Your customers’ experience with your brand doesn’t end after checkout. 40% of consumers say that post-purchase interactions can have the biggest impact in creating a memorable brand experience. The unboxing experience can be a great way to showcase your brand to your customers when they receive their order, keeping you top-of-mind and increasing the chances that they’ll purchase from you again in the future.

However, the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages per day, so you need to make sure that yours stands out from the noise. You also need to ensure a cohesive brand experience throughout. How can you keep that brand identity consistent between your e-commerce website and your customers’ unboxing experience?

1. Keep brand guidelines in mind

brand guide for oxo
Brand guide design for OXO by LePro.

One major part of building a brand is establishing brand guidelines. From a visual perspective, this involves choosing the colors, logos, and fonts that will represent your website. It’s best to work with a professional designer to ensure consistency and professionalism in your brand guide. Once you set visual guidelines for your brand, make sure that your brand is consistent everywhere it can be found: your website, packaging, printed collateral, email templates, etc.

This consistency is especially important when creating your packaging and shipping materials. 52% of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant that delivers premium packaging, but this can’t happen if your packaging doesn’t call to mind your site and brand.

2. Make sure your brand shines

As mentioned above, there is a lot of competition when it comes to making your brand stick in your customers’ mind. Make sure that your unique brand shines throughout the unboxing experience to keep it top-of-mind for your customers long after they’ve received their order.

This helps with word of mouth marketing: 4 in 10 consumers would share an image of a delivery via social media if it came in a unique package. Here are some examples of brands who do an awesome job encouraging social media shares through their packaging:

Barkables design
Via The Dieline

This packaging by Barkables offers an incentive for sharing photos of the Barkables experience using the brand’s hashtag on social media: a 3-month free subscription. It also includes social media icons to show which platforms customers can connect with Barkables on.

CraftX Beer box
Via FabFitFun

The inside of the CraftX Beer subscription box feature simple, bold branding. It includes the social media handles for CraftX and encourages recipients to upload photos and tag the CraftX account for the chance to be reposted by CraftX.

If you choose to outsource shipping, make sure to work with a fulfillment company that supports custom shipping boxes. Some providers, such as Amazon, require you to use their branded boxes, which takes away from your brand.

3. Think inside the box

Dee's Custom Tees logo
Via StickerYou

If you do not have the budget or fulfillment capabilities to use a custom box, there are ways to brand the unboxing experience beyond the box. This includes custom inserts like this one:

Instead of printing directly on the box, this example shows a more economic option: a custom printed insert to be included in every order. This insert encourages customers to share photos of their purchases on Instagram. It also offers a unique method of engaging customers further through a t-shirt design contest with a monetary incentive.

You can also opt to include a small free gift with every order. This can be a known item or a fun surprise. We recommend adding a free gift when a customer meets a purchase minimum. This encourages customers to buy more. And, as an added bonus, the Journal of Marketing found that people who got a product for free talked about it 20% more than those who paid for the item, meaning more word-of-mouth advertising for you!


Overall, a great unboxing experience can take your customers’ interactions with your brand from “meh” to memorable. By ensuring your brand is cohesive across channels, encouraging social media shares, and surprising and delighting customers once they open the box, you can keep your brand top-of-mind and build brand loyalty.

If you choose to outsource shipping, make sure to work with a fulfillment provider that allows you to provide custom boxes for your shipments. You should also look for a provider that offers kitting, which allows you to go beyond custom packaging to include special items and follow special packing instructions.

Rachel Burns
About the author

Rachel Burns is a Content Marketing Specialist at ShipBob, where she creates content that helps e-commerce merchants grow their businesses. ShipBob empowers businesses of all sizes to offer 2-day shipping and maintain control over inventory, orders, and shipments.