The unboxing effect

How to make your shipping boxes an essential part of the omnichannel experience

Unboxing videos and experiences have been popular for the last decade – often to a mind-boggling degree. According to Google, the amount of time people have spent watching unboxing videos just on their phones is the equivalent of watching the holiday classic ‘Love Actually’ more than 20 million times. They are the second most watched type of video on YouTube behind commentary videos.

As a retailer, unboxing experiences are a vehicle for you to replicate a valuable interaction with your customer in the absence of a sales person or in-store experience. During the pandemic, this became even more important – shipping boxes were the only way for consumers to experience your brand in the physical.

In 2022, the omnichannel landscape looks a little different. Online sales in Europe are down 13% compared with the first quarter in 2021. This has been impacted by inflation across Europe but also the return to store since the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

Coupled with the fact that consumers are becoming more conscientious about their purchasing decisions because of the environmental impact, (70% of millennials think that the products they buy have too much packaging), and it’s becoming a growing challenge to keep the unboxing experience ticking all the right boxes.


Unboxing as a relationship builder

The shipping boxes you choose for your e-commerce goods can often be the only experience a customer will have with the physical aspect of your brand, which is why it’s important to get it right.

And while design and feel is incredibly important, sustainability credentials are driving consumers to make different choices too. Recent research shows 43% of UK consumers choose brands based on the sustainability of their packaging.

British-based wallpaper and paint producer, Lust Home, takes its sustainability and style seriously when it comes to its shipping boxes. All its wallpaper arrives in a sumptuous cardboard box, printed on the inside to reflect its vibrant and eclectic range of wallpapers. The box, tissue wrap and protective film that protects the paper are all recyclable and the inks it uses for the paper and boxes doesn’t contain VOCs and is food safe – leaving its customers with a truly satisfying unboxing experience.

It leaves us to ask: “Do the shipping boxes received at home provide the same feeling or emotions as if you purchased in store?”

It’s an important question to answer – and if you don’t have a physical store, it’s even more important. Unboxing needs to make customers feel good about themselves, their choices and your brand. Getting the balance right between brand experience and consumer demand is essential to ensure your unboxing experience delivers in 2022 and beyond.


Shipping boxes that are part of the product

As the sustainability agenda increases, it’s perhaps time to re-think the purpose of your shipping boxes. What was once simply used to get products from A to B in one piece, is now an opportunity to integrate within the product itself.

Shipping boxes that become part of the product is a great way of creating some clever, immersive brand experiences that increase the lifecycle of the packaging and limit its environmental impact.

European brand heavyweights Adidas and Lego teamed up to create a unique piece of packaging as part of its Adidas Originals Superstar launch. The box, that looks exactly like an Adidas shoebox, gives Lego enthusiasts a perfect way to present their piece once they have finished building. It can also act as storage to keep it safe. The attention to detail on the branding hasn’t been compromised but the clever use of the box as part of the product carries some big sustainability points.


Unboxing success

If you’re ready to start re-thinking your unboxing experience, then Elisa Pogliano, EMEA Digital, Media & DTC eCommerce Senior Director for Mattel, has three rules for creating a memorable unboxing experience:

  • Packaging should not get in the way of the unboxing experience. (Excess packaging, lots of ties and tape are off-putting)
  • Packaging should create ‘theatre’ by enhancing and showcasing the different components
  • In some cases, packaging can become an integral part of how the product is used and experienced

Unboxing is no longer all about functionality. Aesthetics, sustainability, purpose and performance are all essential to help build brand relationships and reputation.


Worldpack can help you create sustainable and memorable shipping boxes for your customers. Speak with one of our account managers today on +31(0) 88 494 20 80 or email

David Mines
Business Development Director

If you need help to create sustainable and memorable shipping boxes for your customers, give us a call!

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