Use Unboxing Videos to Drive Online Sales

Published on January 4, 2022
Written by
Filed under Shipping Basics
Read time 6 Minutes

Unboxing is simply that: taking something out of a box. But unboxing videos are among the most popular videos on YouTube. Consider this: In 2015, people watched 60 million hours of unboxing videos totaling 1.1 billion views, according to YouTube. And Google reports that 62 percent of people who view unboxing videos are researching a particular product.

What makes unboxing videos so popular?

  1. Online buyers can’t touch a product before purchasing. But an unboxing video, which shows what the product looks like in real life, can reassure potential buyers who are wondering whether they are making a good purchase decision.
  2. An unboxing video is an emotional experience. Viewers can see how excited the unboxer is about the item, and that enthusiasm can translate to viewers, who feel as though they unwrapped the product themselves.
  3. Unboxing videos are generally created by third parties; they aren’t advertisements. They’re considered honest and objective. Of course, if there’s a problem with the product, that will become evident during the course of the video.

So how to you get an unbiased video? A variety of channels are now dedicated to unboxing videos. The people doing the unboxing have become internet celebrities of sorts, earning millions a year in ad revenue.

The unboxing video concept began in the gadget and fashion worlds, but today almost anything imaginable can be unboxed, from video games and phones to clothing, sneakers – even live reptiles. If it’s for sale, someone is probably unboxing it on YouTube.

To find a good channel, make sure it’s been around for at least a year, posts a minimum of two videos per week and has more than 10,000 subscribers. The Unboxing Channel says it’s been unboxing tech items since 1980. Tech 101 features reviews of Apple and Samsung products, and Unbox Therapy and The Verge review tech items of all sorts.

Mark Buissink, a reviewer from the Netherlands, started his own channel, “Family Toys Collector,” two years ago. His is now one of Europe’s largest unboxing channels, with viewers in 180 countries. ToyCollectorFun features Disney-themed items.

Creating Your Own Videos

Some companies are creating their own unboxing videos. Target hired four YouTube toy experts to create videos of favorite toys. Toys “R” Us created stop-action animations in which toys unbox other toys.

Of course, with so many unboxing videos out there, you might have to do something a bit outrageous to get yours noticed. Take, for example, the underwater unboxing video of a waterproof phone. And then there are Samsung’s 2011 extreme videos for the Galaxy S II phone. Hosts in those videos unwrapped the phone in situations such as skydiving, riding a roller coaster – or riding in a rally car.

Getting Influencers and Customers to Create Videos

You can also get unboxing videos from influencers, by providing products or paying a fixed fee. The advantage to paid placement is that the YouTuber will make certain no competitors are placing advertisements on your video. Ideally, you can provide pre-roll for an unboxing video of one of your own products.

So how do you get in touch with online influencers? Typically, you’ll find an e-mail address on their YouTube channel. Some YouTubers are also connected to a multi-channel network (MCN) that can set up the deal for you. However, it pays to be wary. Some multi-channel networks have been criticized over their contracts and the number of channels they are partnering.

You can also encourage customers to make unboxing videos of their own. Loot Crate, an eCommerce subscription business and ShipStation customer, has built a thriving online community of customers who create their own videos. Customers don’t know what they’re getting until they open their box each month, which adds excitement to the videos. You can even create a contest where customers submit their best unboxing videos of your product.

In most cases, unboxers are not technical experts – and most of the time, all you see are an individual’s hands as he or she goes through the process of taking things out of the box. That’s because viewers are supposed to imagine that they are unboxing the video – which is why most unboxers remain firmly out of the limelight.

Still, in order to get someone to watch the video, you need to bring some personality to the process. In addition, you might want to try something different – perhaps time-lapse, various angles or catchy music – to stand out.

A great unboxing experience can drive engagement and make customers feel good about your product. And remember, people watching a video about your product are only a click away from purchasing the item.

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Written by


I'm Joey, ShipStation's Content & Social Media Coordinator. I spent over a year on ShipStation's Support team which has given me great insight into our product and our customers. Outside of work, you'll find me writing, getting into one of Austin's great microbrews, or relaxing on a trail with my mutt.

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