Shopify Ecosystem

5 Ways To Level Up Your Unboxing Experience With Custom Packaging



When offering an online subscription service, your unboxing experience can be a make or break for building customer love and loyalty. While ultimately it’s what’s inside the box that will get people across the line to subscribe, the outside presentation of these items is incredibly important too. 

Custom packaging helps with product presentation, adds layers of intrigue and takes your parcel beyond being just an item; it becomes an experience for the end user. This builds brand advocates that will sing your praises and encourage others to sign up.

Personalized packaging also increases customer excitement, engagement, and social sharing, which helps spread the word about your business. Not convinced? According to Google, the amount of time people have spent watching unboxing videos just on their phones is the equivalent of watching the movie Love Actually more than 20 million times.

It’s clear that having a high quality unboxing experience can be a gamechanger. So, what packaging elements should you look to for an unforgettable unboxing experience?  Here’s five items that you should consider rolling into your subscription box. 

  1. Tissue Paper

Tissue paper is a packaging product that’s just as pretty as it is practical. It can be used both as a wrapping material or a space-filler to protect and pad out items within an unboxing experience. 

The beauty of tissue paper as a material is that it’s a canvas that can be customized to feature your business colors, logo, name or an illustration that shows off your brand’s unique personality. This creates a gift-like experience, while also acting as a great marketing tool for any photos or videos that are snapped of your subscription box.

Tissue has great sustainable value also. Packaging companies like noissue use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified material, which means all of the wood pulp used is either recycled or responsibly sourced, from the forest all the way to the supply chain. When it comes to color, we use soy-based ink, which is an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based ink and produces brighter, bolder colors.

This makes tissue a greener solution than using standard wrapping paper or cellophane or bubble wrap to cover and cushion items. 

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  1. Cards

Custom cards are a packaging item that provides a place for meaningful connections between brands and customers. They’re an incredibly versatile item that offer a variety of uses. You can use cards to tell your business story, say thank you, offer instructions on how to use your products, or show off some special artwork. 

Whatever their end goal, cards are a great way to engage your customer and add a touch of personalization and storytelling to an unboxing experience. They work best when placed as the final layer in a subscription box to offer insight into who the box is from as soon as a customer opens it. 

Cards aren’t only multi-talented — they have the benefit of being eco-friendly, too. Noissue’s cards are made from either fully recycled materials or a recycled paper and FSC certified mix. This means they’re using materials that are already in circulation and because the cards are uncoated, they are compostable both at home and commercially. 

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@thissamesky3. Stickers

Custom stickers are a small addition to an unboxing experience, but they can have a big impact. They act as the final touch on an unboxing by sealing the wrapping of a package or decorating the exterior of a box. 

Ultimately, stickers work best by featuring one key element of branding to reinforce your business’ identity. This could be your brand name, logo, or colors. Whatever the aspect you choose, consider it a way to help with brand recall and recognition as your customer peels back the layers of your package.

Often stickers are made out of plastic and printed with petroleum-based ink, which means they’re single-use and destined for landfill. However, there are options out there that don’t hurt the environment. 

Stickers that use soy-based ink and acid-free paper are able to be recycled or composted, which means the materials are either kept in circulation or broken down naturally.

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4. Boxes

When building your subscription box, what you encase your products and packaging layers is an incredibly important step — it’s in the name, after all! 

While a plain box is the easy choice, there’s no reason why you should leave branding out of this step. 

There are box options available now that let you print your brand’s colorful imagery onto it, creating packaging that’s completely unique to your brand.

If that seems like overkill, there’s also the option of using custom tape or stickers we’ve mentioned previously to liven up the outside of a plain box.

As always, we’d recommend looking for greener options. Recycled boxes keep materials that were previously used in circulation, while eco-friendly inks (like soy or algae-based) ensure that when the box is eventually recycled, no harmful chemicals are released in the process. 


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5. Mailer bags

Once you’ve put together all your packaging layers to go within a subscription box, it can be easy to neglect the exterior packaging. However, the packaging that’s used for shipping plays a big role in your brand’s overall unboxing experience too. 

Custom mailer bags are a fantastic option for brands with subscription boxes, as this is the first tactile experience they will have with the box. The customization aspect helps you stand out from the moment a customer picks up your parcel and conveys the key brand messaging before someone has experienced your products. 

If you do opt for a mailer bag, then make sure it’s an eco-friendly option. Regular plastic mailer bags can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfill, while compostable mailers are a different story. They’re made of corn-based biopolymers that are biodegradable and break down in a compost in six months, fully returning to earth and leaving no traces behind. 

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We hope this has left you with some new ideas on how to treat subscribers to an unforgettable unboxing experience

Getting creative with custom packaging can take your subscription box beyond being a place where your products are presented: it becomes an experience, and a memorable one at that.  

This will increase your chances of repeat customers and create brand advocates who will recommend your subscription box to others, too. 

Want to learn more about what leading brands are doing to drive subscription success? We surveyed over 800 brands and compiled our findings into one white paper. Get your copy here. 

Elly Strang is digital editor at noissue. Do you need help creating custom packaging for your unboxing experience? noissue lets you design your own branded tissue paper, stickers, and tapes. Simply upload your design, logo, or illustration, and we’ll do the rest. Learn more about our personalizable packaging options here.

Special thanks to our friends at Bold Commerce for their insights on this topic.

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