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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Apr 18 2017 10:49:13

Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Shipping boxes may be a good place to sell advertising, and the USPS and Amazon have already tried out the concept. In a recent article, RetailWire said beauty brand Revlon paid to have 10 million Amazon shipping boxes branded with its name as part of a campaign dubbed "the Love Project." 

The marketing experts with whom the publication spoke thought it was great idea, as long as it wasn't done to the point where customers begin to tune out the ads.

The Revlon campaign is the second to utilize Amazon shipping boxes - in 2015, cartoon characters from the Despicable Me sequel "Minions" appeared on special bright yellow boxes sent by select Amazon fulfillment centers.

At the time, an Amazon spokesperson told us the branded boxes were sent for both Amazon.com and third-party FBA-seller orders (sellers who use Fulfillment By Amazon).

The concept goes back even further. In 2014, the USPS collaborated with Sony Pictures to bring Spider Man to Priority Mail boxes, trucks, and marketing messages to promote the movie, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."

One downside to more widespread use of ads on packages would be the potential to turn off customers. Companies can't always predict what might offend their customers, particularly in an ad displayed on a package going into their homes.

Sellers such as those who use Fulfillment by Amazon would have no control over ads that appear on packages to their customers - sellers could be just as offended as buyers, or be concerned that the ads might reflect poorly on them. 

There would be no upside for those sellers - just as with advertising on their platforms, online marketplaces are unlikely to share any ad revenue from shipping boxes with sellers. 

What do you think of ads appearing on shipping boxes? And what about package inserts inside the packages (in the case of fulfillment services like Amazon) that promote other brands and sellers? 

Would you be more responsive to the idea if it helped you save on shipping costs?



Comments (9) | Leave Comment | Permalink
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Perminate Link for Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?   Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?
by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 18 13:31:24 2017
All those useless inserts we get with phone and electric bills are stuffed back into the envelope with the check. I have enough garbage each week without those inserts.

As for advertising on outside of packages. Who cares, or even looks at it. All we care for is that the package gets to us on time and is as described.
Perminate Link for Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?   Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?
by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 18 13:50:14 2017
If it saved me money cool if not no point and I don't want to see the ads
Perminate Link for Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?   Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Tue Apr 18 15:19:16 2017
I see a company like eBay salivating over this. More monetizing which they love.

I don't expect the sellers would benefit at all.  But as you all know, I'm very cynical as it relates to eBay and eBay's motives. They've conditioned me well.

Perhaps one of eBay's cheerleaders can balance out my cynicism.
Perminate Link for Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?   Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Tue Apr 18 16:49:19 2017
If it keeps the USPS from raising rates every January, I'm all for it. Using a tie-in like Spiderman swinging along with packages is a good idea. Maybe they could team with Cars 3. I can see Tow Mater pulling along a trailer filled with USPS boxes.
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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Tue Apr 18 20:46:51 2017
While I wouldn't and don't use ebay branded shipping supplies, I'd welcome USPS boxes with ads IF they'd stabilize the price of Priority Mail.
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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 20 00:47:37 2017
As long as the ads aren't religious or political, I think I could live with 'em.  
Perminate Link for Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?   Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?
This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness
       
Thu Apr 20 01:07:02 2017
I'm ripe for a Make America Simple Again movement.
Perminate Link for Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?   Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?
by: menco This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 20 11:54:24 2017
Subsidize shipping costs? That's clearly clickbait. There's NO POSSIBILITY WHATSOEVER that small sellers will ever receive any shipping subsidy from ANY marketplace.
Perminate Link for Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?   Could Ads on Packages Subsidize Shipping Costs?
by: ovigh This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Apr 20 22:43:18 2017
The USPS/Sony promotion was a mutual partnership. Sony promoted Priority Mail and USPS promoted The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The campaign included TV commercials, in-movie USPS logo placement, postal trucks, shipping boxes, special stamps and more. This was not a classic case where Sony purchased advertising from the postal service. It was a mutual marketing collaboration. Actually USPS did something similar in 2007 when it partnered to promote the 30th anniversary of Star Wars.

Buying ads on shipping boxes is not a good idea for the Postal Service. Advertisements are currently being placed in the Movers Guide for the change of address, okay. But selling ad space on delivery vehicles and shipping boxes does not project a very good image for USPS. It would be nothing more than a moving bus bench and not very cost-effective for the Postal Service. Mutual promotional collaboration … yes. Straight out ad selling? NO.


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