The Science Behind the Magic of the Unboxing Experience

Posted on December 17, 2018

Providing a unique unboxing experience for consumers is one way to work around the lack of personal connection that is inherently an obstacle in e-commerce. Giving customers something to remember during unboxing can create a deeper connection to your brand and help increase customer lifetime value. This can be the advantage your e-commerce business desperately needs over the retail giants in the Age of Amazon. While the heavy hitters are providing little more than unimaginative packing peanuts and cardboard paper, you can get creative.

But while this sounds great in theory, does this really work? Is it truly worth the extra effort your smaller brand would have to go through? I mean, you already have a trillion other things on your to-do list. The answer is yes, and you don’t have to take just my word for it. The science backs it up.

Dotcom Distribution, a prominent third-party logistics company, recently published a study in conjunction with Yale Medical College professor Dr. Vincent de Luise on fulfillment and unboxing. That study revealed gift-like packaging causes elevated levels of certain neurochemicals in the brain, generating excitement and trust among consumers. This also results in consumers being compelled to share their experiences with others, potentially widening your audience and increasing brand recognition.

Here are some other fast facts that support the power of unboxing according to the work done by Dotcom Distribution:

  • In a recent survey, 75% of Generation Z and 60% of Millenials said they are more likely to make a repeat purchase if a giveaway is provided in the unboxing experience.
  • 43% of those in Generation Z and 29% of Millennials said gift-like packaging increases their excitement level.
  • 35% of Generation Z and 25% of Millennial shoppers said gift-like packaging makes brands seem more upscale.
  • 43% of shoppers said they’d be more likely to buy again from a brand that included surprise giveaways.

Seaman Paper and Package Insight also recently conducted a survey around the unboxing experience. The focus was specifically on the effect of decorative branding with tissue paper. Here are some the more telling statistics from that survey:

  • 84% of participants reported that tissue-clad packaging improved their overall experience
  • 77% felt joy or surprise at the sight of branded tissue paper.
  • There was a 40% increase in consumers remembering a brand after 90 days when a package included tissue paper rather than void fill.
  • Two out of every three respondents said they are more likely to share a product on social media if it arrived with branded-tissue-clad paper.
  • Decorative tissue made consumers feel as if a product had a 24% higher value as opposed to void fill.

Whether it’s branded boxes, free stickers, or a coupon, it’s clear consumers see real value in unique approaches to unboxing. That’s especially true with younger generations. If your brand wants to be built to last, taking unboxing to the next level is something worth considering.