Packaging in the age of YouTube

We return to one of our most popular topics—what consumers believe packaging is worth.
Gen Zers (among others!) continue to surprise us.

When we last asked consumers about how receiving online deliveries made them feel, the answers were illuminating (“feel like a kid at Christmas!”) and also, kind of pitiful (“it’s sometimes the only thing I have to look forward to,” one consumer told us, or “it’s a reason to go outside.”). No, we’re not crying, YOU’RE crying.

That was November 2020. Now that we’ve all had a few months to recompose ourselves, and we are no longer thinking about purchases in the context of the holidays, and now that US consumers are starting to picture the end of the pandemic, we wanted revisit the topic of the value of the unboxing experience.

  • Like last time, we created a hypothetical scenario where we asked consumers questions about distinct types of packages someone else received (so we took personal preferences and the emotional response of receiving a product you wanted out of consideration). 
  • We asked them how much they think different packaging features might have cost the original intended recipient of different packages containing the same product (we picked a product with generally consistent pricing: pillar candles):
Top three (of six) order experiences, chart

  • We then looked at the net differences in the average value between these options to arrive at what consumers think each of these individual packaging options are worth. Here’s what we found:
  • Top three (of six) order experiences, chart
    • As actual products in and of themselves, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that complimentary product samples had the highest net value at $1.77 — but note that value wasn’t much more than some other options when looking at the average among all respondents.
      • Gen Z assigns the highest value of $4.00 compared to $2.32 among Millennials, $1.46 among Gen X and only $.84 among Baby Boomers.
      • Also particularly partial to samples: women ($2.30) who assign nearly double the value compared to men ($1.22).
    • Higher quality packing materials like a branded box with tissue paper came in second place at $1.67 — a particularly high ROI given the low relative cost of these materials.
      • Baby Boomers place a higher premium on tissue paper in branded box ($1.17) compared to all other features that age group evaluated ($0.53 -- 0.97).
    • Rounding out the top three highest value features was the personalized note, with an average net value of $1.67—validating curated subscription box packaging practices.
      • Unsurprisingly — ask Nordstrom — personalization resonates more with mid to high income vs. lower income consumers ($1.90 and $1.26 vs. $0.88).
      • Women ($1.37) more inclined than men ($1.20) to respond positively to a personalized note.

    BOXpoll by Pitney Bowes, a weekly survey of consumers on politics, culture and ecommerce order experiences. Conducted by Pitney Bowes with Morning Consult // 2094 US consumers surveyed April 2021. © Copyright 2020 Pitney Bowes Inc.

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