5 Packaging Design Tips for a Memorable Unboxing Experience

Any intentional eCommerce brand will know just how important the unboxing experience really is. As one of the most crucial touchpoints with your customer, it’s a moment to celebrate their purchase, get them excited about your product and turn a rather underwhelming experience into a memorable one. 

So how can you use packaging design to blow your customer’s socks off? I’ve got a few ideas – but first, let’s unwrap (get it?!) the unboxing experience. 

What is ‘unboxing’? 

Think back to your childhood, to the excitement and wonder of Christmas Day. Unwrapping presents from under the tree was truly a magical experience. This is the essence of unboxing: it’s the moment a customer unboxes your product from the packaging delivered to their door.  

As a powerful marketing tool for your brand, unboxing gives you an opportunity to really surprise and delight your customer. Think of it as an extension of your customer service: how do you want people to feel when they pick up that package? Taking the time to plan your unboxing experience can be fun, too – not just for your customer, but for you and your team as well! 

Why is the unboxing experience packaging design so important? 

You can’t talk about unboxing without talking about packaging design. This is your opportunity to put your brand front and centre from the very moment the package is in the delivery truck. 

Research into the effects of attractive packaging design revealed that it actually lights up the brain’s reward-seeking areas, particularly those linked to impulse purchases. Unfortunately plain packaging didn’t have the same effect – in fact, it didn’t register with participants! 

Creative shipping packaging can also build brand loyalty by demonstrating how thoughtful your brand is: bespoke packaging gives off high value, shows attention to detail and provides an overall better experience than your regular mailer. 

5 tips for a memorable unboxing experience

To ‘wow’ your customers and turn them into your brand’s biggest fans, try incorporating these 5 tips into your unboxing experience.  

1. Arrange your products carefully

No one likes to open up a box that’s arrived and find everything in chaos – or worse, broken. It’s all about aesthetics and giving your customer a ‘Grammable’ first look at your product. Tech giant Apple has this nailed: their products are a delicate process to unbox from start to finish, revealing all the info and accessories you need, when you need them. Brava!  

2. Add a personal touch 

In this age of mass-produced and mass-shipped products, adding that personal touch can make all the difference for the person on the other end. Target different parts of the unboxing experience directly at your customer – you might even like to handwrite their name on a thank you note (if you have time) just like US gifting brand Box Fox does. Actually, they take it one step further and handwrite all customer messages on a card and slip it into the box.

3. Use branded boxes 

Disappearing into a sea of brown boxes is not a great way to make a memorable first impression. Use a branded box so your customers know exactly who their package is from. You might even like to get creative with it, like Urban Brew does. Jokes, puns and messages to delivery drivers are on the outside of their boxes, along with their logo, so everyone who sees an order gets let in on the fun.

4. Pay attention to packing materials

Will your products be wrapped? Do they need to be padded or protected for their time in transit? The packing materials you use for the inside of your box are a great opportunity to amplify the unboxing experience. Branded tissue paper, eco-friendly stickers and eco-friendly paper wraps can show your customers how much you care about their experience and the products nestled inside too without damaging the environment.

5. Don’t forget a fun call-to-action (CTA)

A delighted customer is more likely to recommend products and brands to others (think about what you love and always tell your friends about). In order to maximise the unboxing experience, make sure you include a discount voucher or even a branded hashtag for your customers to share their experience on social media. 

For all my brand strategy buffs out there, you could brainstorm some content ideas around your good packaging design to get ahead of the game. Sharing these tips with your customers at the moment of unboxing is a great reminder for them to let the world know they love you!

Packaging design services at Courtney Kim Studio


I love packaging design – it’s such a unique way to build brand awareness, spotlight products and reinforce your brand’s core values. If you’re looking to get your beauty, cannabis, retail and food products in the hands of the right people, it all starts with how they’re packaged. Contact us to get a packaging design quote for your next project (or to talk through your ideas with someone who gets it).  As a graphic design agency, we also offer a full suite of services including brand design and digital design.