5 Things to Know to Create an Unforgettable Unboxing Experience

Editor’s Note:

I fell in love with Vistaprint this spring when we partnered with them for our printed materials (signs, programs and unique items like door hangers, hangtags, etc.) for our Craftcation Conference 2019. Between Craftcation Conference and our other event Patchwork Show as well as my freelance illustration/design business I order over 60,000 postcards and 10,000 posters a year (not to mention other marketing materials like all the branded packaging to create an on-brand unboxing experience for our new products).  So I guess you could say I’m pretty experienced when it comes to ordering printed materials online. I use various printers for various situations ie: I have one printer who is super close and I save a ton on shipping for my very large (and heavy) orders because I can pick them up instead of have them shipped. I use another printer because one of my clients has a relationship with them. Over the years, I’ve tested out a dozen or so printers and out of all of them, Vistaprint’s platform is the most user-friendly (especially for visual people like me). Not only is the ordering process easy but with their realistic preview feature, there are no surprises when your items arrive. Aside from the fact that they use responsibly sourced paper and have a HUGE variety of products you can customize with your brand elements or plug your info into one of their ready-to-go designs, I love that if you’re not 100% satisfied they’ll make it right—either by reprinting your order or refunding you! -Nicole S.




5 Things to Know to Create an Unforgettable Unboxing Experience Dear Handmade Life

Five Things to Know to Create an Unforgettable Unboxing Experience

By: Meighan O’Toole

Unboxing has become a marketing phenomenon over the past decade, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. It’s not only a delightful way to make your customers feel special, but it’s an excellent way to encourage your customers to share their experience online — giving you and your business more reach and social proof marketing, which in and of itself is worth its weight in gold.

What is unboxing and how did it start?

Unboxing began in the tech world as a way to get a bird’s eye view at brand new, hot electronics or gadgets. Yahoo! Tech places the first unboxing video taking place in 2006 with the Nokia E61 cellphone. Yes, a cellphone. Not a smartphone.

So unboxing has been around for a minute.

By 2014, unboxing moved to all areas of retail specifically in fashion and makeup, viral unboxing videos on YouTube were all the rage and this led to encouraging brands to start creating unboxing experiences as part of their marketing, says Wikipedia.

Does it Matter?

Nowadays, unboxing has become a big thing due to subscription boxes like Stitch Fix, Birchbox, BarkBox, and more. And you better believe, consumers have caught on and look forward to the experience. The unboxing or unpacking experience definitely matters.

In 2015, Dotcom ran a study called “Unwrapping the Experience”, it showed that 49% of those surveyed said packaging gets them more excited about receiving/opening packages, 44% said the packaging reinforces the price, and 61% said the experience made the brand seem upscale.

At this point, you might be asking yourself how can you bring unboxing into your small business in a way that feels authentic, is affordable, and makes your clients feel special.

There’s a handful of things to keep in mind, as you plan your unboxing experience for your customers. Let’s go over 5 ways to ensure your clients have an unforgettable experience, and you continue to grow your business in the process!

Pay Attention to the Details

Remember, whether the purchase is an actual gift or not, everyone loves getting mail. Receiving something you ordered in the mail always feels exciting, right? Use this as the jumping off point for your customer’s unboxing experience.

When they spot your package, they should know it’s yours and feel excited! You have a big hand in this with both the colors and packaging materials you choose. But you also have control over how the unboxing looks inside and the actual experience they have.

As you start to plan your unboxing strategy, think about how you want your customers to feel as they receive and open the package. Think of when they spot that package, what do you want them to feel? What do you want your packaging to convey about your brand as soon as they see it?

Everything from the packaging to what’s inside should be a branded experience for your customers. Think about how you want them to feel as they open the package and unwrap everything. You want your customers to have the best experience from beginning to end. Make sure you’re paying attention to every detail.

Pro-tip: Hide that receipt or packing slip — that shouldn’t be the first thing the see — place it in a branded envelope at the bottom of the package.

Get Creative!

Unboxing allows you to have a little more fun with your customers and to show them that thought and care went into this experience. This is just another opportunity for you to shine and do your best for your customers!

