Green is the new black, not on Fashion Avenue, but on Wall St. Everyday, companies announce new green policies intended to reduce their carbon footprint. In August, Amazon introduced Amazon Green, a conglomeration of all the environmentally friendly products available on Amazon and tips for leading a greener life.
Interest in Amazon Green jumped in November with the debut of Frustration Free Packaging. The premise behind the new Frustration-Free packaging is to simplify product packaging by reducing the amount of material used and the amount of time need to open the items. Frustration-Free Packages are recyclable, designed to be opened without box cutters, and can often double as the shipping box, eliminating the need for an additional box. They also do away with cumbersome hard plastic casing and endless twist ties. In order to accomplish this, Amazon partners directly with manufactures to replace traditional packaging with Frustration-Free boxes as part of the production process.
To illustrate the point, Amazon uses the Fisher-Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship to compare the two methods. The featured video shows that it takes over 11 minutes to unwrap the toy from its traditional packaging, versus just 44 seconds from the Frustration-Free version.
According to the product page, the Frustration-Free packaging "eliminates 36 inches of wire ties, 1,576.5 square inches of package inserts, and 36.1 square inches of printed carton materials. Also eliminated are 175.25 square inches of PVC blisters, 3.5 square inches of ABS molded styrene, and two plastic fasteners." That is a lot of unnecessary material that more often then not ends up in the garbage!
Amazon currently offers Frustration-Free packaging for 19 versions of 10 products manufactured by Fisher-Price, Mattel, Microsoft, and Transcend. In December, 584,000 shoppers looked at these items. Of the 1.5 million product pages viewed, over 60% were for the Frustration-Free variety of those products. When looking at the items individually, 7 out of 10 were viewed more often in their new Frustration-Free packaging than in their traditional packaging.
Frustration-Free packaging seems to be resonating with Amazon shoppers, and I am sure interest will only increase as Amazon rolls out this option for more products. Until then, please try to control your "wrap rage."
Debra Miller Arbesman is senior associate, retailer and consumer products at Compete, a Kantar Media company that helps brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers.