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Packaging for eCommerce and the Unboxing Experience

Traditionally, you had to design product packaging to stand out from other items on the shelves. But with the rise of eCommerce, the requirements have changed slightly. Your packaging still needs to stand out in a thumbnail image during digital browsing. 

The unboxing experience has added some unique requirements for packaging as well. The following tips will encourage online shoppers to choose your products and deliver a positive unboxing experience that they are likely to share. 

Familiar Considerations for eCommerce Packaging

Many major considerations for eCommerce packaging are familiar to anyone who has designed packaging for in-store sales. Keep the following standard best practices in mind: 

  • Use your brand color palette and font.
  • Make the packaging easy to open.
  • Choose packaging that protects your product.

Unique eCommerce Packaging Considerations

Choosing protective packaging is even more important these days. Your customer won’t see the package and the product itself until it reaches their home. As such, products ordered online often have to undergo more handling, requiring more protection. 

There are also unique visual considerations. As mentioned, your packaging needs to stand out in image thumbnails. Most manufacturers try to encourage brand loyalty by using a set color palette on their products. 

Most importantly, shipping the product directly to consumers leads to some challenges. You may want to consider a different box style or even a tube or poly mailer, depending on your product. This can reduce the cost of shipping without putting your product at risk. 

But as you choose the type of packaging to use, keep the unboxing experience at the front of your mind. 

Why the Unboxing Experience Matters

The unboxing experience is your chance to make a strong first impression on your customers. Even better, if the unboxing experience is amazing, customers are more likely to share it on social media. This will give your brand free publicity, attracting leads and potentially expanding your customer base. A strong unboxing experience also builds customer loyalty. 

Packaging Tips for a Stand-Out Unboxing Experience

So, what can you do to improve the unboxing experience with your eCommerce packaging?

  • Custom boxes: Custom boxes will enhance your branding and show attention to detail. They can even elevate the experience of using your product. 
  • Inserts: Add a custom insert, thank you note, postcard, brochure, or something similar to improve the unboxing experience and reinforce brand recall. 
  • Samples and freebies: Consider adding a free sample or full-sized product as a way to thank customers. It can also lead to increased purchases of the sample product, making it a good option for product launches. 
  • Visual appeal: Customers are more likely to share their unboxing experience on social media if your packaging is visually appealing. Think about your audience’s preferences and your branding. This includes the colors of the packaging as well as what filler materials you use. 


In many ways, packaging for eCommerce is similar to traditional packaging for sales in stores. But you will also have some unique factors to consider, especially in terms of protecting the product and making the unboxing experience memorable and visually appealing. The above tips should help you achieve your goals. 

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