Whether you buy items from the store or online, some product packaging can make opening it an extremely frustrating experience.
Amazon offers a wide array of products featured in something called frustration-free packaging, but what exactly does this term mean?
Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon frustration-free packaging and how it works to make life easier for customers.
What is Frustration-Free Packaging?
The term frustration-free packaging refers to items that are sold online via Amazon and shipped to the consumer. This packaging keeps the product inside safe during shipping to prevent it from becoming damaged while still being easy to open.
In most cases, this type of packaging comes in a smaller box that holds lightweight items. The boxes are extremely easy to open, resulting in a better customer experience while also reducing excess waste.
Retailers and sellers enrolled in the FFP (Frustration-Free Packaging) program use 100% recyclable packing materials. This means that you’re not just getting a better experience, but you’re also helping to contribute to a cleaner environment.
Amazon introduced this type of packaging over ten years ago to help lower costs, reduce waste, and ensure happy customers. Thousands of sellers are now part of the program which includes offering more sustainable packaging options like moving smaller items from cardboard boxes to slim recyclable mailers.
The selection of boxes used to ship Amazon items is now more appropriate based on an item’s weight and size. This has resulted in the elimination of hundreds of thousands of tons of wasted packaging materials.
Certification of Packaging for Amazon Sellers
In order to offer this type of packaging to customers, sellers on Amazon must be certified. Once you’re listed as certified frustration free packaging, you can begin to include this information on your listing so consumers can clearly see that you’re part of the program.
Amazon has been offering this option since 2015, but there are new guidelines put in place as of 2021. There are several steps that must be followed in order for sellers to qualify for the program.
To start, you’ll need to find out the dimensions of your product while it’s in the current packaging. The total length, width, and height of the item and its packaging should be measured and recorded.
Amazon SKUs cannot be heavier than 20 pounds, and they cannot be larger than 18″ x 14′ x 8″. That’s why measuring your product first is such an important step.
The next step in the process involves improving your current packaging design so that it’s ready and able to ship in its own container. As the size of your packaging is reduced, the more incentives you’ll receive from Amazon.
There are two types of certification for this type of packaging: Tier 1 FFP and Tier 2 SIOC. You can get more information about the individual certification requirements directly from Amazon. They also offer access to packaging design agencies in the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier (APASS) network.
In some cases, vendors will need to eliminate or reduce the use of non-recyclable materials like styrofoam and other things that are not curbside recyclable. Other factors include how products are oriented inside the packaging to protect them while saving space and excess material usage.
To be certified for this type of packaging, it also has to pass a special physical performance test. For any product that is not fragile or liquid, sellers can perform a self-testing drop sequence. The test reports must be submitted to Amazon for review.
Anything that is considered fragile such as glass, ceramic, clay, or liquid must undergo the ISTA-6A test. This test is required via the Amazon packaging lab, or you may use a third-party lab.
During performance testing, the lab will simulate the journey of a package and how it moves through the Amazon Fulfillment Network. The goal is to determine how to retain and improve the customer experience.
More Frustration-Free Packaging Requirements
After all of the previous requirements have been met, it’s time to measure the new dimensions of your certified packaging. You’ll do the exact same thing you did prior by measuring the outer dimensions of the product in its new packaging.
Record the measurements and use the calculator to determine what your incentive amount will be. It’s important to note that anything you ship that can easily be damaged will need extra space for padding to keep the item protected in transit.
Make sure that you upload your new certification to Amazon’s Vendor Central. This ensures that your information is securely stored in the database and serves as proof that you are now officially certified to offer frustration-free packaging to customers.
While it seems like a daunting process, being able to offer this option is a great thing not just for the environment, but also for Amazon vendors. You’ll be able to reduce waste, make your customers happy, and make some extra money in the process.
If you are an Amazon vendor, consider getting certified to offer frustration-free packaging to your customers. Not only will this option make packages easier to open, but it will also reduce excess waste and put some extra money in your pocket.
Make sure that you check the Amazon guidelines frequently to ensure that you’re able to certify your packaging according to the current rules.
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