Skechers Uses Digital Purchasing and the Unboxing Experience to the Fullest

Company striking the right mix of online and physical offerings



Christine Dunne


Striking the right mix of digital and tangible offerings is key for today’s companies to help meet customers where they are, as well as to stand apart in a busy, online world. I was reminded of this reality when ordering and receiving a pair of sneakers for my son. I opted to order from Skechers given our past satisfaction with the brand, and I headed to the Skechers website for a variety of reasons:

  • Convenience: I can put in an order in a few minutes, versus taking the time to drive to one or more brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Selection: Retailers’ websites tend to have more options and sizes than their stores.
  • Loyalty: Thanks to past experiences ordering from—including free shipping, discounts, and gifts through the Skechers Plus loyalty program—I prefer to order from the company versus a non-specialty site like Amazon.


Screenshot from my Skechers Plus account


While those factors brought me to, what will really keep me going back was the experience of receiving the sneakers. The unboxing experience, with all the extras, makes me feel very special. In addition to the sneakers, we received a thank you post card, a product catalog, Skechers playing cards, and a Skechers bag. All these extra add-ons from an online order--which I may not have gotten had I bought them in-store--creates a fun experience rather than a mundane task of simply opening the package I ordered.


The extras we received from Skechers


While we may not have a need for these added items (and arguably, they could be considered a little wasteful in today’s increasingly eco-conscious world), they do demonstrate how printed products can add perceived value to customers—especially when items like catalogs now seem a rarity.


This impact of print extends to other products my husband and I receive, including regular arrivals of coffee and craft beer through subscription programs. Each package comes with beautifully printed materials about the item(s) curated that month and adds a sense of personalization to them that buying things in-person from a store doesn’t elicit.


It appears the pandemic has only heightened the focus by companies on unboxing experiences. For example, according to recent Keypoint Intelligence research, over three-quarters of businesses that were shipping products or packages directly to customers were striving to enhance the experience by improving product packaging.


Since businesses have less of an opportunity to connect with their customers in person (and more customers are engaging in digital purchasing), they are using packaging to maintain this connection.


Source: Keypoint Intelligence US Vertical Vision Study 2020:
Vertical Industry Views from a Socially Distanced Perch


As an example, check out how BarkBox, a company offering a monthly subscription box for dog products, uses packaging and printed extras to deliver a special unboxing experience for customers.



Our Take

While the pandemic will eventually go away, I’m not so sure the value placed on digital purchasing, along with tactile and differentiated customer experiences (like receiving beautifully printed and/or personalized extras), will follow. Too many of us appreciate the convenience and selection associated with online purchasing as well as receiving thoughtful gifts we can touch and use—creating new opportunities for digital and physical offerings.


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