5 Packaging Tips for Influencer Gifting

Launching a new product, or just want to get an existing one the street cred it deserves? Influencer gifting is an effective way to get your products noticed.

When gifting influencers, you’re essentially giving them a free product they can sample and, if all goes well, tell their followers about. And it works. In fact, consumers are more likely to make a purchase if they feel confident about an influencer's recommendation, with about three-quarters of them trusting opinions they find on social media from friends, families and influencers.

If you want to get the most bang for your buck for influencer marketing, YouTubers should be at the top of your list. Unboxing videos, which are especially popular, are a perfect match for brands and influencers.

Unboxing the Backstory

Unboxing videos began to pop up on to the YouTube scene about 10 years ago and were particularly popular with the tech and gamer crowd. The unboxing concept was--and still is, pretty simple: someone buys a product and tapes themselves opening the package with an accompanying play-by-play. This includes commentary about the packaging, instructions, first impressions, and sampling. While unboxing videos were once driven by products such as phones, tablets and gaming consoles, you’ll now find just as many for beauty products, toys and subscription boxes with new items in every delivery.

For brands, being the subject of an unboxing video can yield great benefits. For one, it means someone is talking about your brand and products--and people are watching. And secondly, unboxing reviews play an important role in consumers’ pre-purchase online research.

The goal with your influencer gift is not just to provide influencers with a great product, but a package they will “o-o-h” and “a-h-h” over. Presentation matters, especially in a visual format like video. Here are some tips to transform your influencer gift into an unforgettable unboxing experience:

Tips to Create a Memorable Unboxing Experience

1. Be on-trend. Reusable, recycled, transparent, minimalist… whatever you choose, whether it’s a box or a poly mailer, make sure your packaging is what’s happening now. Being creative will go a long way in capturing your receiver’s attention.

2. Don’t be wasteful. No influencer has ever opened a huge corrugated cardboard box, pulled out a lipstick encased in bubble wrap and tissue paper and thought: brilliant! You’ll likely be chastised for your irresponsible packaging. Reducing packaging also means you’ll be saving money on materials and shipping while being good to the environment.

3. Personalize it. Do some research on your target influencers. Watch their videos and include something in their box that lets them know you’ve been paying attention. A bandana for their dog that often makes a cameo appearance in their videos, maybe? And if your product is makeup or fashion apparel, make sure to send the right shade or size.

4. Be strategic. Don’t just randomly toss items into a box. Consider how the package will be opened and place items purposefully in the order you want them revealed. Think of the end video and script your box exactly how you want it to play out. Use partitions, dividers and die cut inserts to create a crafty presentation.

5. Brand it. Remember why you’re sending influencer product gifts in the first place. Make sure your logo is front and center on your packaging. Try to use materials like Excelsior or air pillows in your brand’s colors and use branded stickers to hold tissue paper together. Your packaging should be consistent with all your marketing efforts and be 100 percent on-brand.

Not only can customizing and optimizing your packaging improve the perception of your brand, it can also save you money on shipping costs. So go ahead and gift an influencer—and follow our tips to make sure it’s a worthy experience they’ll want to share with their followers.

5 Packaging Insert Ideas for Ecommerce

You have order fulfillment down to a science and have hired a 3PL to handle storing, picking, packing and shipping your products. But your customer’s journey doesn’t end with order fulfillment. If you’re looking for a way to maximize your buyers’ unboxing experiences while driving customer loyalty and sales, we have a suggestion: packaging inserts.

THE BENEFITS OF PACKAGING INSERTS

Unboxing doesn’t have to be the end of the road in your customers’ purchase process. Think of it as the start of a different journey. In fact, selling to an existing customer is a lot easier than selling to a new one.

Let’s look at some customer retention statistics:

  • The success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent. The success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20 percent.
  • Increasing customer retention by 5 percent can increase your profits from 25-95 percent.
  • About 80 percent of your future profits will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers.

The reason it’s easier to convert existing customers is simple: they have already purchased from you, which makes them easier to retarget in your remarketing efforts. A well-targeted packaging insert will not only make customers feel special, it will increase brand loyalty too. There are many ways you can incorporate them into your customers’ unpackaging experiences.

PACKAGING INSERT IDEAS

Thank you notes: Add personalized thank-you notes that will make an impression with your customers. Don't say “Thank you for your order” which can make your customers feel like statistics. Show your customers you value their support rather than their business. Opt for "Thanks for choosing us" instead.

Promo codes: Give your existing customers a reason to make another purchase by including a promo code with an exclusive discount as an incentive. Don't forget to track and measure your ROI. Create campaign-specific promo codes to measure how many people redeem the code and how much they spend on each transaction.

