What is the most important step of an eCommerce customer journey?

Learn why personalized packaging inserts can help you perfect the most important step in the eCommerce customer journey - the unboxing.

The Customer Journey describes the path that customers take when they interact with a business, from the stage they initially become aware of your brand’s products, all the way to their post-purchase experience. Customers develop opinions about your business based on their journeys, and successful brands clearly understand and define what they want their users to experience at each point in the journey, beginning with the Awareness stage.


At this initial stage, customers may not be aware of your brand and/or not ready to purchase , so your main goal is to make them aware of your offering. Businesses often differentiate from competitors and cut through the noise at this stage by running paid ads, - with several brands using search and display advertising to accomplish this. Search advertising is used to make your website more prominent than competitors’ on search engines and is widely regarded as a fairly cost effective way of reaching a targeted audience.

Similarly, display advertising utilises non-intrusive ads to keep your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds. Both forms of advertising work together to produce an effective method of reaching a target audience. 

However, with the introduction of iOS 14.5 in 2021, advertising costs have increased significantly, as the update allowed 96% of users to opt out of tracking. This means that brands are now unable to track users' behaviours effectively, resulting in smaller audiences and increased competition, which has raised customer acquisition costs by up to 75% for industry stalwarts,  whilst new brands have seen increases of up to 50%. 


In the second stage of the customer journey, customers are actively evaluating their options, and this is usually where content marketing takes place. This content could include case studies, product guides, or videos to help customers build their knowledge of your product.  

Content marketing attracts and engages your target audience as a way of improving brand awareness and increasing sales, therefore it is an essential step in your marketing process. 

Content marketing through channels such as social media, blogs, and your website is the best way to reach your target audience and create a community around your brand. By creating an authentic feel to your brand, customers are more likely to engage with your content and feel a connection to you.

Another example of content marketing is unboxing videos, which have proven to be an effective marketing tool to increase engagement, popularity, and brand loyalty.  A brand well known for creating an effective unboxing experience is Samsung Galaxy, which designs their boxes to  create excitement around the product and stand out from competitors. 


The next stage in your customer journey funnel is preference, simply defined as those who prefer to use your brand/product over your competitors. Customers don't usually look for brands or products — they look for solutions to their problems, so it is important for a brand to clearly communicate the unique selling proposition(USP) of their products and the benefits they offer over competitors. 

Businesses often convey these benefits through the marketing and purchase stages of the product and allow the quality of the product & packaging to speak for themselves.

Customer preference can be built through customer engagement and supporting clients at each customer stage.
Once you have combined your brand with your target consumer’s needs, you are able to create brand preference and loyalty, allowing you to generate positive brand equity and build a strong community around your product.           


Now that your brand has demonstrated its product benefits, it is time to persuade your potential customer to make a purchase. This late-stage of the marketing process should convince users to take action. 

This is also the stage in which you can incentivize your customers by offering discount codes or free trials. Your business should be demonstrating its unique selling point here encouraging customers to proceed with their transaction. This stage is key to building trust with customers, ensuring your products’ quality, usefulness, and uniqueness, leading to consumer action. Your USP does not mean your product has to be innovative, but the message behind the product must differentiate from competitors. 

It is a method of differentiating yourself from others in the market and proving to consumers why they should choose your product. The most effective ways to test if your USP is effective are through analysing web traffic, customer feedback and monitoring conversion rates. By looking at customer reviews and whether conversion rates have increased or decreased, you can see if your message has been effective. Your USP should be an efficient tool to convert potential customers into buyers, once you have shown your target audience what your product can offer them. Standing out from competitors throughout your customer journey is the most effective way to increase sales and become a top competitor. Therefore, it is important to create a positive customer experience at each stage of their purchasing journey.  

An example of a business with an effective unique selling point is Dollar Shave Club, which delivers personalised grooming products to consumers' doors for a reasonable price. Dollar Shave Club creates a unique experience by actively engaging with customers and building a personalised package that suits users' individual needs - they also deliver, unlike other razor brands, setting them apart from the competition. 


