Building Your Ecommerce Brand Beyond the Holidays

Published on August 10, 2022
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Filed under Shipping Basics
Read time 7 Minutes

Post Updated June 21, 2018

This blog is contributed by Nora, a content marketer from Printful. She recently relocated from Toronto, Canada to Riga, Latvia and spends her downtime exploring what Europe has to offer.

Getting a package in the mail is like opening a gift on Christmas. You’ve been eagerly waiting for whatever it is you ordered and finally – FINALLY – you get to open it for real. Just like tearing open that long-anticipated Christmas gift, you can’t wait to check out the new swag you ordered.

This excitable, giddy feeling is a relatable one. Look at all the unboxing videos that are trending these days. People love the surprise and anticipation. And they love to share.

Wouldn’t it be great if your brand generated that same kind of excitement? The process of building your ecommerce brand and getting to that point is complex with a lot of moving parts. So this blog post will focus on one element: the unboxing.

What I mean by unboxing is how you can incorporate your brand into your packaging – how can you make your ecommerce brand the focus? Read on for the answer.

How Does Unboxing Help an Ecommerce Brand?

People talk about the little things. If you show your customers that you go the extra mile to make their orders even more personal and special, they’ll notice. And they’ll talk about it. They might even take a picture or video and share it online. Look at the unboxing video trend as proof – these types of videos are increasing in popularity.

Why is it important to you? All this sharing is good word of mouth marketing, which is the best kind of marketing you can get. According to a Nielsen survey, 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends or family when making a purchase. People tend to trust their acquaintances more than brands and advertising, so the more regular people talk about you, the better.

Again, there are tons of ways to generate good word of mouth and build your ecommerce brand. But here’s how to do it with your packaging.

First Things First: The Packaging

The first thing your customers see when they receive your product is what it comes in. Your box, mailer, envelope, or any packaging you use is the first chance to make a good impression.

Take a look at Birchbox, a beauty subscription service, as an example. Their shipping box is simple, it looks good, and it’s on-brand. You’ll even see Birchbox’s Instagram followers comment on how much they love it.

Ecommerce Brand - Birchbox Instagram

Think from the outside in. Your branding should be visible right away, and it should catch your customer’s interest. One way to do this is by using custom shipping boxes or packaging tape, or adding a sticker of your logo on the mailer.

Step 2: Product Presentation

The next step is looking at how products are arranged inside the package. Your first priority is obviously to make sure everything gets to your customer in one piece, but there are ways to make that branded.

You can put your products in clear poly bags, tie them up with a bow, wrap them in tissue or butcher paper, pad the box with crinkle paper or packing peanuts, or more.

Think back to your favorite product you’ve ever bought. How was it packaged? How can you do something similar for your online store?

Step 3: Sprucing Up the Necessities

There are some elements that you are required to add to your orders, like a packing slip or invoice. And you guessed it, these can be personalized as well.

For example, ShipStation allows you to brand both your shipping labels and your packing slips:

Ecommerce Brand - Custom Shipping Labels

If you print your own receipts or invoices, this is a great place to include a short message, your logo, your return policy, or contact info.

Last Step: The Finishing Touches

Take it up a notch and add some fun elements that your customers aren’t expecting. This can be some kind of branded material like a sticker or thank you note.

This step is really the kicker. It’s a nice touch to show your customers that you care and that you’re grateful for their business.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Business card
  • Sticker
  • Discount code
  • Pin button
  • Handwritten note or card
  • Promotional flyer
  • Free sample product

You can even include a call to action in whatever you pack in – encourage your customers to reach out and share a photo of them using your product, or to snap a photo of your package to share to social media.

Dollar Shave Club has an active unboxing community — thanks, in part, to the fun extras and funny notes they include in every package.


They even have a hashtag on social media where customers can upload photos – #unboxdsc. And anybody who shares gets a free t-shirt.

It’s the little things … 

Everything you do contributes to your ecommerce brand. From the moment your customers land on your online store to when they receive their orders in the mail. Each step of the buyer’s journey can be a branded, personal one, that reflects on who you are as an online retailer. So take the time to think of the little things, and make the whole buying experience one they won’t forget.

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