Offers: Offer free shipping on their next order. Everyone loves free shipping, especially if it’s exclusive to them. Not only will this offer incentivize your customers, it’s also an effective way to minimize buyer’s remorse. “I didn’t really need that, but I had free shipping, so…”

Feedback: Ask your customers to write a review of their purchase. Customers who write reviews tend to develop a loyalty to that business because it gives them a voice in the online purchasing process. The easiest way to get customers to review your product? Just ask.

Free samples: Product samples are technically packaging inserts, so consider adding a free gift along with purchases. Your customers will be delighted at the idea of getting something unexpected for free. It’s the principle of reciprocity in marketing. When you offer your customers something helpful for free, they will feel indebted to you.

Packaging inserts can improve your brand perception and boost your marketing reach. They are also a cost-effective way to drive customer loyalty and sales. Personalize them, and you’ll be on your way to maximizing your buyers’ unboxing experiences.

Continue Creating a Great Customer Experience, Even After Checkout

The experience that shoppers have with your ecommerce brand isn't limited to interactions with your website. It continues offline through the product fulfillment process – including how an order is packaged, the condition of the items in an order, and efficiency of the returns process. While your direct control over shipping and handling is limited during the last mile, there are a few things you can do before packages leave your warehouse that will go a long way toward giving customers a delivery experience that makes a good impression.

Right-Sizing

In a Harris Poll survey (funded by packaging manufacturer, Sealed Air) of more than 2,000 U.S. adult consumers, 66% believed that an item’s packaging tells them something about how much the brand cares about them. From excessive or messy dunnage (like Styrofoam peanuts) to small products in oversized containers – when customers are left to do the dirty work of cleaning up all that wasteful material, their experience with your brand suffers. Customizing your packaging to an optimal size can not only help create a better brand image in the eyes of your customers, it can reduce shipping and materials costs over the long-term.

Damage protection

In the previously mentioned survey, 59% of consumers believed that retailers and carriers are equally responsible for damage to a product that was ordered online. By right-sizing your containers and using the latest in dunnage technology, you can better protect your shipments and spare your customers the disappointing experience of waiting for an order, only for it to arrive in less than mint condition. Additionally, since customers are more likely to place the blame on you if your products arrived damaged, strive to work more closely with your carriers and/or 3PL provider to find solutions for reducing damaged inventory.

Handling Returns

By mastering reverse logistics, you can minimize the cost of the returns processing and recoup lost profit from the returned product. But more importantly, customers love a smooth returns process, so your customer satisfaction can increase as well. Remember: Every return is another point of engagement with your customer. It should reflect the same focus and attention to detail as every other part of the customer experience. Once you assure a customer that your returns process is easy, then you eliminate hesitation from the next purchase and convince them to shop with you again and again.

Aspects of Fulfillment that End-Point Customers Care About

Order fulfillment is a very “behind-the-scenes” aspect of ecommerce. But, even though it’s not a consumer-facing process, order fulfillment has a big impact on customer experience. A recent study from Dotcom Distribution found that the most important elements of order fulfillment affecting customer loyalty were delivery times and premium packaging.

According to 87% of the 558 online shoppers surveyed, delivery time is a key factor when deciding to place another order with an e-tailer. Additionally, 44% said faster delivery would increase their trust with a brand. When it came to premium packaging, consumers expressed many positive sentiments:

  • 40% said they would be somewhat more likely or much more likely to purchase from an e-retailer that offers premium packaging
  • 68% said that branded packaging makes the brand seem more upscale
  • 61% said that branded/premium packaging gets them more excited about receiving/opening the package
  • 44% said that premium packaging reinforces that the product was worth the cost


From a fulfillment perspective, improving these areas is key to growing your ecommerce business. To improve your delivery speed, you could look at 3PL providers that are closer to your customers, or you may need to improve your inventory management. For example, by maintaining real-time inventory monitoring, you can then process orders in real-time. The time saved from order processing results in customers getting their packages much faster. Additionally, the benefits of premium packaging are too numerous to ignore – consumers will be more likely to enjoy their experience, order again, and tell their friends. At Fulfillment Works, we have lots of resources to design and produce custom packaging for our clients. Contact us to learn how we can help.

The Power of the Unboxing Experience

Unboxing — when shoppers document and share themselves unwrapping packages (in a way that maximizes anticipation and also provides a critique of product presentation) — can boost your brand recognition and word-of-mouth marketing on social media. According to Google, YouTube hosted 1.3 million unboxing videos with 10.3 billion collective views in 2014 – with 62% of users watching unboxing videos as product research. For all those reasons, you need to treat the delivery of an order as more than just the completion of a transaction. More...