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.