Guest Blog Cover-Penny Black

Return on Packaging Spend: a new metric to unlock the revenue potential of your unboxing moment


Written by Mollie Woolnough-Rai

This was a guest blog written by Mollie Woolnaugh-Rai, Senior Marketing Manager at Penny Black, which connects brands and their customers at the moment of unboxing to create personalised experiences.

Packaging is a must-have. Whether you are a start-up at the beginning of your journey or an experienced, decades-old brand, great packaging helps you unlock your true revenue potential.

Packaging is part of the overall customer experience and should be treated with the same care and attention you give your products.

The benefits of packaging

Packaging has a number of benefits for both brand building and brand awareness, including:

  • Helping establish consistency so customers remember you.
  • Assisting your product positioning and how you want your product to be viewed in the market.
  • Ensuring that packaging can be an extension of your advertising strategy that serves as a trigger to help customers feel part of your brand and story.
  • Beyond that, packaging also provides a tangible reward for a digital purchase – a key point of connection for any ecommerce brands that may otherwise struggle to have a physical presence in their customers’ lives.

This is all well and good for brand awareness, but most brands fail to realise that packaging is also an opportunity to drive more revenue. It improves the customer experience and is crucial to securing repeat revenue. The unboxing moment is the primary time to push marketing messages, retain customers and secure repeat revenue.

Weight and how it affects your shipping charges

A new brand metric

This blog will explain how to turn your packaging into a revenue opportunity and will introduce you to a brand new metric you need to be aware of – return on packaging spend (ROPS).

Packaging as a customer retention tool

Did you know that it’s five times more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain them?

Looking after the customers you already have is easier than spending money on attracting new ones. But, how can packaging help?

Throughout the whole customer journey, the unboxing moment is one of the few opportunities you have to forge a real, authentic connection with your existing customers. It benefits you, then, to invest as much time and effort into creating a personalised packaging experience that makes your customers feel positive and cared for. Once an emotional connection is established, shoppers will be more likely to return to you over the competition and spend more over time.

The follow-on impact of focusing on your packaging is that customers will want to shop with you again.

5 ways to improve your post-purchase experience

Indeed, Penny Black flyers allow brands to generate an additional £2.20 per insert sent – which is 11x more than post-purchase emails. Packaging with a personal touch builds loyalty and generates word-of-mouth recommendations.

With 90% of consumers more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend, investing in your packaging, with services like those provided by Penny Black, is a surefire way to secure long-term revenue growth.

Motivating customers to convert again

The second way to use your unboxing moment to drive revenue is to use it as a way to convert shoppers on another purchase. But how?

Well, one simple method is to include flyers or inserts in your packaging that have personalised product recommendations and discounts. These flyers should have scannable QR codes on them so customers can convert again, right at the moment they're unboxing their order. Moreover, research from Accenture shows that 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with a brand that gives personalised offers and recommendations.

Example of card included with Penny Black packaging

Flyers are a tried and trusted way to grab your customer’s attention again and get them going back to your website eager to buy more. In fact, personaled flyers have a 20% conversion rate.

Then, once these customers are back online they are likely to spend more time browsing and taking in your digital customer experience (even, potentially, buying from you again).

Improving customer experience

It isn’t enough to focus only on online interactions; the whole customer experience is important. Prioritising your packaging, and the unboxing moment, shows you care about every aspect of the customer experience and demonstrates a desire to meet your customers’ needs throughout their entire journey.

There are a variety of ways to make packaging a positive part of the customer journey. You can demonstrate your shared values by using eco-friendly packaging. This way you can connect with customers on an emotional level. Or, maybe it’s about what’s inside. By including in-package flyers with tailored content you’ll show customers they’ll receive added value whenever they order from you.

Example screenshot of card included in box (Penny Black)

More often than not, as you improve the customer experience you will also drive revenue.

In fact, research shows that 84% of companies that improved their customer experience saw an uplift in revenue and a 92% increase in customer loyalty.

A new metric: Return on Packaging Spend (ROPS)

Making your packaging a revenue-building channel is all well and good, but you’ve got to be able to measure its impact to determine whether to invest more heavily in it as a marketing channel.

Tools, like Penny Black, allow you to access Google Analytics data associated with your packaging (as customers scan QR codes on the flyers). With these tools, you can see how much customers spend after scanning your inserts. As a result, you’ll be able to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your customer base – and the returns you’re making on spending on your packaging.

Once you have turned your focus to Return on Packaging Spend (or ROPS) it’s also important to consider secondary conversion metrics as well. The metrics you choose may depend on the CTAs across your flyers but all of them will give you a better view of your customers’ journey.

For example, by using flyers in your packaging check whether your email list has grown. Are you getting more customers opting in for subscriptions or are you generating more referrals? On top of this new ROPS metric, these common metrics will also help you measure how successful your packaging is and whether you are truly making the most of your unboxing moment.


Ecommerce packaging and the unboxing moment should be a marketing channel just like your emails. They can be optimised to drive revenue and can be tracked and measured. It’s time you take note, invest in creative packaging solutions and unlock the real revenue potential of your unboxing moment.

Want to check out more unboxing marketing examples? Download our ebook filled with examples from real brands.

Ready to start automating?

Automate your entire shipping process while delivering better experiences for your customers.

Start 30-day free trial
Mollie Woolnough-Rai

Mollie Woolnough-Rai

Mollie Woolnough-Rai is the Senior Marketing Manager at Penny Black, which connects brands and their customers at the moment of unboxing to create personalised experiences.

More from this Author

Read our related articles

The 5'Cs of post purchase
Post purchase

The 5 C’s of post-purchase