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DX PACKAGING 2023 REPORT The unboxing experience

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The newly published DeliveryX Packaging 2023 report has highlighted that packaging has become the star of ecommerce purchases in online unboxing content.

Unboxing is a growing trend which sees consumers record and publish the moment of taking new purchases from packaging. The majority of these videos are posted on Youtube, with social media platforms increasingly the home for such reveals.

One of the first examples of an unboxing video dates back to 2003, it showed a gamer from the US unwrapping a PlayStation 3 delivered from Japan. At the time, this video was of keen interest to other games due to the console not being available in the US.

Since then unboxing videos have evolved to cover more than just the latest technology. Influencers and content creators have jumped on this trend. Nearly 200 videos with a title featuring the term ‘unboxing’ have had more than a million views in the past 12 months.

According to YouTube, videos featuring unboxing of products from beauty products to dog toys, running shoes to electronics have been viewed more than 1.1 billion times. At least 60 million hours have been spent watching other people open packages.

As YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, with the video library boasting more than a billion monthly users, retailers are seeing these unboxing videos as a huge opportunity.

Furthermore, a Google consumer survey found that 62% of unboxing video viewers were interested in the video because they were planning to purchase the product being unboxed.

It is unsurprising then that Disney held an 18-hour long unboxing marathon on Youtube when it unveiled its latest Star Wars figures. But it is not only what is inside the box that Disney was showcasing, the design of the packaging itself has been created with such events in mind.

Apple also recognised the importance of packaging. Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, and author of Steve Jobs’ biography, said: “Steve and I spent a lot of time on the packaging. I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story.”

Interact with the chart in the full report

UK consumers view
The prevalence of technology and toys featured in these unboxing videos is perhaps the reason behind a generational divide in the knowledge of such content existing.

In the UK, 54% of Millennials (aged 27-42) knew about the unboxing experience, while 75% of Boomers (aged 59-77) did not.

The importance of the packaging itself in the unboxing experience is high, with nearly half of UK shoppers thinking so (49.6%) and 9% believing the packaging to be crucial in these unwrapping posts.

With the packaging playing such an important role in these unboxing videos, D2C retailers are looking not only at a great product and packaging, but also building an experience.

This feature appears in the DeliveryX Packaging 2023 report, it can be accessed now here. The report uses RetailX research and industry insight to explain why ecommerce packaging is no longer simply about protecting goods in transit. This sector report examines how retailers are adapting their packaging to tell their brand story and why they are ditching the plastic.

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