What is Frustration-Free Packaging on Amazon?

History of Frustration-Free Packaging

Amazon has offered Frustration-Free Packaging since 2008 to remove the irritation people felt when trying to unwrap their order and save money on boxes.

The company teamed up with several manufacturers—such as Belkin, Hamilton Beach, Logitech, Fisher-Price, and more. Together, they applied the necessary mechanics to Amazon’s packaging that was able to remove excess, redundant materials while ensuring the full damage-protection of the ordered products.

During the program’s first year, only 19 egregiously wasteful products fell underneath the Frustration-Free Packaging umbrella. By 2013, that number grew exponentially to 200,000 products. Now, in 2019, there are over 750,000 products on that list.

It’s also worth noting that Frustration-Free Packaging drastically reduces waste because it’s 100% recyclable packaging.

Are you an Amazon seller who hasn’t moved towards this packaging method? Then, we insist that you read on and learn about the wealth of advantages that come with adding Frustration-Free Packaging to your business model.

Maximizing the Buyer Experience

As a seller on Amazon, you probably do everything right—at least, almost everything.

You’ve found resale products at a price that perfectly fits your business model. Then, there’s the savvy marketing strategy you’ve cleverly crafted that reached all the target demographics at precisely the right times and places.

On top of that, you did the research and found the ideal selling price that enticed consumers enough to click the ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’ buttons.

Furthermore, you’re readily available to customers who have questions. Plus, you promptly resolve any hassles and ensure products arrive on time.

Surely, there’s nothing that could leave the customer feeling unfulfilled. It seems like you’ve put plenty of forethought into delivering the optimal experience.

The answer is you didn’t do anything ‘wrong.’ However, it’s generally an over-the-top customer experience that leads to positive reviews. While ensuring repeat business means going that extra inch and adding a cherry on top.

Unfortunately, when a customer receives a package that leaves them with feelings of the infamous “wrap rage,” it dampens their overall outlook. It’s the very last detail to worry about, and it seems so simple.

Yet, it’s all too common for frustrated customers to tear and thrash away at cumbersome plastic clamshell packaging. Then, there are those infuriating boxes with dozens of metal twist ties. Lastly, everybody has had their battles with the “package-ception,” where eternal layers of packaging exist within the packages.

Realistically, there’s no need for this kind of elaborate setup. Consumers want to receive something that requires minimal struggle while unpackaging. Not a process that makes them grit their teeth and pull out their hair.

Why the ‘Little’ Things Matter

Customer reviews on Amazon are uniquely powerful. For instance, research suggests that 64% of purchases in the technology section are based upon the reviews and ratings of the product. In turn, this leads to higher rankings, and therefore, an increase in brand reach.

Also, positive customer feedback helps sellers win the “Buy Box,” which is the gold standard on Amazon.

So, as a seller on Amazon, why not do everything in your power to give customers an undeniably pleasant experience from beginning to end? Leaving no stone unturned increases drastically the chance of a customer writing a review. Whereas, doing every single thing correctly up until the customer has to open up their product is akin to fumbling the ball at the goal line. The last impression of your services will be negative.

That’s not to say customers will leave a negative review without Frustration-Free Packaging. Just, it decreases the chances that you’ll receive a review at all. Such an oversight might mean a lost opportunity at word of mouth marketing. To add some context, a 10% increase in word-of-mouth translates into a sales jump between 0.2 – 1.5%.

Reducing Waste

One of Amazon’s main goals with Frustration-Free Packaging was to reduce waste by exclusively utilizing 100% recyclable packaging.

Clear-plastic inlays and Styrofoam are two of many kinds of wasteful materials that this practice removes from the packaging equation. Plus, the packages are much sleeker, smaller, and compact.

We live in socially conscious times, where many customers want to be environmentally responsible. In fact, 87% of consumers have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues.

That’s a large segment of the market who’ll appreciate that your business isn’t contributing to the growing global waste problem.

Since the Frustration-free packaging program’s inception, it has evolved into an array of impressive initiatives designed to optimize packaging. The program isn’t just big talk or manufactured PR. Amazon is walking the walk. Through the first 5 years of the program, Amazon kept 25 million pounds of waste out of landfills. And in 2017 alone, the company helped packaging waste decrease by 16%. 

Lastly, as we mentioned in the introduction, Amazon worked extensively with industry experts to ensure this waste-conscious form of packaging still offers maximum product protection.

The Nuts and Bolts of Frustration-Free Packaging

Frustration-free packaging is the automatic selection for a growing list of products on Amazon. However, you can also offer the option of either Frustration-Free Packaging or regular packaging. In many cases, packing frustration-free actually costs less, so it’s an economical choice as well.

Amazon has recently added new rules to their shipping policy regarding Frustration-Free Packaging. 

Namely, as of August this year, all items exceeding the size of 18″ x 14″ x 8″ or 20 lbs must be designed and certified as ready-to-ship (Tier 1 – FFP or Tier 2 – SIOC) within their Frustration-Free Packaging programs.

It’s Time to Remove Frustration and Waste from Packaging

As an Amazon seller, you need to do everything in your power to enhance the customer experience. That includes removing any irritation from your product packaging.

Allowing your customers to fall into a fit of ‘wrap rage’ might sour them to your products before they even try them out.

Also, like any businessperson, you should maintain some level of environmental responsibility. With Frustration-Free Packaging, you’ll not only give a boost to your ethical practices but also show customers you care about the world in which they live.