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How to Create a Positive Unboxing Experience with Protective Packaging

Today’s consumers are driven by interactions and shareable experiences. As consumers become more connected these experiences have grown and evolved to encompass all areas of the consumer experience. This is evident when looking at current trends in social media and video websites such as YouTube. In 2016 unboxing videos on YouTube grew by 871% with over 41 million videos posted. On social sharing sites like Twitter, common hashtags like #PackagingFails and #Unboxing are used on a daily basis. 

The Unboxing Trend: Searching the term “unboxing” on YouTube in 2018 returns over 76,300,000 video results, an increase of 86% since 2016!

Who is sharing all this content? Studies show that 95% of consumers will share a bad consumer experience online and 87% will share a good one – and it's being watched by your customers. 35% of online shoppers have watched an unboxing video with 54% having used social media to view a picture or video. These types of shares can now make or break a brand in 2018.

woman sitting in living room unboxing a cardboard parcel package using a knife

How to Create a Positive Unboxing Experience

Creating a positive unboxing creates a positive experience for consumers and their network. Effective use of protective packaging helps to ensure you get the thumbs up and don't end up a #PackagingFail.

Dimensional Weight Calculation Diagram from UPS

1. Appropriate Box Sizing

A common cause of negative unboxing experience are boxes that do not match the size of the product. The closer in size your box and product are, the fewer void fill material needed to ensure its protection. The #PackagingFails twitter feed is filled with examples of miss sized boxes filled with miles of void fill material. In the eyes of today’s environmentally focused consumers, this is unforgivable.

The right size box reduces empty space – minimizing the risk of damages and reducing the amount of packaging materials. Fewer materials equal reduced packaging costs and shipping weight. By reducing box size you also lower the boxes dimensional weight. Dimensional weight is used to determine the price of large boxes that take up a lot of space but are extremely light. By better pairing your box size to the size of your product, you are able to effectively reduce both weight classes, ensuring the lowest shipping costs possible.

two people working on computers on desk filled with packaging materials

2. Use the Right Type of Packaging

Do you know which type of protective packaging is right for your products? With a wide variety of void fill and protective packaging products on the market, its key to understand their benefits and uses. Are your products fragile and need to be firmly held in place? Or are they solid, durable products that only require scratch and ding protection?

Understanding your pack will help you to find the right packaging material. The first priority is to ensure your product is fully protected. If you underuse protective packaging your products are susceptible to damages. Unboxing a broken item is the worst experience a customer can have. It will also increase costs as damaged products need to be returned, replaced and reshipped to the consumer. Once you understand how your product is shipped you can optimize your protective packaging.

Types of Protective Packaging and Their Perfect Application
Product Type Application
Foam Sheeting Easily Scratched and Marked Products
Paper Void Fill Packaging Products Are Not Easily Scratch but Needs Added Bracing and Protection
Bubble Packaging Packs with Little Void Space That Need Protection from Impact
Air Pillows Products with Larger Voids in Their Containers
Foam in Place Packaging Very Heavy/Fragile Products Require to Be Tightly Held in Place and High Levels of Protection from Damage and Scratching
sealed air tempguard insulated packaging material on kitchen counter with mealkit delivery unboxed

3. Sustainable Protective Packaging Products

One large factor that can affect a consumer’s view of your brand is the environmental impact. A 2017 study showed that 44% of Canadian consumers are socially responsible and want the brands they give their money with to have the same attitude. These consumers will base their purchasing decision on how responsible they perceive the brand. For nearly half of all Canadian consumers, these are key functions of both fulfillment and price. One-quarter of these conscientious consumers say they will even pay more for products if they know the money is used in a responsible way.

How your product arrives at their door will show consumers how you care about your environmental impact. The use of sustainable and recyclable protective packaging can create a positive unboxing experience for these consumers. New products and systems are being developed to give you an effective way to protect not just your products, but also the environment.

Many companies are developing environmentally friendly solutions for protective packaging. Some brands are offering consumers the ability to return products through closed-loop recycling programs or by working with distributors to accept product returns. Where closed-loop systems are not available, on-demand void fill equipment provides businesses with optimal protection at minimal waste. As consumers purchasing trends change, new products are being developed that help brands show their dedication to sustainable solutions. The TempGuard™ cooling system uses a liner made of 98% water and 2% non-GMO cotton to keep products cold during shipping. This new evolution in sustainable packaging has also allowed meal box companies to reduce their total packaging by up to 25%.

sealed air bubble wrap ib expressions in heart pattern inside cardboard box

4. Premium Packaging Solutions

Nothing shows a consumer they are valued more than packaging that stands out and says, ‘We did this for you.’ by creating a one of kind unboxing to establish meaningful, long-lasting relationships with your consumers. These customizations can be as simple as branded tape, or full custom protective packaging solutions like Korrvu® Protective Packaging. Online statistics show that premium packaging is 20% more likely of generating social sharing. 60% of consumers who received premium packaging are likely to share images online compared to 40% who received their products in traditional boxes. 40% of all online shoppers say they are more likely to recommend products to a friend that arrive in branded packaging.

Many companies offer fun and innovative ways to create a branded, custom packaging experience. Printed water-activated tape offers an efficient and cost-effective alternative to printed boxes. The strong paper backed tape is perfect for branding while the penetrating bond it forms increases product security and limits tampering. Bubble Wrap® I.B. Expressions come in a variety of colours and shapes. Win the way to your consumer's hearts with heart-shaped bubbles or other eye-popping designs like dog bones, happy faces or a friendly “Thank You”.

Custom and premium protective products reduce shipping costs and increase brand perception with consumers. 44% of consumers say premium packaging reinforces the feeling that the product was worth the price. Korrvu® Packaging Systems are specifically engineered for an individual product. Korrvu® Retention Packaging is perfect for shipping valuable electronics. Each Retention box is a self-contained solution that holds the valuable contents in place with a tight piece of film. The film holds the item firmly in the centre of the package, preventing it from sliding or shifting during transport.

open cardboard box on floor filled with bubble wrap and air pillows

Protect Your Products, Protect Your Relationships, Protect Your Costs

Through the implementation of these four key elements, you can create a package that not only protects your products and relationships but your overall costs as well. By properly sizing their packages and protecting their contents, brands can reduce the cost associated with reverse logistics and supply chains. The better the protection, the fewer damages will occur during transport. Proper box size and reduced weight can also generate increased savings on shipping costs. The more accurate you are in size the more likely you are to price your shipments on true weight, not dimensional weight. Nothing drives up costs than paying extra because your box was just too large. 

By creating enjoyable, shareable experiences brands drive consumer engagement. Increasing positive sharing and impacting consumer’s opinions. These positive impressions create brand advocates who share their experiences with their network.

One sure fire way to create a positive unboxing experience to have a properly planned and implemented protective packaging program. Through a thoughtfully develop program businesses can ensure a consistent, positive experience with their consumers. A plan can cover areas like acceptable box sizes, the amount and type of protective materials to use and creating a plan for continuous improvement. When packers have clearly defined guidelines they can increase productivity and efficiency.

Contact Crawford Packaging today and schedule a meeting with one of our knowledgeable Packaging Specialist. Our in-depth understanding of the available solutions can help you to streamline your packaging process and increase positive interactions with your consumers.

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Contact a Crawford Packaging Specialist today to discover all the ways we can enhance your unboxing experience!

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Crawford Packaging is a full-service packaging company located in London, Brampton and Waterloo, Ontario. From packaging to packaging equipment, installation and upgrades, and in-person equipment training and repair, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.