By: Nathan Dube on June 4th, 2020
Top 5 Ways To Ensure An Excellent Unboxing Experience
In our modern world, people are buying products from online retailers more and more every day. This is a trend that is going to skyrocket with each passing day. This means that people aren’t interacting with your company, a salesperson, or your brand like they used to.
Today, the unboxing of a product is often the first experience a consumer will have with your company, brand, and products. If you fail to make an excellent first impression when someone opens your product, you run the risk of losing the customer's future business.
Industrial Packaging has been helping companies properly package their products for multiple decades. During that time, we have watched the evolution of the unboxing experience and we know the importance of this process.
In the article below, we will discuss the top 5 ways to ensure an excellent unboxing experience that will "wow" your customers and help them to fall in love with your brand.
What Is The Unboxing Experience?
The unboxing experience is the experience a consumer has when they open a package containing a product that they bought from an online retailer or e-commerce store.
It is the very first interaction with the product and is the physical act of removing the product from the packaging the item was received in. During this process, consumers have to remove various types of packaging such as shrink film, air pillows, cardboard and other materials.
Ideally, you want to create an unboxing experience that induces the emotions of excitement, joy, happiness, contentment, and pleasure. You will want to do this while avoiding the potential for wrap rage or causing the consumer to feel you are over-packaging your product with unnecessary or wasteful packaging.
1. Preventing Wrap Rage
The first and most crucial element of ensuring a stellar unboxing experience is preventing wrap rage. Wrap rage is not a new phenomenon, but instances of it have significantly increased in the age of Amazon.
What Is Wrap Rage?
"Wrap rage is an emotional experience, often resulting in the sense of anger and frustration over packaging for products that is overly difficult to remove. Wrap rage-inducing packaging is often hazardous to the health of the consumer concerning cuts or other injuries caused during attempted removal."
Wrap rage commonly occurs when products have excessive or unnecessary amounts of packaging on a product. You might have experienced this when a shipper uses large or multiple cardboard boxes for small products. Excessively over-wrapped products containing numerous layers of plastic wrap can also induce wrap rage.
Common types of packaging that are known to potentially induce wrap rage include certain types of blister packs, tapes, and skin packs. Seal bands that are non-perforated are also known to produce some level of wrap rage.
The reason that the items above commonly produce wrap rage is because they are often not easy to remove without scissors or a knife. The removal of these materials with a blade can be an awkward and potentially dangerous situation. When removing tricky packaging with a knife or scissors, care must be taken.
Essentially, any packaging that results in the consumer having to spend too much time on removing complicated materials is at risk of producing some level of wrap rage.
How To Prevent Wrap Rage
To prevent wrap rage, there are several things you can do. First, make it a point not to use excessive packaging. Only use the amount of material necessary for the size of your product being packaged.
If possible, be sure that any packaging materials that are used can be easily removed without the use of scissors, knives, or blades of any kind. If these tools are required, make sure their use is minimal and simple.
Be sure to be compliant with SIOC and Amazon's packaging protocols. If possible, ship the item in its own container. We recommend that you try to implement the requirements of Amazon's frustration-free packaging guidelines, even if you are not using Amazon.
Need Help Choosing The Right Shrink Film For Your Unboxing Experience?
2. Keeping Environmental Impact In Mind
One of the biggest packaging trends in 2020 is a shift focused on the environmental impact of packaging materials. Businesses and brands who ignore the voices of consumers asking for packaging supplies with the least ecological impact risk losing customers.
When choosing packaging materials to bring additional protection during shipping, consider using air pillows in place of less environmentally friendly materials like styrofoam packing peanuts, cardboard, and paper.
When choosing a material for additional protection during shipping, consider using air pillows in place of less environmentally friendly materials like styrofoam packaging peanuts, cardboard, and paper.
Look for opportunities to use lighter materials (and use less of those materials) that can be recycled or will take up less space in our landfills.
Switch to lighter gauges of shrink film and use packaging supplies that are made from biodegradable materials when possible.
