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Amazon Changes How Products Are Packaged

Amazon Changes How Products Are Packaged

Amazon thinks a lot about product packaging and is celebrating the 11th anniversary of its “Frustration-Free Packaging” program. But it’s about more than making it easier for customers to open their items and avoid “wrap rage.” The program helps defend against claims that online shopping is bad for the environment, and more importantly to Amazon: it’s about saving money.

Reducing the size and weight of packages can lead to enormous savings in shipping costs as sellers dealing with last month’s USPS DIM Weight rate changes can understand.

Packaging also plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the product during storage and shipping, concerns that can lead to over-packaging in the first place.

In a recent blog post, Amazon wrote, “How do you box up 40 pounds of dog food and make it less likely to rip and spill during shipping?” It describes how Hill’s Pet Nutrition was the first major pet food maker to reinvent their packaging based on Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging program.

Amazon has a landing page dedicated to informing vendors about its packaging programs where it states: “Amazon’s mission is to optimize the overall customer experience by collaborating with manufacturers worldwide to invent sustainable packaging that delights customers, eliminates waste, and ensures products arrive intact and undamaged.”

The company created the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS) to help vendors to certify their products in order to participate in Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging Programs. APASS provides a list of companies and labs that can help test, design, and supply packaging in line with meeting Amazon’s Packaging Certifications.

There are three tiers of certification:

  • Frustration Free Packaging (FFP)
  • Ships-in-Own-Container (SIOC)
  • Prep-Free Packaging (PFP)

Even if you’re a merchant and not an Amazon vendor, reviewing information about Amazon’s packaging philosophy, case studies, and certification requirements may help you rethink your packaging and strategize on ways to make your products arrive safely while reducing your costs.

Note: CNN published this article on Tuesday about the amount of cardboard used in ecommerce and Amazon’s effort to reduce it.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

One thought on “Amazon Changes How Products Are Packaged”

  1. Amazon has a long way to go in their packaging to make it environmentally good for the planet. Does a boxed product that came to Amazon in its own shipping box (so 2 boxes) really need to be put in yet another book (three now) just so Amazon can show off their smiley arrow and had potential gifts hidden? Or why when they do this three-box nonsense, to keep the first two boxes (always a tight fit) from shuffling around put it in a box that is at least 1/3 larger than needed with a wad of kraft paper (maybe 2 feet long) that wouldn’t do anything to prevent the package inside from rattling around? And then there is the decision, envelope or box? Most of the things I get other than clothing items, that come in envelopes should have been in a box. Even if mine didn’t get damaged I suspect others getting the same thing did. And then on the same day that I got an envelope with a dented item, I get a box with something that even if an elephant stepped on it, it wouldn’t break although it might get dirty, so why wasn’t it in a cheaper envelope? It is crazy and I see it has been getting worse and considering the number of things I get from Amazon, I would notice is packaging had gotten better.

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