Hundreds of YouTube channels are dedicated to the unboxing process as the first stage of a journey that gradually reveals the characteristics of the chosen product. Viewers are submerged into the world of overlapping plastic film, tissue wrap and packaging paper, virtually savouring the subtle pleasure of unpacking the object of desire, be it the latest version of a video game console or the iconic orange box containing a Hermés accessory.
But packaging can also transcend its traditional connotation and adopt innovative guises. One such example is the British start-up Cazoo, which uses a branded van as a giant surprise package to deliver a used car purchased on an app.
However, while the first aesthetic impact undoubtedly conditions the relationship with the buyer, in this day and age, other factors are equally important.
In 2020 in Italy, there was a 26% growth trend for online purchases, for a total value of €22.7 billion, 4.7 percent higher than in 2019 (data from Politecnico di Milano's B2c eCommerce Observatory). A habit that is destined to become the new post-pandemic norm, and one that should prompt companies to adopt functional packaging for shipping.
Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, which has sold 50 million pieces of its iconic No.14 chairs in seventy years, ships them worldwide – over 4,000 crates in 1905 alone – in stacks of 36 per cubic metre of space.