Emulating Apple’s packaging design principles, Bonobos, an online brand of tailored men’s pants and shirts, applies a like-minded, beautiful packaging experience to men’s fashion. 

Each order comes in a branded box with the product regally wrapped in tissue paper and a sealed sticker as well as an easy-to-use return label.

The unboxing experience is so impressive that customers are posting their unboxing videos across the internet. Unboxing an iPad feels just as good as getting a new pair of pants.

In the lifestyle and cosmetics category, Birchbox, a company that offers monthly subscription boxes of cosmetic samples, delivers a personalized selection of cosmetic samples with a beautifully done letter in a branded box made out of Birch trees.

Glimmering with excitement, many beauty trendsetters are obsessed with receiving their latest Birchbox—they even recurringly post a YouTube video in a series, unraveling their latest Birchbox with their fans.

Image credit: 3stinkyboys&me

If a box can be made emotive insofar it evokes the perfect emotional response upon opening, marketers and retailers can also take the packaging experience to another level by re-marketing to customers inside of a box. 

Like building exciting in-store experiences, ecommerce stores can create engaging in-package experiences that bring the customer back onto their website or mobile app.

A retailer, for example, can include a QR code, website URL, and mobile text number on a personalized thank you letter or card, giving them a special offer once they connect. 

In addition, when customers connect, not only can you capture their interest for digital re-marketing, but also, you can encourage them to share an offer or notable event via their address book or social networks.

While these offline-to-online marketing methods are effective, they still require some manual effort from customers.

Alternatively, lighter and cheaper sensors may lead the way in in-package marketing in the future. With a disposable sensor as a small sticker or apparel tag inside the package, the sensor can automatically and dynamically re-market an offer to customers onto their nearby smartphone or tablet while they open a box. 

Promoting sensor technology for retailers, Siteworx, whose iBeacon technology powers proximity based promotions, provides a glimpse of what sensor technology can do for both online and offline retailers when it matures. 

In addition, there are many interesting ways to curate and personalize a brand’s offerings to each customer inside a box. 

Based on customer profile data and/or the customer’s online behavior, you can include a gift or sample that is likely to upsell and cross-sell a customer into a different category or product line.

For example, Birchbox curates and personalizes samples based on skin care profiles that customers fill in. Each delivered sample highlights a unique web page URL, through which a customer can learn more about the product and purchase a full-sized version.

This offline-to-online purchasing model has been immensely successful for Birchbox, with more than half of its customers having purchased a full-sized product on the company’s website.

Tying the in-package experience to digital marketing, today’s tools give marketers a complete content and campaign management suite and tools to store and manage their current and potential customer profiles and market to them across various channels.

After your customer opens a package and connects with you and your offer online, these tools will enable you to re-market to them throughout mobile and the web. 

For any ecommerce company, the shipped package represents one of the most direct touch points to the customer, but it’s often under-utilized when re-marketing to customers.