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How the unboxing experience drives customer loyalty and retention

Unboxing experience, customer loyalty

The unboxing experience is an incredibly effective marketing tool because it’s what drives customers to build a relationship with a brand and repeat purchase.  

While the online marketing space is crowded with many brands competing for people’s attention, an unboxing experience is unique as it’s  a one-on-one, in-person experience with a captive audience. 

It’s immersive, surprises and delights customers, and goes a long way in the world of products.

A great unboxing experience would not be complete without custom packaging, as it’s a key tool in transforming your product and showcasing the story of your brand.

Just take how the tech brand with the cult following, Apple, paid close attention to their own unboxing experience. Before YouTube unboxings were a phenomenon, its executives tapped into something important in the customer psyche. 

Former chief designer officer of Apple Jony Ive is quoted in Steve Jobs as saying: “Steve [Jobs] and I spent a lot of time on the packaging. I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story.”

It seems like they were onto something, as to this day, iPhone unboxings make up some of the most popular unboxing experiences online! Here’s why enhancing your unboxing experience drives loyalty and retention from your customers.

1. Unboxing experiences reward customers for their loyalty and spend (and encourages them to return)

The unboxing experience can play an important part in loyalty programs, as it gives top-tier customers a superior shopping experience and makes them feel like VIPs. Take beauty franchise Mecca’s customer loyalty program, the Beauty Loop. When customers spend over a certain threshold in their stores throughout the year, they get gifted a curated box of Mecca products to unbox and enjoy. This rewards them for their loyalty by giving them a unique experience and encourages them to continue to spend with the brand to receive these perks in the future. It’s a win, win!


2. Unboxing experiences feel personalized and are linked to the ritual of gift giving

It’s no secret that customers love retail experiences that feel special and tailored to them. A study by Wundermann has found 88% of consumers want to engage with brands that set new standards for customer service. One of the easiest ways to do this is through an unboxing experience. Just think back to a time where you received a special present on your birthday or a holiday. An unboxing experience captures this same feeling by tapping into that child-like excitement we have about something shiny and new, while making the end product all the more memorable. 


3. A great unboxing experience helps with your online strategy and referrals

A fun and thoughtfully designed unboxing experience increases the chances of people wanting to share and recommend your product to others. According to Dotcom Distribution, 40% of online shoppers would share an image of their purchase on social media if it came in branded packaging. Considering that customers who give referrals have a 25% higher customer lifetime value (CLTV) than customers that don’t give referrals, it’s worth pulling out all the stops to encourage the sharing of your packaging. Unboxing experiences also resonate with people as content because they’re a genuine review that provides an informative look at a product for others and helps speed up their purchasing decisions

4. An unboxing experience is a differentiator in a populated ecommerce market 

Let’s face it: the online world is getting crowded. Global ecommerce sales are expected to reach more than $6.5 trillion by 2023. A plain Amazon-esque brown shipping box isn’t going to cut it. An unboxing strategically uses packaging to enhance your product and stand out from the crowd. There’s a lot of variety in the features you can choose between to do this; from custom tape, custom stickers, mailer bags, tissue paper, stamps, and custom cards. This range of choices in packaging ensures there’s always a new way of presenting your product where you can get creative and try something different.

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5. An unboxing experience is an extension of your brand that reinforces your business’ identity

There’s no better way to communicate your brand mission, values and personality with a customer than through a beautifully designed unboxing experience. Packaging is the first touchpoint someone has with your brand when they’ve placed an ecommerce order, so making sure you extend your branding from online into this offline medium is a must to ensure continuity and customer retention. Getting the tone right will help to strengthen your relationship with your customer and create a bond with your brand, which increases their chances of loyalty for the long-term. 

So there you have it: a great unboxing experience is a vital part of your marketing strategy that’s worth putting time and effort into crafting.

This is because it helps to drive customer loyalty and retention through making the experience personalized to the customer, showcasing your unique brand’s personality, and creating an experience that will make them refer your business to others.

About the author

Elly Strang

Elly Strang is a Digital Editor at noissue. Do you need help creating custom packaging for your unboxing experience? noissue lets you design your own branded tissue paper, stickers, and tapes. Simply upload your design, logo, or illustration, and we’ll do the rest. Learn more about our personalizable packaging options here.

Special thanks to our friends at LoyaltyLion for their insights on this topic.
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