eCommerce Resources

How to get the unboxing experience right

Post by
Rolan Reichel

First off, what is unboxing? Come on, remember that feeling you felt as a kid on Christmas morning? Staring at your presents and imagining ripping them open and discovering what’s inside? Unboxing is the adult version, except we already know what’s inside. It’s the anticipation we feel when we receive a package from an online purchase. It extends the feeling of excitement you felt when you hit the ‘purchase’ button. 


But, what many brands don’t realize is that the unboxing experience is an opportunity to make another impression. To stamp your brand identity in the buyer’s mind and leave them wanting to purchase something else just to receive the personalized packaging that made them feel so special. Yes, product packaging design can elicit emotions and it’s a vital part of the sale experience. It’s the post-sale experience, your chance to leave a lasting impression.


Learn from the experts

A brand that’s nailed the unboxing experience is millennial beauty brand Glossier. When you buy from Glossier, you receive a branded minimalistic white box which contains a pink bubblewrap-style pouch that’s a gift in itself. It’s essentially a free makeup bag, and including a free gift is key to creating loyal customers. The freebie contains the products that were purchased and some cute stickers featuring the brand name. That encourages the buyer to spread the word about the brand by plastering those stickers all over their belongings. 


Glossier also includes free samples in their packaging, which is an absolute must for cosmetic brands. People like to try before they buy, and this is a crucial opportunity to tap into that. Another value-adding option is including inserts, like a 15% off voucher for your brand or a related one. 



How to create the perfect product packaging design



  1. Tell a story: The girly yet minimalistic vibe Glossier reflects in its product packaging continuing the narrative you’re already telling with your brand theme, colours and font. In line with Glossier, make sure your box is branded. It can’t be any old cardboard box. It needs to firmly assert your brand so buyers know exactly who it’s from as soon as they receive it.
  2. Do something different: What can you offer that’s different to show you value your customers? What freebie can you provide that’ll make their day? 
  3. Make it personal: Include a little note directed to your buyers, something that’ll make them smile, like ‘made with love’. Organic herbal tea brand Yogi has nailed this to a tee (or tea?). They spread their message of love and positivity by including a motivational quote on the tag of each individual teabag. It makes them memorable and is a driving force behind their success. It leaves a positive impression and adds to their brand story. 


Your efforts shouldn’t stop at your product or service. It’s not about how great the tea is, but how the whole shopping experience makes buyers feel, from start to finish. Bain & Company found that 60-80% of buyers don’t use the same product or service again, even if they were satisfied. That’s because there are so many choices. The herbal tea market is oversaturated, but Yogi adds an extra ‘wow factor’ that others don’t.



  1. Keep up with trends: Sustainable, eco-friendly product packaging is the IT thing, and for very good reason. If your packaging isn’t sustainable, it may reflect poorly on your brand identity. So, try to ensure your packaging is environmentally-friendly while remaining fun and light-hearted.

Consider presentation: How will your products be arranged when your buyer opens their package? If they’re all scrunched in one corner, that won’t look so good. Make sure the size of your box coincides with the size of your products and enables them to stay in place in transit. It’s the little things that count! Include some nice-coloured tissue or confetti to make your package feel like the gift it is.

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