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Unboxing Millennial and Gen Z Shopping Habits

A view of "unboxing" from YouTube

I look over my 7 year old cousin’s shoulder to see what has him locked in so hard on his tablet. He’s watching two kids unbox a toy and give their review. As quick as that one’s over, he’s on to the next video, but the same thing is happening. Kids are in the store, picking up a toy, going home to unbox, giving their live feedback, and … that’s it. Or they’ve received the toys from the merchants themselves and are opening a box wondering what toys will be inside. Okay, I thought, it must be a Gen Z thing.

But it’s not, Millennial’s and Gen Z’s alike are using unboxing videos to help aide them in purchases. Just YouTube “unboxing” and you will see whole channels built around unboxing new products and videos with millions of views. On top of that there are comments, likes, dislikes, and more.

This means two big things for retailers.

  1. There may be reviews out there influencing your customer’s decisions that you’re not aware of. Hopefully you’re leading a proactive strategy that actively searches for keywords relating to your products, but it’s important to search for your product in a multitude of ways. If there is an unboxing of your product take time to watch the video, get the customer feedback, and then see how the masses reacted. Are there a bunch of likes or dislikes? What are the commenters saying? Then take that feedback and use it to improve your product or thank the video maker. Millennials especially appreciate companies that take the time to listen to their opinions and improve their products based on their feedback.
  2. You can help promote your products through unboxing, and it’s usually only as expensive as giving one big influencer your product for free. Were there negative reviews on one of your products, but you’ve given it a big overhaul since then? Reach out the original poster and let them know you took their feedback to heart and you’d love to send them your revised product, and if they want to review it, they can. Or if there are no reviews for your awesome product, you can reach out to influencers in the unboxing world and offer them your product for free. The most important thing here is that you allow the reviewers to give a raw review. Make sure your product is up to standards because their job is to point out the positive and negatives of the product. You cannot ask for a positive review in exchange for your product. People trust these reviews because of their honest nature, make sure to keep it that way.

As millennials become one of the largest spenders and Gen Z has their parents buying power behind them, it’s important to unbox the trends that they use to shop.

For more insights into retailing to Millenials, take a look at these other blogs: The Millennial Enigma: Explained and Are You Where Your Customers Are? Thoughts from a Millennial Shopper.

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