Every time there’s a new Apple product out you can be sure of one thing. There’s going to be a whole bunch of people posting videos of themselves with the latest iSomething and unboxing them for the first time.

It sounds a little silly, doesn’t it? Who cares about some unknown guy opening up an iPhone box. Well, as it turns out, lots of people do.

Just go to YouTube and search for the word ‘unboxing’. You’ll get over 20 million results! These are just videos of consumers opening up boxes of products that they recently bought. They may not be as popular as cat videos, but people watch them.

In fact, views for unboxing videos have gone up by over 57% in the last year. A survey done by Google shows that one in every five consumers has watched an unboxing video. And 62% of those people watched it because they were researching that product.

Courtesy of thinkwithgoogle.com

Courtesy of thinkwithgoogle.com


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“There’s no time that a customer is more excited about your product than the period between clicking ‘Confirm Order’ and right after they first hold it in their hands. I order stuff that doesn’t even matter and keep refreshing the shipment tracking page to check on it lol.”

-Sam Mallikarjunan, Head of Growth at HubSpot Labs

The thing about unboxing videos is that it taps into that childhood curiosity you had when you waited to open up those Christmas presents. If you’re interested in buying a product you want to know what that product looks like in real life, and how real people use it. You’re curious about the product and you want to get some sense of what it feels like to own it without actually owning it.

That’s why unboxing videos are so popular. Consumers know that they should take advertisements with a grain of salt. The burger you eat looks nothing like the one on TV. So they look to product videos made by other consumers like them – unboxing videos.

And that’s a growth hack your eCommerce store can implement. You can get your customers to start creating unboxing videos that will in turn attract other interested customers to your online store, which then generates more unboxing videos. It’s a virtuous cycle.

In this post, we’ll look at some case studies and see how you can create your own unboxing video strategy. You can also get our step-by-step checklist for easy reference.

Case Study #1 – Loot Crate

Loot Crate is a subscription business that sends customers a box full of geeky, nerdy products every month. As a customer you’ll be getting things like Star Wars t-shirts, Batman figurines, comic books and a whole bunch of other stuff. What’s cool is that you get products that you can’t find in stores.

However, the thing is you don’t know what you’re going to get in advance. That’s one of the reasons why Loot Crate and similar eCommerce subscription businesses are popular. The sheer excitement of opening up a new box each month and seeing what’s inside is enough to make many keep paying.

But for people who aren’t customers, how does Loot Crate convince them that it’s worth it? They can explain what their subscription box is about and show visitors to their site what previous boxes contained, but they can’t explain that feeling of discovery when you open a new box.

That’s where unboxing comes in. Just search for ‘Loot Crate unboxing’ online and you’ll see Youtube videos like this and this. Notice the view counts on those videos. There are tens, even hundreds, of thousands of views. Loot Crate is reaching all these people all over the world without any marketing from their side.

Also note that some ‘unboxers’ have special coupon codes from Loot Crate. These guys have already built up huge audiences on their YouTube channels, and the Loot Crate unboxing videos are just one among many other types of videos they make. Because of their huge following, Loot Crate gives them special coupon codes to hand out to followers. Followers get a discount, the ‘unboxers’ get a commission, and Loot Crate gets thousands of excited new customers.

Powerful stuff, right?

Case Study #2 – Dollar Shave Club

Who hasn’t heard of Dollar Shave Club. I mean, everyone’s seen THAT video. You know the one I’m talking about. While that was a product advertisement, it was so funny that it went viral. The video still gets views to this day but not as many as when it first came out. They’ve tried making similar ones but they’ve never come close to one like that.

However, Dollar Shave Club probably doesn’t need to worry too much about producing more viral videos. Their customers are fans enough to produce their own unboxing videos and share them online.

Of course, Dollar Shave Club doesn’t send different products each month. It’s still the same blades, but the first time is always an exciting time and customers are more than happy to share that excitement when they get their first set of shaving blades.

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What really makes it an event, though, is not the blades but the way Dollar Shave Club packages and presents their products. Even for something as simple as blades worth a dollar, it’s obvious that they’ve put some effort into presentation.

The bottom line is, you wouldn’t create an unboxing video for a cheap blade you bought at the convenience store, but you would for a Dollar Shave Club box.

Case Study #3 – XBox One

The unboxing video growth hack works for any product you sell online. We’ve been talking about subscription products so far, but products that customers might buy only once in their lives have found success with unboxing videos.

The XBox One is a good example of this. XBox actually made this video themselves, and it’s just a small video showing an employee opening up the box and describing the process. Even though it’s clearly scripted, and biased, it still works because it shows potential customers exactly what they can expect and gets them excited about the product. In fact, the video has received over 3 million views.

How It’s Done

Getting your own unboxing videos out there isn’t tough. We’ve broken it down for you in 4 easy steps.

Step 1 – Invest In Packaging

The first thing you need to do is invest in quality product packaging. Unboxing starts with an unopened box, and because these videos will be seen by thousands of potential customers, you need to wow them with packaging.

Let’s look at Dollar Shave Club again. While the product is a low-cost blade, they have taken great care to present it well. Customers receive a branded envelope containing the blades and, for first-timers, a fun welcome card.

DSC unboxing ecommerce growth hack

It’s a little thing, but it’s enough to make the whole unboxing process an event. Have a look at any of their unboxing videos and imagines how boring it would have been without the branded envelope or greeting card.

Step 2 – Create Your Own Video

Much like Xbox and many other brands have done, you can create your own ‘unboxing’ video. All you need is a good video camera and some lighting. Then, come up with a short script for the video. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. All you’re going to do is open up the box and explain each component of your product. Watch the XBox video to see how simple it is.

As you unbox your product in the video, point out the most interesting parts or features of your product, and even use it if you think that will get customers more excited. However, don’t make the video too serious, or sales-y. Keep it light and funny, and show that you’re excited about unboxing your product.

Step 3 – Recruit Influencers

If you don’t have a large online following, your own unboxing video won’t reach too many people. To reach a larger audience, you need to recruit influencers like Loot Crate did.

Hop onto YouTube and find users in your niche with a large channel following. For example, if you look at the Loot Crate unboxing videos, you’ll see the guys making them have other videos aimed at geeks. They also have their own blogs and large social media followings.

When you find these people you might need to bribe them with a free product sample or a special affiliate link. Once they accept, just send them your products and watch them bring new customers in for you.

Step 4 – Recruit Customers

Don’t forget to get your own customers in on the unboxing action. The more videos you have out there, the larger your reach. If you look at the Dollar Shave Club unboxing videos, you’ll see that they are done by regular customers who don’t have special affiliate links. They simply created the video because they were excited about the product.

If your customers aren’t already excited about your product, you might want to incentivize them a bit. Create a contest where customers submit their best unboxing videos of your product and the coolest one gets a discount or free product.

Time To Growth Hack

There are countless unboxing videos out there and they’re only growing. It’s time for you to get in on the action and capture all that untapped traffic out there with your own unboxing videos. Get our checklist for easy reference and growth hack your way to higher sales.

If you liked this post, stay tuned to the blog. Every Monday we’ll be coming out with a new growth hack for you to try. Your assigment is to implement the growth hack at the start of the week and report back here with results.

We also have an eBook explaining the top ten eCommerce growth hacks for this year, so get it now and start trying them out!

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