest level possible. And e-commerce is another opportunity to make a great brand impression.

We'd love to hear about your experiences with e-commerce packaging.

Topics: creating packaging for e-commerce, brand impression with e-commerce packaging, sustainability in packaging, e-commerce packaging development, premium e-commerce packaging tips