The purchasing stage is where your customers will use your check-out system to make their purchase. This stage relies on your business’ eCommerce tools like Shopify to provide an efficient and easy customer experience. Creating a greater customer experience will improve your conversion rates and decrease your checkout abandonment rates, saving your business money. Your business must optimize its checkout flow, allowing customers to quickly make a purchase without complications that may cause them to change their mind. 

At this stage, you are looking to create a frictionless user experience by making your website and checkout process easy to navigate and comprehend. Users often abandon their cart when they run into large extra costs, e.g., shipping, they require an account, and/or the site seems unsafe. These are all issues many eCommerce businesses face as a result of inefficient check-out procedures, negatively impacting their conversion rates.

The process and features of your eCommerce checkout will impact customer satisfaction and return purchase rates. An efficient check-out process will influence your conversion rate optimization(CRO), as fewer customers will abandon their cart at checkout. CRO is important for your business as it lowers customer acquisition costs and increases revenue per visitor.

It is also key to start building a long-term relationship with this customer, tailoring future purchases to their needs. Retaining customers means that brands are more likely to build customer loyalty and increase the Lifetime Value (LTV) of each customer. An effective way of building excitement around your product is through SMS or email order updates, retaining a conversation with customers, increasing the likelihood customers are satisfied and remaining a point of contact for buyers. 

You must ensure you are providing a positive customer experience throughout their journey. Therefore, it is important to remain engaged with customers once they have checked out. 


Repurchase is the stage at which customers have received your product and will determine whether they would repurchase in the future. The unboxing experience is a large factor in this customer decision making process that may not always be prioritised by businesses. 

We believe that the unboxing experience is the most important stage in your customer journey, as it will likely determine if customers are satisfied with the product and if they would consider repurchasing. With a majority of businesses focusing their resources on marketing and advertising, many forget about this key method of customer retention, which is great for impressing customers and building loyalty. 

Placing a larger focus on the unboxing experience can encourage customers to repurchase as the experience feels special. It is an incredibly powerful way of adding value to your product and can tell your brand’s story. When combined with influencer marketing, unboxing becomes an even more powerful tool, delighting consumers' trust and reaching a large target audience for a relatively low price. 

Building a rapport with influencers through unboxings can be a powerful tool that leads to influential partnerships in the future, which is why businesses should be investing more thought into this forgotten stage of the customer journey. 

With over 90,000 people typing “unboxing” into Youtube every month, the unboxing experience is a highly desirable feature customers are looking for in their purchases. The moment the customer receives the product is the perfect time to impress and increase retention, making it a crucial stage that will impact your future relationship. This is where Slippy, a new marketing for eCommerce, comes in. 

Slippy allows you to create personalised marketing inserts that can be placed in your orders, improving the unboxing experience and increasing customer retention. Proven to boost customer lifetime value by up to 12%, Slippy is a tool that allows you to communicate with your clients at the perfect moment.

Slippy can be customised in numerous ways to tell your brand’s story. Use cases for Slippy include:

  • Addressing customers by name with merge fields to grab attention.
  • Personalized product reccomendations.
  • Display order information and product images.
  • Using AI-powered handwriting to convert gift messages from your checkout into handwritten notes.
  • Tracked QR codes are a great way to upsell opportunities to customers, offer complimentary content, provide helpful tutorials etc.
  • Connect your eCommerce platform and Warehouse Management System to display shipping information in your print. This will allow packers to quickly and efficiently process orders. 
  • Integrated returns management - making it easy for customers to return unwanted items.
  • Dynamic product images that can be used to recommend similar products.


 Slippy offers personalised content that customers care about and is optimised like every other stage of your funnel. It also integrates seamlessly with your fulfilment flow, and can be programmed to print automatically while you pick and pack , or at the initial stages of your order flow. 

Slippy is a simple, painless marketing tool that allows your business to build genuine relationships with customers. With a range of features and use cases, the options are endless.

With customer acquisition becoming more expensive than ever, customer retention is key for eCommerce companies aiming for long-term success. Making the unboxing experience more personal for your clients is the perfect opportunity to differentiate your brand from competitors.