Upon visiting Amazon’s front page today, I was shown a message from Amazon about their new initiative, “Frustration-Free Packaging”. We’ve all been there. It’s Christmas morning and the children are crying because they want to play with the new toy but it’s taking an hour to get it out of the box. How many times have you cut yourself trying to open blister packs? And think of all the cardboard, plastic, wire, and other materials that are thrown away.
There are basically two reasons for such packaging. One is to make it difficult for shoplifters to remove items from their packaging in the store. More often, it is for display. Dolls have their hair sewn to the cardboard backing to keep it arranged perfectly. Plastic allows us to see the contents of the package. Ties keep all parts in the pose that will attract attention and sell product.
Of course, neither of those purposes matter for items ordered over the web. You aren’t looking at them on a shelf, and you can’t steal them. Amazon is working with manufacturers to reduce packaging to be environmentally friendly and to improve the customer experience. This is a brilliant move from both a marketing and service perspective. From Amazon’s announcement:
Today, we’re excited to announce the beginning of a multi-year initiative designed to alleviate wrap rage—Amazon “Frustration-Free Packaging.”
Amazon is working with leading manufacturers to deliver products inside smaller, easy-to-open, recyclable cardboard boxes with less packaging material (and no frustrating plastic clamshells or wire ties).
As part of their promotion of this new effort, Amazon is accepting photos and videos from people who have experienced wrap rage.
I can’t imagine the amount of negotiation they must be going through to get manufacturers on board—there are only 19 items thus far—but it is undeniably the right thing to do.