12.12.18 // Heritage Paper
Major retailers continue to take the lead on reducing packaging waste, shrinking carbon footprints and encouraging the use of recyclable materials. However, that’s also led to a dizzying array of new e-commerce packaging guidelines.
The good news is that a creative packaging design team can help you successfully navigate through all these demands.
Retail giant Walmart, for example, has long required its suppliers to adopt a series of packaging reduction strategies. Most recently, the retailer recently released its updated Sustainable Packaging Playbook, intended to help its suppliers improve their packaging sustainability index score while reducing their overall cost of goods.
For the e-commerce side of its business, Walmart is even rescaling its operations to include more box sizes to avoid oversized boxes, a major concern among its customers.
As for Amazon, the largest single online retailer in the U.S. with its 49 percent market share of all e-commerce sales, the online behemoth is also taking a leadership role in creating its own set of packaging guidelines.
Amazon recently updated its Frustration Free Packaging Program to require full certification by August 2019 for any Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) that exceeds certain dimensions.
This new guideline entails ASIN item package dimensions greater than 18″ x 14” x 8″ or 20 lbs. or more (based on Amazon’s Non-Sort network which includes any packaged item with its longest side more than 18″, or its shortest side more than 8″, or its median side more than 14″ or 20 lbs. or more).
Amazon’s latest guidelines are intended to reduce overpacking, increase curbside recycling, reduce damages and ultimately reduce costs for their vendors and customers.
Amazon has even incentivized its vendors by offering a credit/unit until August 2019 to cover the costs of packaging transitions and redesign. Amazon’s Frustration Free Packaging Program also seeks to eliminate “wrap rage” that involves packaging like those seemingly impossible-to-open clamshells which are also very difficult to recycle.
And while, Amazon is discouraging some types of standard retail packaging — such as oversized boxes with windows, clamshells and even packaging with fancy four-color and other premium marketing graphics — that doesn’t mean you need to relegate your product to a brown box with corrugated inserts.
There remain many creative packaging design options available to upgrade the appearance of bracing and protective materials. For example, working with our partner Sealed Air Corporation (an Amazon Frustration Free Packaging Program-certified vendor), we utilize a product called Korrvu® packaging to secure and protect items.
With a unique film/paper system, we can get very creative with enhanced graphics and incorporating unique outer structures. Indeed, many options exist to enhance your packaging, present a premium image to your customers and remain in compliance with Amazon’s packaging certifications.
Good packaging design for e-commerce can protect your product from damage all the way to the consumer, be thoughtful about sustainability concerns, and even provide an exciting unboxing experience for the consumer.
And creative packaging design structure, along with simple, but effective graphics, can meet both Amazon’s standards and deliver on your marketing goals.
At Heritage Paper, our design philosophy centers on delivering impactful packaging that will differentiate you from your competition, ensure product protection throughout the distribution channel and do so with a minimum amount of packaging.
We admit that the direct-to-consumer e-commerce does present a few packaging design challenges. But rest assured, we’re confidently designing for this market every day. That means you’re in highly capable hands.
Learn how Heritage can help you meet retailer packaging guidelines by scheduling a consultation with our creative packaging experts today.