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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 06, 2008

Is your packaging done for your convenience or your customer's?

Is your packaging done for speed and convenience or for the benefit of your customer? Injuries and frustration abound in their eagerness to get into their parcels, but Amazon is making moves to make sure their customers don't suffer "wrap rage".

by Helen Leggatt

amazon logo.gifIs it worth revising your packaging to make unwrapping parcels a more pleasant experience for your customers? Amazon seems to think so. This week they announced they will be trialing Frustration-Free Packaging across 19 products. The online retail giant is also encouraging consumers to send in pictures and videos of their "wrap rage" moments and resulting injuries.

Fortress-like packaging was developed to prevent the theft of items displayed in-store, hence the proliferation of stout clam-shells and blister packs. These precautions are unnecessary for items sold online, so why do they continue to be used? The most likely reason is the time, cost and effort it would take online retailers to repackage products from suppliers who, in turn, have yet to develop different packaging strategies for on- and offline retailers.

Amazon hopes to bring about change and is working with a number of manufacturers to develop their Frustration-Free Packaging, including Fisher-Price and Mattel. They aim to do away with unnecessary clam-shells, plastic wraps and wire ties. Instead, products will be shipped in easy-to-open recyclable cardboard.

Amazon's Frustration-Free Packaging will also cut back on the amount of packaging needed, an environmental benefit to customers. In a recent announcement they claim that, for one particular Fisher-Price toy, the new packaging will eliminate:-

- 36 inches of plastic-coated wire ties
- 1,576.5 square inches of printed corrugated package inserts
- 36.1 square inches of printed folding carton materials
- 175.25 square inches of PVC blisters
- 3.5 square inches of ABS molded styrene
- 2 molded plastic fasteners

Of course, frustration-free has to be balanced with ensuring that products are securely packaged and arrive in one piece.

Tags: Amazon, blister packs, clamshells, environment, Fisher-Price, Frustration-Free Packaging, Mattel, packaging, wire ties, wrap rage

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