As customers, we all know that excitement when a package finally arrives. One of the best parts of online shopping is opening the box and seeing your purchases. But when the box is hard to open or filled with hard-to-open plastic packaging or a ton of unnecessary bubble wrap, it can make the entire experience irritating, also known as wrap-rage.
Learn more about how your packaging, and other reverse logistics decisions, can affect your growth in the Future of Reverse Logistics
Frustration-free packaging is one of ecommerce companies’ concerns lately, because it can boost customer retention and increase revenue. The design of product packaging has been shown to create a positive first impression around your brand’s identity.
In this blog, we’ll cover how to:
- Save time and money with frustration-free packaging
- Qualify for Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging program
- Use sustainability for your benefit
- Simplify the returns process
Save time and money with frustration-free packaging
Many ecommerce businesses face a variety of issues when it comes to packaging. These include:
- Too much material, leading to excess waste and heavier packages.
- Barcodes and regulations that are hard to find, slowing down the packages’ journey through distribution centers.
- Difficult to open, causing customers to become frustrated.
With this in mind, many are changing their packaging materials and design for their products. Big-name chains, like Amazon, have even founded frustration-free packaging programs, which have certain rules and regulations companies must meet in order to become Amazon sellers. Reducing your packaging waste will benefit both you and your customers.
Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging program
Amazon’s Frustration-Free packaging (FFP) program started in 2008 to make it easy for customers to remove their products from the packaging. It started with toys and grew quickly from there. For the program, the optimum customer experience must include packaging that is protective, cost-effective, easy to open and low waste. Their guidelines are a great inspiration for Shopify stores who are looking to move toward more frustration-free packaging.
Frustration-free packaging must be made from 100% curb recycling material and meet all applicable packaging regulations. Packages that use corrugated paper, paper, and plastic materials qualify as frustration-free packaging under Amazon’s Frustration-Free packaging program. Additionally, the ink from the printing or processing shouldn’t affect the recyclability.
Additionally, frustration-free packaging should ship in it’s own container (instead of a box within a box). Packages should not go over 18” x 14” x 8.25” or 50 cm x 35.6 cm x 21 cm, and products should not weigh more than 20 pounds. The package can’t contain extra materials such as wire ties, inserts or packing peanuts.
Using sustainability for your benefit
Sustainability is at the forefront of most customers’ minds these days. A 2022 survey found that 78% of consumers made their decision of who to shop with based on a business’ environmental practices. Using FFP will increase positivity around your brand, strengthening customer retention and brand loyalty. Getting creative with your product’s packaging can make your brand unique and create singular unboxing experiences.
For example, Seed, a direct-to-consumer retailer that sells probiotic supplements decided to use packaging made from mushrooms that dissolve in water. Not only was this unique, but it connected to their consumer’s eco-friendly values.
Amazon has cut back 33% of its packaging weight by cutting out one million tons of packaging material waste. But eliminating waste doesn’t mean you have to lower quality standards.
There are many corrugated box options that don’t add weight and can be recycled. Double-walled corrugated boxes are perfect for more fragile items, which will prevent damaged products during transport.
For smaller or more delicate items like jewelry or electronics, you can use padded mailers. For extra protection, you can add recyclable paper. For lighter goods that aren’t delicate, poly mailers are a great option. There are also zero-waste alternatives available. You can also go the custom route and create a truly branded experience. By extending your brand to the packaging itself, whether that means printing on the box with a special font or including unique packaging on the inside, like eco-friendly paper, you can boost positivity around shoppers’ overall experience.
Creating simplified packaging can improve a buyer’s experience. According to Amazon’s Frustration-free Packaging requirements, the recipient should be able to open the packaging and take the item out in less than 120 seconds. Many shoppers get frustrated when they have to struggle with a box cutter just to get the product out of the plastic box that they’ve been eagerly waiting for. Use simple techniques like a box with a simple adhesive strip or (for more fragile items), strategically placed cardboard that protects the items inside. This will uphold your brand’s product value, while at the same time, make it easier for the shopper to remove the item quickly. It might take some research or trial and error, but in the long run, it will save your company hassle and improve positivity around your brand.
Simplify the returns process
Packing logistics can also improve the returns process. Creating packaging that can be repurposed for a returned product is a great way to save on materials (for both you and the shopper), while also being eco-friendly. You can also skip a step by making it easy for shoppers to drop their return off at a drop-off center without the hassle of repackaging the item. This step can be a source of friction and prevent customers from going through the extra step of actually returning the item. All the buyer needs to do is bring a QR code to be scanned and then they’re on their way!
Some drop-off centers are able to issue refunds or store credits as soon as the item is scanned. For Amazon, many customers can return products to stores like Kohl’s, Whole Foods Market, UPS Store or Amazon store.
Loop can help your brand automate returns by letting shoppers initiate the returns themselves, then ship it back in the way that works best for them, whether by sending it on their own or dropping off the product at a drop-off location without needing to repackage the item. This helps you build a delightful. frustration-free customer experience through the entire customer journey – including the returns process.