For online retailers creating a memorable ‘unboxing experience’ has become increasingly important, says Charlie Walker, marketing director of Walker Logistics Ltd
Because most online shoppers expect their parcels to arrive at the front door a matter of hours from the moment they’ve pressed ‘Buy Now’ on their ‘phone, tablet or other device, the ability to fulfil orders quickly, cost efficiently and accurately has long been accepted as fundamental to any internet retailer’s success.
Indeed, plenty of the research undertaken into the e-commerce market suggests that, as far as the consumer is concerned, speed of delivery is as important – if not more so – than the actual price of the goods they are shopping for.
So, with ‘next day’ delivery now perceived as the norm by the majority of internet shoppers, retailers are looking to leverage other aspects of their supply chain to make their brand stand apart from other players in the crowded online marketplace.
For many internet traders, the way that consumers receive their items is increasingly being recognised as the next big marketing tool and, as a result, the ‘unboxing experience’ has become hugely important.
‘Unboxing’ is about creating a memorable moment and a lasting impression for customers when they open their delivery. It means carefully selecting packaging and shipping materials and giving considerable thought and attention to the way an order is presented when it arrives at the consumer’s home.
Such is the emphasis now placed on ‘unboxing’ by retailers and consumers alike that YouTube features more than 1.5 million videos devoted to it. Meanwhile, a survey by Dotcom Distribution indicated that 40 per cent of consumers are more likely to place repeat orders with an online seller that presents them with goods swathed in premium packaging.
The need to refine the ‘unboxing experience’ means that a growing number of internet retailers now expect their logistics and fulfilment partners to offer more than the ability to pick an item off of a shelf and put it into a cardboard box. As a result, fulfillment companies must be able to demonstrate that they not only have the technology to pick orders accurately and quickly but that they also have the expertise and commitment to detail that will ensure that consumer items are cleverly and attractively presented in a way that delivers the ‘wow factor’ when a consumer opens his or her parcel.
But putting together a great ‘unboxing experience’ can get expensive and for some retailers it can be difficult to justify the cost. This is why at Walker Logistics we work closely with many of our internet retailer clients to source the most suitable, environmentally-sensitive and cost-efficient packaging, such as branded boxes, tissue paper, stickers, labels, gift notes and so on.
We also undertake extensive tests to record how long various packing options take to complete so the client knows the labour costs that their preferred presentation option will incur.
By taking this partnership approach we are able to guide our clients towards an ‘unboxing’ solution that not only looks fantastic, but is also highly cost efficient. Indeed, in several cases we have been able to demonstrate that it is possible to pack and dispatch orders in attractive, bespoke packaging for little more than the cost of using a generic cardboard box – which means our clients and their customers all get to enjoy a great ‘unboxing experience’.