3. Streamlining The E-Com Experience
If you want your customers to have a great unboxing experience, you must first provide a great online shopping experience. Is your e-com store or website easy to navigate? Do you offer sales, specials, coupons, and rewards for your most dedicated buyers? When a client receives the wrong product or a defective item, are you sure to remedy the issue in the fastest time possible?
If you're not meeting these customer expectations, you can't expect to have the opportunity to "wow" consumers with an unboxing experience. Chances are they will click the back button and move on to an online retailer who can meet or exceed their expectations.
Even if you are meeting or exceeding the customer's expectations, there are technical aspects that could be preventing you from growing that customer base. One of the essential items to consider right now for your e-com or online store is load time.
Load time is the amount of time it takes for your website to load on a consumer's web browser. Now, The average load time for sites is 19 seconds on a 3G connection and 14 seconds on a 4G connection.
Guess how long most consumers are willing to wait before moving on to another website while waiting for yours to load... 3 seconds! If your website and e-com store pages are taking longer than 3 seconds to load, you may very well be losing out on opportunities to sell to those that land on your website.
Having your IT and marketing department on top of issues like these is critical in the age of Amazon. If you do not have an IT or marketing department, you will want to consider partnering with a third party to ensure the proper optimization of your websites. You can't produce a fantastic unboxing experience if no one is ordering items from your website!
4. Superior Customer Service
You will want to be sure to have a dedicated and quality customer service department for your business. If the unboxing experience goes awry and customers feel the need to provide feedback for improvement, you don't want them running in circles with an automated customer service line. Make it easy for your customers to speak with a human being, and quickly!
This is true not only for telecommunications but perhaps even more so, digital communications like email, chat-bots, and the increasingly important live chat. If you do not already have the option of live chat on your website, it is well-advised to implement it yesterday.
More and more consumers want to be able to instantly chat with a live human through your website. Failing to provide this service is looked at as "dropping the ball" for many prospects.
And while you can use automated chat-bots to buffer the initial contact with a prospect via your website, it should only be used as a temporary interaction before a real human being alerted and injected into the conversation.
We may be moving deeper into a world of automation, artificial intelligence, and robots. Still, people do NOT want to speak to robots; they want to receive excellent customer service from a human being. Provide that, and you get the honor of giving them a fantastic unboxing experience time and time again. Fail to do so and you will not even have the opportunity to attempt giving a great unboxing experience.
5. Continually Using Customer Feedback To Improve Performance
Be sure to keep an ear to the ground with your customer's reviews, social media comments, and any communication they create with you on the unboxing experience. You may wow them today, and then due to changes in the market or buyer habits, make changes quickly.
Take all feedback from your customers, positive or negative, and make sure to use it to improve your unboxing experience continually. Stay on top of trends and use any opportunity to ask your customers, "how can I do better."
In today's extremely fast-changing world, you need to be ready to meet unexpected or unseen shifts in consumer buying habits. When it comes to the unboxing experience, that could be anything. One day your buyers may want limited packaging materials; the next, the may want a luxury experience.
And sometimes, they will expect you to achieve both. Being able to implement packaging solutions that seem contrary to each other will likely be an ongoing trend in the future of packaging as we slowly shift from traditional packaging materials to new bio-degradable options.
The Future Of Unboxing
It is no easy task to predict the future. However, when it comes to the unboxing experience, you can be sure that consumer demands will be varied, dynamic, and sometimes complicated to implement.
If you can stay engaged with your audience and prove to them that you are listening to their demands and desires, you should be able to meet most of the future challenges that the unboxing experience may hold.
One trend that is expected to revolutionize the unboxing experience is digital packaging and interactive packaging. Soon, packages will be able to have digital elements (such as video screens) embedded on or in their packaging materials. This will allow for gamified applications of packaging to push the unboxing experience to new levels.
Despite whatever changes evolve from your consumer base around the ever-changing realm of packaging supplies, you can rest assured, Industrial Packaging is here to help. If you are unsure where to begin in creating an excellent unboxing experience for your customers, feel free to reach out to one of our packaging experts.
About Nathan Dube
As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.