Building customer loyalty: The unboxing experience is the next big thing

Oct 21 · 6 min read

Don’t judge a book by its cover — we all know the old saying. It is a truth that applies to so many life situations, and shopping is no different. A nice box doesn’t mean the product inside is good. Yet, we only discover that after we open the pretty package. So, let’s be honest — sometimes we do judge a product by its box, and all the good sellers know that.

In fact, nice packaging is not only good at getting you noticed in a store. Delivering a great unboxing experience in e-commerce can help you:

  • Build your customer base
  • Boost customer experience
  • Skyrocket your net promoter score
  • Improve customer retention
  • Build customer loyalty

Don’t believe that a nice box can go such a long way? Well, think about it. When you buy a gift for someone special, do you just throw it in a brown paper bag, or you take special care to wrap it and write a nice personal message?

Similarly, providing people with a perfect unboxing experience shows you care, and there is no better way to build customer loyalty than by showing just that.

The Magic of Customer Loyalty

Put simply, customer loyalty is the likelihood of previous customers continuing buying from you. Yet, this definition doesn’t reveal much about the nature of customer loyalty.

Beyond Philosophy, customer experience consultant, has a slightly more complicated, yet truer definition. It describes customer loyalty as “the result of consistently positive emotional experience, physical attribute-based satisfaction, and perceived value of an experience.”

This definition hits the nail on the head by pointing out that customer loyalty is driven by the technical aspects and value of your product, as well as the emotions that come from the entire customer experience. Now, you may ask, why would I care about building a special, personal relationship with my buyers? They are just buyers, right?

It turns out that getting buyers actually to love you can bring and save you a lot of money.

Now, why are we insisting on a perfect unboxing experience as a way to build customer loyalty? After all, customer loyalty also is driven by having a great product, neat delivery, and helpful, kind customer service. This is all true, and each of these factors is a prerequisite to building customer loyalty, but a great unboxing experience gives you two headstarts compared to your competitors.

Most businesses don’t care about it.
Most businesses don’t understand how cleverly unboxing taps into customers’ emotions.

The Magic of Product Unboxing

Let’s start with the phenomenon of product unboxing. YouTube videos featuring influencers unboxing products have grown steadily in volume and popularity for years now. One of these video bloggers, Unbox Therapy, boasts a staggering 14.7 million followers, and has built a fortune by merely…unpackaging things?

Moreover, at the moment, Google has more than 122 million unboxing videos. Why is this a phenomenon? Why do people love unboxing so much?

Source: YouTube/Elitoria

Well, why do you like getting a wrapped gift and opening it slowly? You like the feeling of anticipation and pleasant surprise. You like gentle, warm thoughts about the person who cared about you, bought you a gift, and put time into making it special.

Similarly, buyers go through the same emotional rollercoaster when they unbox a beautiful package. And as we established — emotions are a prerequisite to building customer loyalty.

And the numbers confirm just how effective this emotional rollercoaster is.

  • 70 percent of consumers form their impression of a brand based solely on packaging
  • 55 percent of online customers will make a repeated purchase if their products come in customized packaging
  • 30 percent of businesses reported their revenues increase when they improve their product packaging
  • Premium packaging builds up delivery anticipation and perception of a brand as upscale

Now, let’s get to work and see how to create an unforgettable unboxing experience for your customers.

How to Create a Perfect Unboxing Experience

Fortunately, creating a memorable unboxing experience does not require fireworks or clowns that pop out of the cake (in fact, the latter could scare most of us). A package that builds customer loyalty simply requires you to do what you have done so many times in your life.

Think about your customer as a friend. Imagine a real person waiting for your product to arrive and being happy when they finally have the box in their hands. How do you make them even happier?

Shopify suggests five ways to create a memorable unboxing experience.

1. Packaging

Creative boxes and bags have the highest chance of being an immediate stunner. The downside usually comes with a price, especially if your products are more robust. However, with a little bit of creativity and research, you can find good deals with manufacturers and suppliers, or simply use little hacks to make cheaper materials more attractive.

With a little bit of creativity and positive environmental messaging, subscription box service Stor saved on packaging boxes by using recycled cardboard, yet still maintains sleek and recognizable design. (Source: iSenseLabs)

Here are some stats to guide you:

  • 68 percent of consumers said they were most likely to buy something in a paper or cardboard package
  • 63 percent of consumers said they were more likely to buy products packaged in paper or cardboard because they can reuse the packaging
  • 63 percent of consumers said paper and cardboard packaging makes a product seem premium or high quality

2. Tissue paper and filler

Wrapping products in nice tissue paper and protective filler is one way to impress buyers once they open the box and have to go through some extra work to unwrap their long-awaited gift.

3. Stickers and tape

Stickers are a fantastic and cheap way to customize your packaging and make it pretty and unique. You can use them to decorate the packaging or keep it together, or even give several pieces away as a gift.

A good example of using stickers and ropes to refresh modest packaging. (Source: StickerMule)

Just like stickers, creatively arranged packaging tape in your brand colors can turn a dull box into a small work of art.

4. Packaging inserts

Packaging inserts include instructions, personal notes, customized packing, and receipt slips, as well as promotional materials such as business cards, newsletters, catalogs, etc. All of these are a great (and cheap) opportunity to create a neat, personalized experience. Yet, so many businesses are missing out on it!

5. Samples and gifts

Apart from encouraging repeat purchases, samples and gifts drive customer loyalty by evoking feelings of surprise and awareness that the business appreciates them as customers.


While creating a perfect unboxing experience comes with added expenses, keep in mind that customer loyalty pays off ten-fold in the long run. Also, keep in mind that more than 50 percent of customers say they happily will pay extra money for products if they like the packaging.

Of course, this doesn’t mean loyal customers should carry the entire brunt of the perfect unboxing experience. As we mentioned, you can decrease the expenses with a little bit of creativity, as well as making a good deal with manufacturers, suppliers, and delivery services.

We are Fetchr; a company specialized in e-fulfillment. We help e-commerce entrepreneurs grow their business in the Middle East. Let’s make it happen! One box at a time. Learn more here.

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This blog is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be considered business or legal advice. MENA 360 DWC-LLC (Fetchr) will not be held liable for the use, non-use or misapplication of this information, lost profits, personal or business interruption, or any other loss.

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