Unboxing is such a fast growing user-generated content (UGC) trend. It has a viral potential that incentivises brands to enhance packaging and create visually stunning assets that resonate with consumers. Unboxing offers a tremendous impact to brands across industries, demonstrating the real-time benefits of share-worthy packaging, curated goods and the unprecedented value User-Generated Content (UGC) provides.
You might want to know what is Unboxing?
The phenomenon of unboxing started with technology and has now gone far beyond the tech world . It’s all about customers showing others what your product looks like when it arrives on your doorstep, how it is packaged inside and outside, whether there’s a free gift inside, examining its features etc. It is a great user-generated experience that usually comes in the form of video or photo, shared on a social media site and delivers excitement about a product.
Why this is important?
Let’s start with some facts and numbers given by Google in 2014 about the unboxing phenomenon:
- There are more than 20 million search results on YouTube for “unboxing” and based on its research, one-fifth of consumers say they’ve watched an “unboxing video”.
- Views of unboxing videos grew by 57 percent from 2013 to 2014.
- YouTube housed 1.3 million unboxing videos, which have been viewed a total of 10.3 billion times.
- 62% of people who watch unboxing clips are researching a potential product purchase.
Further numbers show:
- 40 percent of consumers claim that gift packaging or branded packaging influences their perception of the retailer.
- In 2015, 60 percent of consumers claimed that packaging affected their perceptions of a brand versus 68 percent in 2016…. So these trends in consumer perception are increasing.
- Again, 50 percent of respondents said they are more excited about receiving a branded package compared to over 60 percent 2016.
… so even if you don’t understand the fascination with unboxing videos, the numbers and opportunity alone demand that we all pay attention.
The explanation behind the huge opportunity that packaging offers is because contrary to physical retailers, e-commerces have fewer touch points to impress and wow customers with, so it’s important to utilise every touch point you do have to create a branded experience that sets you apart from competitors as well as one that creates a memorable experience for your customers. For e-commerce businesses, the shipped package represents the most direct touch point and connection with the customer, it also happens to be one of the most under-utilised marketing opportunities for merchants.
As Andrew Grant said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” – which is why presentation should mean everything in retail. Since the early days of product marketing, brands have strove to make packaging pop, sizzle and entice. Utilising bright colours, catchy slogans and detailed copy marketers understand the power of packaging to grab the attention of consumers and drive sales. Those moments of excitement and anticipation of opening a new product is now being captured and shared on social media where consumers are increasingly serving as brand ambassadors.”
“E-commerce is taking over the retail market, so brands must ensure they take advantage of the opportunity to deliver the packages that customers expect in the most personal way. Fulfilment and a coveted unboxing experience is a huge part of that.” ~ Maria Haggerty, CEO of Dotcom Distribution
Yet, the big majority of online retailers still never think about their packaging and unboxing experience. This is probably because in e-commerce, the necessity of packaging is for protecting the product, which is legitimately the most important as it’s what the customer ordered. However, today delivering is a complete brand experience that extends beyond the product itself.
“The value of premium packaging extends far beyond the customer experience into residual marketing effects. The experience goes beyond the online order to when the customer actually opens the beautifully wrapped package and shares that experience across social networks. That act of online and social recommendations drives loyalty from your customers and promotes brand awareness.” ~ Maria Haggerty, CEO of Dotcom Distribution
Also, we all know that brand messaging needs to be consistent wherever it appears anyway, so that’s why it is so important to make sure that the online and offline branding conveys the same message.
Here are the outcomes of a good branded packing experience for your e-commerce business
- You gain repeat business: 52% of consumers we be likely to make repeat purchases from your online shop that delivers premium packaging.
- Your brand gets shared on social media: nearly 4 in 10 consumers could possibly share an image of a delivery via social media if the product purchase comes in a unique package.
- You get free promotion: if the unboxing experience is shared on social media, blogs or other online avenues, you get free promotion. This helps your brand exposure and website traffic, which are both exceedingly valuable. It’s usually worth the minimal extra cost to create an experience more likely to be shared.
- You stand apart: imagine a buyer gets multiple packages (think holiday shopping!) and sees one package comes in a generic box while another has a “special” package, which do you think they’ll remember?
- Create for your customer a fond memory of your product: even though packaging is different from a product, a fond memory opening a package will be linked to the product. For example, my wife and I are running an online store for quality paper notebooks called Notebook Love. We decided to include a free pencil, as a surprise gift with every notebook we send. This will certainly create a positive customer experience, which in turn will have direct implications on our brand’s future business and word of mouth.
Image what these represent in term of sales and business growth.
Now you might be interested to know tips and tricks for your next package to help harness the power of unboxing. This is what my next article will be about.
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