Is branded packaging a real added value to the e-commerce experience?

For years, e-commerce packaging had to be branded and sexy. Consumers are changing. Is customized packaging really the best way to impress customers today?

Brands are navigating the best they can to bridge the gap between immersive in-store and digital shopping experiences.

Memorable unboxing has always been a crucial touchpoint. For years, the norm was to spend money on sexy, flashy, branded packaging to do the job.

But is customized packaging really the best way to impress customers today?

Wasteful unboxing is dead, long live purpose unboxing

For years beautiful boxes paid for themselves by driving publicity and customer-generated content. Unboxing videos on social media are still super popular.

However, the development of more conscious consumerism is not to be taken lightly. Consumers seeking eco-conscious habits are no longer the exception, they are becoming the standard.

With the rise of e-commerce, people receive more boxes at home than they ever did. When unboxing was a fun rush, breaking down wasteful boxes became a chore leaving a sour aftertaste.

“The thrill of unboxing is gone, now that we must unbox everything.”

Study Brand Loyalty

So when brands claim to be more sustainable but still ship in wasteful packaging, many end up receiving more backlash than praise on social media.

“The packaging with the tissue paper and the beautiful box and the ribbon was season one of unboxing. That’s fizzled,”
Pierre Hassan, CEO, Maison de Mode


In the recent years, two fast-growing trends can be identified:

  • The rise of conscious consumerism, especially for the younger generations,
  • Consumers’ general “packaging fatigue”


“Consumers’ real packaging goals are not to have many boxes sitting and waiting to be thrown out. They want packaging that’s minimal waste and easy,” said Pierre Hassan 


The rise of purposeful packaging

Customers are hungry for sustainable solutions. Even high brands are rethinking their packaging strategies and prioritizing sustainability and minimalism for in-store and online purchases.

It’s not crazy to say that this decade, brands that won’t make an effort to become sustainable are going to suffer the same fate as those that didn’t embrace the internet during the dot-com heyday.

Study Brand Loyalty

However if in e-commerce, sustainability is a must, it’s also a danger zone and packaging is a high-risk touchpoint. A faux pas, and you fall right into the greenwashing pit.

“Brands are navigating the need to be seen as doing the right thing and genuinely want to do the right thing,”
Robert Lockyer, CEO of Delta Global.


LinkedIn Greenwashing

More and more brands are choosing sustainable packaging for the values they convey over visual standout. This industry shift leaves reusable packaging in a prime spot.



Reusable packaging for a stronger unboxing experience

You’re in the e-commerce business and you want the experiences to tick the following boxes, we get it:

  • Memorable - you want your customers to remember the time they shopped at your e-store.
  • Immersive - you want them to love receiving your product, unboxing it, and welcoming it into their lives.
  • Personal - you want them to feel connected to your brand, even though they’ve never talked to any of your employees.

You don’t have to go for the luxurious, customized box to achieve that.


A pretty box is a nice connection with your customers but it’s a passive one.


With Gen Z being an unabashedly activist generation, customers don’t want to be passive anymore.

Give them something to interact with and where they participate actively.

If you want to show your customers that you care about the environment, printing your logo in green on the packaging won’t do it.

The bar has been raised in the unboxing world. Packaging can be immersive by the way it looks, but even more, by the values it carries.


Pack your products with your values rather than a ribbon.


Let your conscious customers choose the sustainable option and have control over it. Offering RePack as an option allows your conscious customers to see their expectations fulfilled. Read more.

Meet the 2020 consumers driving change

Sustainability must be felt. Returnable packaging promises this active experience between you and your shopper. It’s an entirely new kind of relationship with your customer base and will leave a stronger mark on the shopper’s mind.

Choosing between the extremes - the luxurious box or the sustainable, reusable packaging - is a choice to make.

In a decade where consumption models are shifting, our bet is on reuse.





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