Have you ever come across packaging that was difficult to open, produced too much waste such as excess void fill, or was larger than necessary? Chances are that this type of packaging would not pass the “frustration-free” challenge.
So, what is frustration-free packaging and how can you ensure that your ecommerce packaging is frustration-free? In this article, we will be exploring what the frustration-free challenge is and how it can be used to improve the consumer experience with your brand.
What is frustration-free packaging?
All consumers want is for their product to be shipped with the least amount of packaging material possible whilst being protected from any damage that can occur during transit. The less packaging there is to deal with, the easier it will be for customers to open and dispose of. Nobody wants the extra hassle that comes with dealing with packaging mess – let’s keep that for Christmas Day.
Unfortunately, ecommerce packaging does not always meet this demand as it can often be just a retail-ready package, inside a plain corrugated box, overpacked with air pillows to cushion the blows.
Frustration-free packaging (FFP) is a term that was coined by Amazon to ensure they implemented effective, easy-to-open packaging using recycled materials. The idea of frustration-free packaging does not only benefit consumers as the package will be easier to unpack if it has passed the criteria, but also it is beneficial for manufacturers too. The model simplifies the manufacturers packaging supply chain by eliminating the unnecessary materials, potentially reducing costs, as well as saving them on the time it takes to package a product that has all the extra unneeded materials to pack with it.
What are the frustration-free packaging guidelines?
The frustration-free packaging aim was established to combat pollution, reduce overpacking and improve the customer experience.
The guidelines to meet in order for your package to be frustration-free are:
- The ecommerce packaging needs to be protective against damage: To be frustration-free the packaging must minimise damage in transit. It also should be a rigid six-sided shape (rectangular). Padded mailers and rigid envelopes may be used but six-sided corrugated cartons are preferred. Polybags are not included.
- The ecommerce packaging should be designed to reduce waste: The ecommerce packaging should be the right size and not contain any unnecessary fill or paperwork. This includes shipping without an over box. This can be easily done by going down the route of bespoke packaging where you can design your package to fit the product you wish to ship. At most, 50mm packaging material around non-fragile products can reduce the size of the container box significantly.
- The ecommerce packaging should use recyclable materials: To qualify as frustration-free, the ecommerce packaging should use materials that are 100% recyclable where possible. As curbside recycling varies in the UK, it might be worth providing a recycling guide for your packaging on your website or print clear recycling instructions on your packaging.
- The ecommerce packaging must have no windows and cut-outs: Packaging panels must be flat and free of protrusions, windows, and cut-outs. Access holes are allowed but should not exceed 3”x15.
- The ecommerce packaging should be easy to deliver: Easy to deliver packaging means no frustration, therefore if it can fit in the letterbox this would be considered frustration-free for the consumer.
- The ecommerce packaging should be easy to open: There is nothing more annoying than receiving your delivery, and not being able to get into it easily. For example, by opting for easy-to-open strips your customers will be able to access the contents more easily.
- The ecommerce returns process should be simple: By ensuring that your returns process is quick and simple, will remove the likeliness of customer frustration. Providing packaging that can be re-used for this purpose is also crucial.
What are the benefits of frustration-free packaging?
There are many benefits to re-evaluating your existing packaging for more ecommerce-friendly packaging options. By drawing attention to your more sustainable packaging options, you will be helping to improve a customer’s opinion of your brand. But what are the other benefits?
- Improved customer experience: frustration-free packaging will mean customers will have a happier unboxing experience, as frustration-free packaging should be easy to open.
- Lower packaging costs: Less needs to be spent on buying packaging materials because you should be using less material.
- The supply chain is easier: with reduced package size you will be able to ship more items in one go. No more paying to ship air! Also, with the rectangular shaped box, during transit the packages will have a stronger base for support, and this will ensure an even weight distribution making it easier to stack.
- Less negative impact on the environment: with compact packaging, the packaging material and carbon footprint that comes with manufacturing these materials will be reduced. Also, because there is not a mix of different packaging materials as FFP reduces the amount of packaging fillers used, means there is less waste to deal with and it is easier to sort and recycle.
- Reduced damages and returns: Due to the rectangle shaped box being a stronger base for support, as well as it being made the perfect size for the product inside, you are less likely to be faced with damages and returns. This is because when a box is too large for the product inside, the product is more likely to bash around during the transit process, so FFP will eliminate this problem if done correctly.
Swiftpak and frustration-free packaging
As you can see, frustration-free packaging has many benefits whilst also being a way to help protect the environment. At Swiftpak, we have a variety of rectangle boxes and cartons that are sturdy and tough to ensure maximum protection.
We would also recommend checking out our bespoke packaging solutions, where the goal is to design bespoke packaging that is cost-effective and provides the most efficient packaging possible for your product. This means maximum protection with minimum material in line with the frustration-free packaging guidelines.