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How To Create An Unboxing Strategy For Your Small Business Without Breaking The Bank


With global retail eCommerce sales climbing up to $US2.3 trillion in 2017, there is a projection of US$4.8 trillion by 2021. Now, that is amazingly unbelievable.

Among all the implications of this statistic, one major thing stands out: Every industrial sector is in a lot of competition to have a part in this big sum. 

The market is a massive arena, and everyone is doing all they can to give their brand a reputation and gain from the conversion. You can’t create a perfect or at least applaudable brand story without a good unboxing strategy. 

So, the more satisfying your customers’ unboxing experience, the stronger your dominance among your competitors and the bigger the bucks in your pocket.

According to a Dotcom survey, 40% of customers are likely to buy repeatedly from an online seller with premium packaging.

Customers may lose a product, but they may never forget the feeling they had unboxing it. Have you ever tried seeing your customers’ unboxing experience from their perspective? This can make all the difference in the world in your business. 

The following are practicable tips will help you create a great unboxing strategy for your business with  a cost-friendly budget:

1. Align Your Packaging With Your Budget

You can give your customers a bang-up unboxing experience while keeping your spending minimal. One of the most proven ways to achieve that is to avoid complexities as much as possible. Auto-bottom and mailer boxes are interesting alternatives to bigger, higher-cost boxes.

To spice up your packaging design a bit, you can leverage stickers, receipts, and custom packing tapes to tell your brand story in the most creative and customer-alluring way. 

These are places the average business owner doesn’t see, but they are the cleverest and most economical corners from where your brand’s beauty can radiate and keep your customer intrigued.

2. Use an Attractive and Well-Branded Box

Keeping customers, especially for newer, yet-to-be-established brands can be very slippery, so to speak. Quality product delivery isn’t enough. Something unique should make your brand stand out from competitor brands.

Creating the brand recognition you crave while keeping your packaging aesthetically appealing should be part of your unboxing strategy–and that should have your unique flavor. This is because a lot of producers are already doing the same thing.

Forbes has it that 60 to 80 percent of customers don’t come back to shop with the same brands regardless of how positive the customer experience was. 

Eye-catching boxes give your customers the excitement of a new purchase, and the branding satisfies their curiosity, reassuring them of your credibility and answering their many questions.

It is way cheaper to keep existing customers than to go out there looking for new ones. So, invest in world-class branding and wow your customers with the best product packaging they’ve ever seen.

3. Practice Eco-Friendly Packaging 

Wrapping glasses

Pexels: Ketut Subiyanto

There are two advantages to being conscious of the environment while giving your customers the best unboxing experience

First, a lot of consumers in recent times have become more mindful of products’ effects on the environment–and such customers are often the elite, more enlightened customers that can push up sales for you.

A CGS survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers showed that about 70% of respondents considered sustainability as at least “somewhat important” and about half (47%) said they would pay 25% more for sustainable products.

To ignore environmental sustainability in your packaging strategy may be a major loophole that will cost you your customers’ satisfaction and send them right to your competitors’ doorsteps. Doesn’t sound like what you’d love, does it? 

So, pay attention to how you can avoid non-biodegradable packaging materials as much as possible. For instance, you can use refined wood shavings or natural fibers to package some products instead of rubber materials.

Second, it is usually more profitable–economically– to include eco-friendly materials in your unboxing marketing strategy than to do otherwise. 

This is because they are very cheap and often more available than their inorganic, non-biodegradable counterparts. Like that, you can get your customers coming while saving a lot of cash.

As years go by, everything is getting more and more artificial. Nature is becoming a rare commodity. People are nostalgic for natural packaging. You could choose to do something differently from your competitors. 

Because of their rarity, natural fiber packs will be more preferable to customers than synthetic packs. It may amaze you to know how many of your customers would love to reconnect with nature through your packaging. Among many other options, that could be the star that sets your business apart.

4. Pay Attention to The Materials’ Texture

In the marketplace, consumers’ definitions of their best unboxing packaging are usually relative. With no bias, your unboxing strategy will be greatly impacted by the class of people that are most dominant among your customers. 

It will require good record-keeping and study to find out those who you should mostly bear in mind while packaging your product.

For instance, if you are a Rolex producer, or you deal in products that are most affordable to the upper-class of the market, then you would be very smart if you put a signature of extravagance on the packaging of such products.

That’s where a gloss lamination coating or a well-branded luxury gift in the packaging can come in. Embossments die cuts, and foil stamping can help you put your brand in the spotlight and endear it to your most classy clientele.

They are not expensive In fact, you will be amazed at how cheap they are compared to the resultant customer network and financial returns.

However, if you’re a small business owner or think your packaging does not require luxurious touches, you can stick with eco-friendly packaging, provided it gives you good control of your clientele and satisfies you financially.

