To create customer loyalty, first impressions count. Every touch point with your customers is an opportunity to engage and reinforce your brand, and this includes parcel packaging.

The unboxing experience is about creating a memorable moment for the consumer, it’s the first tangible contact they will have with your brand so it pays to make it enjoyable. Delighted customers are taking to social media to share their shopping experiences, excitedly showing off their purchases and the packaging they arrive in – just search for #unboxing to see how happy people are to receive parcels with a difference, not to mention the free promotion they are doing for the retailers.

Online shopping is becoming more and more about the “feeling” as retailers look to match the in-store experience. When consumers enter a physical store, they are enticed by how the products look, the interior design, the music, the friendly face at the door, even sometimes the smell. They enter the world of the brand and feel part of the story. To compete, e-retailers are using packaging to recreate these feelings and make that connection.

Packaging is a great way to show brand personality and set yourself apart from competitors. Consumers view their choice of brand as an extension of their own personality, so personalising your packaging in this way will help them to relate to you. This involves a careful selection of packaging materials and a purposeful display of products to deliver the wow factor, something that’s unexpected but impressive.

A great unboxing experience should make the customer feel special and as if they are receiving a present from you, encouraging them to buy from you again.

How to create an outstanding unboxing experience

The box – The box is the backbone of your packaging and the first thing that people see. It needs to do the job well but it can look good while doing so. There are lots of ways that you can make your box stand out from the crowd. Printing the box with either text, graphics, or colours can make a huge difference, this can be done on the inside for a burst of colour once opened. You may also want to consider ensuring the box is easy to open; boxes with tearing strips are becoming more common and take away the stress of trying to open a box that’s bound in parcel tape.

Tissue – Give your products some TLC with some pretty tissue paper. Tissue is a great way to protect products from scratches or to use as void fill to stop movement. It also shows that a product has been cared for and is often a technique used by high end boutiques to add value to the experience.

Finishing touches – Bespoke boxes can be expensive but there are some small embellishments you can make to your packages to thrill your customers. Ribbon, stickers or printed tape make excellent additions that will make your parcels shine. Get creative to make your deliveries unique and use your brand colours or logo to keep it relevant to you.

Little gifts – Sometimes you need to give a little to get a lot, and consumers love freebies. Send your parcel off with little gifts to really surprise your customer. It doesn’t need to be anything expensive, a sample, a mini packet of sweets or a discount code can really do wonders and keep your customers coming back for more.

Personal notes – Some online sellers have seen great success through sending little notes in their parcels. A little thank you can mean a lot and make your business seem more human, which is a real selling point for small sellers competing with high street giants.