Yesterday, Amazon sent letters to thousands of brand-owner vendors affected by a new packaging program. So if you were wondering whether to design or redesign your packaging for the ecommerce channel, this might help you decide.
To help reduce packaging waste and improve efficiency of ecommerce shipping for its vendors, Amazon will require that select products being sold and fulfilled by Amazon arrive in its fulfillment centers in certified packaging under its Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) program. This means that the packaging does not require any shipping preparation or an overbox to be applied. The vendor will retain its own branding on the shipment.
The deadline to certify is Aug. 1, 2019. The program offers an incentive to vendors, a generous one-time early adopter credit “to assist in the transitions costs;” after that date, there is an ongoing chargeback for every package not certified.
For those of you who lived through the disruption of Walmart’s Packaging Scorecard in 2006, this might feel like déjà vu all over again. But the environment is different now, literally and figuratively. Brands are learning to leverage innovation in ecommerce packaging—four of the 10 Diamond Award finalists in Dow’s 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation were for ecommerce packages. Just as the Packaging Scorecard spurred needed advancement in sustainable packaging that the entire industry benefitted by, this Amazon program has the potential to do the same for fast-growing ecommerce distribution.