5. Minimize Packaging Size

There’s no do-or-die rule for box sizes, but your box size will depend so much on the product you are selling. However, the product should have a close and comfortable fitting with the box.

For instance, clothes and wearables usually go well with larger boxes to accommodate them properly and give the customers a good first impression.

The average client will be disappointed with a mighty box with little content. Funny, isn’t it? The same is the case with an overstuffed small box. These are obvious turnoffs that may be inimical to your brand’s integrity and customer loyalty.

The following tips will help you make a cost-effective unboxing marketing strategy:

  • Bigger products like books, footwear, wine, or clothing articles should go perfectly with bigger boxes.
  • Fragile and small products like ceramic and glass products, small size toys, jewelry, etc., will look great and be preserved in small, tighter boxes
  • A compromise should be made between size and outlook since smaller boxes are easier and cheaper to transport.

6. Keep it as Simple as Possible

This is a simple rule: Don’t add it if it is not necessary. Unnecessary designs and packaging materials can raise the total packaging cost of your business. So, it’s key to be as simple as possible with the packaging.

If your pack branding is visible enough and aesthetically great, then your customers can get your message. Extreme graphic designs, prints, and embossments are often boring; so why spend all you’ve got on them anyway?

A well-positioned sticker on a beautifully designed pack can make all the difference in the world. Your unboxing strategy should make a compromise between the weird, extreme packaging and plain, unappealing packaging. 

The balance is important to not compromise the perceptions your customers have about your brand.

7. Put Down Your Brand Objectives

The best unboxing strategy for your business should begin with evaluating the goals you want your brand to achieve. Questions about how to give your customers their best unboxing experience should be asked. 

How do you want them to perceive the product? As you share your brand’s story, make sure it communicates its values most understandably.

The aesthetic appeal that your brand gives off will depend a lot on what it represents. For example, brands in the fashion line should appear more colorful and pleasurable to the eyes than those that represent household equipment. 

Getting definite brand goals ready will help you dazzle your customers and avoid unnecessary designs that have heavy cost implications.

8. Cut Down On Packaging Time

You may not realize that the packaging time contributes to the general packaging cost, at least intrinsically.

As said earlier, the packaging has to be simple, and part of the simplicity is timely production. If it takes a lifetime to produce, then it’s probably not the best product packaging for you.

Buyers don’t want to wait forever to get their orders because they are being packaged. Without knowing it, you lose a lot of customers, and that’s a lot of money flying out the window.

8. Budget for Thank-you Notes

opening package with card inside

Pexels: Rodnae

Have you considered why people feel very excited to have their books autographed by their favorite celebrities? It’s because of the originality of the autographs from people they hold in great admiration.

This further tells why a not-so-great letter written by Abraham Lincoln centuries ago can be valued for millions of dollars today. Your customers will be excited to know that you recognize them and their loyalty to your brand.

Handwritten notes with customers’ names can glue them to you for life, not just because of the product, but because of the recognition. Use it to express gratitude to them for their support.

Giving your customers their best unboxing experience is not mythical, but are you willing to go one step further in personalizing your brand? With hand-written notes, you can keep your customers expecting a fantastic unboxing experience in their next purchase.

9. Provide Gifts in the Packs

Anything that can add extra value to the customer’s life can serve as a gift. However, the type and value of the gift you add to the product will depend on the cost and class of customers your business serves.

For instance, you could add bubble gum or tiny chocolate to a premium cookie pack, but if you add that in a limited-edition watch pack, then it is a mismatch. A limited-edition high-end watch can go with a fancy compass or other relatively cheaper products that the customer will be excited to have.

Gifts generally make customers feel you are going an extra mile beyond just what they ordered. Stickers can also work. The great thing about using them is that they are cheap. When customers paste them on their objects, they spread the word about your brand almost without you paying a dime.

Woman looking in gift bag

Pexels: Tim Douglas

If you plan to diversify or have already done that, then you could include a new product sample for customers to have a look at and appreciate. Have you also considered reusable mailer bags? An object with a touch of swag or a discount for their next purchase can also earn your business the customer loyalty it deserves.

A simple rule for putting goodies in packs is making sure that they are well branded with your company’s info. Branded goodies inclusion is an uncommon brand advertising technique that doubles as an unboxing experience magic wand.


A lot of business owners might not have prioritized their customers’ unboxing experience in their overall business plan, probably because they think it’s a very costly venture. The paragraphs above prove the opposite. 

Investing in every other business aspect is good, but investing to give your customers their best unboxing experience has so many long-term and short-term benefits. It is, in fact, a smart marketing strategy.

Tell you what! With a good first impression on customers after unboxing your product, you wouldn’t need to spend much on advertising. Excited customers will share their stories, generate content, and give mind-blowing reviews that will keep your business in the spotlight.

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