Make it truly fun by getting creative with your packaging. Add beautifully colored tissue to package your items that match your brand colors. Add multiple colors or mix and match with patterned or foiled tissue. Or use crinkle paper filler to give your package a little more oomph! But make sure that your colors spell out your brand, you want your customers to remember this experience!

Use stickers or washi tape to package up the item(s) so they’re wrapped beautifully and fun to open. Our friends at Vistaprint offer a ton of options for you for to create beautifully branded stickers.

Pro-tip: Many consumers are environmentally conscientious (I know, I am.) Do your research and find packaging that is eco-friendly. This can be the difference in wowing your customers or disappointing them.

No Need to Go Big

You want your customers to feel excited as soon as they see their package. It should visually cue them in to the exciting experience they’re about to have. And while we’ve talked about investing in packaging that represents your brand colors, don’t feel you don’t need to sell the farm to do it.

Here’s something, while this is called “unboxing” it doesn’t have to be an actual box – a mailer or a very small box will do the trick too! Don’t feel like you need to go all out on packaging with big boxes. Many small business sell small items and sending them in a big box could actually dwarf the experience.

I don’t know about you, but when I’ve received items in massive envelopes or boxes I feel not only a bit deflated but gross thinking about what a waste it is both environmentally and financially. I once got a lipstick in a giant box with some stickers. Sure the box was beautiful, but it felt wasteful and made that lonely lipstick look less than.

Pro-tip: If you sell small items, consider going with a colorful mailer that represents your brand colors.

Engage and Go the Extra Mile!

Don’t forget to place promotional materials in your box such as your business card with your social media info so your customer can tag you when they take pictures of you. If you have a specific hashtag, be sure that info is somewhere your customer can see it!

Sending a handwritten note along on branded stationary is such a thoughtful touch that can really go far with customers. Customer service and human interaction in retail nowadays is very limited to put it plainly, go that extra mile with a quick note thanking your customer. It doesn’t have to be a tome, one sentence and a sincere thank you is all it takes. Plus, it add such a special touch to a purchase.

Throwing in samples or freebies is also a super nice touch and will leave your customer feeling extra excited.

Pro-tip: Don’t have the budget or time to write a separate note? Many POS software offers the ability to add a template thank you note. Look into it and add yours!

Offer an Upgrade

We understand that it may not be financially feasible for every small business to create an unboxing experience for every single customer. And that’s OK! But if this is something you want your customers to experience the joy of, you can always offer an upgrade option.

63% of consumers will pay more for gift wrapping – that’s essentially what your unboxing can be! Don’t be afraid to offer this as an add on. You can have one smaller unboxing experience that everyone gets, and an upgrade for those customers that want to go the extra mile.

Wrapping this Up (pun intended!)

At the end of the day your unboxing experience should be something that excites you and your customers. It doesn’t need to be an over the top, financially unfeasible experience. Ensuring that your products are wrapped in your branding, and look and feel good is the best place to start!


To get 33% of your Vistaprint order, use the code HANDMADE33 at checkout on Vistaprint.com.

*Maximum $200 savings. This coupon is not combinable with other offers, promotions and Pro Advantage.



Leave a comment on letting us know what you’d order with your $100 credit if you win. Contest ends on 6.15.19. A single winner will be notified by 6.22.19 via Instagram DM so be sure to include your Instagram handle in your comment.


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How to create a memorable on-brand unboxing experience Dear Handmade Life
5 Things to Know to Create an Unforgettable Unboxing Experience Dear Handmade Life


  1. I would get some postcards and stickers from Vista Print with the money! I really wish they offered hang tags! @hello.merry.shop

  2. Oh fun! With $100 I’d make stickers and cards with my new handmade typography designs. I love Vistaprint too! The customer service could not be better!

  3. I would love a $100 gift card! If I won, I would definitely use it to create some special prints that would go in each order for my customers to enjoy when they unbox 😍

  4. Yay! With $100 at vistaprint I would order some stickers and thank you cards for my new handmade business. I love the business cards I made with them.

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