Amazon Product Packaging Design – Here’s What I Learned as an Amateur Amazon Seller

Humans are attracted to anything and everything with a strong visual effect. As a successful entrepreneur, I can vouch for this fact and there’s no two ways about it. When it comes to retail business, you need to take this human trait into consideration because you’ll be dealing with human minds and their decision making tendencies.

How many times did you walk into a grocery store or supermarket with a particular product brand in mind, but walk out with another? While the quality of the products (of similar brands) and their effectiveness would be a matter of debate, there’s no denying the fact that packaging plays a significant role in any product selection, particularly when you’re doing it online. Ecommerce packaging, especially Amazon product packaging design, is beyond just making the box appear attractive to the customers. It’s more like a marketing tool that identifies, protects, designates, and even promotes your brand in a creative way.

As an Amazon seller, you should always remember that a customer’s experience and expectation does not end with placing an order online. In fact, it’s just the beginning of a long-term relationship with your company. Hence, it’s your responsibility to get it right, straight from the beginning. Your product packaging design is a great medium and opportunity to impress your Amazon customers.

Wouldn’t you love to receive something that’s wrapped in a beautiful and attractive box? Your Amazon product packaging design is the first and most effective way to create a strong customer base that comes back to you over and again.

Can Amazon product packaging help boost your sales?

The simple answer to the above question would be Yes. Amazon, in general, has had a powerful influence on a consumer’s buying decisions. This is because of its huge customer reach, credibility, and vast trove of purchase-intent data. Product packaging, amongst many other factors, is a key characteristic to get your brand noticed in Amazon’s search results.

As you might have already noticed, the Amazon results page is highly competitive. When a product ranks in the first page of the search results, it generates around 70-80% of sales. Conversely, when a product ranks in the second or third page, it can draw only 0-10% of the sales. Here lies the secret behind doing business as an Amazon seller. 

So, how do you rank better on Amazon search results and earn more clicks and sales than your competitors? Simple! Give your products a more striking, memorable packaging!

Firstly, Amazon requires all the product images on its platform to be simple and photographed against a white background. Hence, many branding experts believe that certain colors — especially orange, neon green, and blue — look impressive on Amazon.

Additionally, neat, streamlined designs look good and are easy to load on both mobile and desktop devices. This is significant because 53% of online traffic comes from mobile devices alone.

Aside from ranking better on Amazon search results, your product packaging can also help you build better brand recognition. From the Nike swoosh to the Coca-Cola cursive, each of these brand individualities are stronger than any other mode of branding. While not many Amazon sellers have the reach or recognition of these big brands, you can create a unique visual identity to help draw attention and awareness among the audience.

And trust me, much of this brand acknowledgement has to do with your product packaging. Apple, for instance, has exemplary on-brand product packaging. If you’re someone who has ever bought or received an iPhone, you’d probably keep the iPhone box in your cupboard, shelf or drawer. While you possibly won’t do the same for any other smart phone or gadget packaging, the feeling is different in case of Apple products. Such is the power and influence of their packaging design.

The technology giant could just have handed us their products in a plain box with a user manual, but they’ve taken the initiative to give us a sturdy, attractive white packaging with a clean, classy design. It perfectly portrays the ideas of simplicity and sophistication, which are perfectly in sync with Apple’s brand values.

What’s New

One of the best things about shopping on Amazon is the product packaging. From being shipped from a warehouse to arriving at your doorstep, the packaging plays an important role in a customer’s brand experience. Hence, it should look attractive, evoke positive feelings in the customer, and provide them with adequate information about the product.

Amazon, going by their brand standards, has taken the initiative to ensure that their consumers enjoy the best experience possible by packaging every single product with care. They have also launched their new packaging design, which they have been working on since 2013. In June 2021, Amazon declared an expansion of its Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) program. Today, we notice some ingenious packaging designs — for example reversible, inside-printed packaging boxes.

The company provides its customers with the convenience to receive their items in either recyclable or compostable packaging materials that are easier to unbox and don’t require any additional tools. As for the cardboard boxes, they can be used for a zillion things, including re-shipping and storing daily essentials around the house. This new design was apparently created with focus on sustainability, aiming to remove the excess packaging that is often common with other retailers.

Amazon Product Packaging Types

There are different types of Amazon packaging, including:

  • Paper bags
  • T-folder boxes
  • Padded mailers
  • Cartons
  • Containers
  • Sacks
  • Cases
  • Drums
  • Sturdy, grooved boxes for heavy items such as electronic gadgets.

Amazon Packaging Dos and Don’ts

As a seller, you need to abide by several rules and regulations on Amazon, the product packaging requirements being one of them. Before you start with your product packaging design, it’s important to know Amazon’s policies regarding what you can and cannot do. Aside from an attractive design and product-specific information, there are also certain things that your products must include in order to be sold on Amazon.

1. FNSKU

Amazon Product Packaging Design – Here’s What I Learned as an Amateur Amazon Seller

The FNSKU or Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit is a scannable label that is accessible by Amazon’s fulfillment network staff and robots to efficiently discover, pick, parcel, and ship your products. The FNSKU can be simply downloaded while setting up your product, which can be shared with the suppliers to facilitate an organized inventory system. If your product comes with a barcode, it is mandatory to print the FNSKU over the barcode.

2. ‘Country of Origin’

Aside from the regular guidelines for every product, the U.S. Customs requires all imported goods to have a prominent ‘Country of Origin’ on their packaging and often on the products themselves.

3. Specific legal requirements

Some types of products have specific legal guidelines for their packaging. For instance, toys must have appropriate age ranges mentioned on the carton. For cosmetics and crockeries, there must be a “handle with care” sticker pasted on it.

Here’s how to learn about the specific legal/trading requirements for your product:

  • Research online. You can do a quick online search for the product rules in your category. For example, reliable websites like nist.gov can give information regarding your packaging requisites. Amazon also gives details on product packaging requirements for their fulfillment centers.
  • Study your competitors. Perhaps the easiest and most economical way to find out about your product’s specific legal requirements is to buy and inspect items similar to the ones you’re selling. Typically, your competitors will abide by all the Amazon packaging requirements.
  • Consult a Logistics Professional. You can also consult a logistics or customs company, such as Freightos or Flexport. While this might be an expensive way to find out your legal requisites, it’s a reliable way to ensure that the information you have is accurate. Your supplier may also assist you with correct information.

5 Must-Dos for your Amazon Product Packaging Design

Once you’ve confirmed that your product packaging abides by Amazon’s requirements and Terms of Service, you can now focus on its visual appeal and other branding aspects. Here’s what you must consider:

1. Decipherable Design

As a seller, you’d want to keep things simple and comprehendible. Consumers feel connected and secure when the information about a product is simple to read and understandable. This goes for your product listing as well as your Amazon product packaging. The idea is to keep things simple and not clutter your packaging with excessive or irrelevant content. There shouldn’t be any room for confusion. This can make your customers choose another similar brand for their requirements.

2. Outer Appeal

When it comes to product packaging, aesthetics is the king. More than 100 million products are for sale on Amazon. The competition is incredibly fierce and you need to make sure that your product packaging pops out in the crowd. Think how you can make people stop scrolling on Amazon and click on your product.

Color, for example, is one of the most crucial factors in the success of your packaging. Choosing the right shades can make your products appear more genuine and trustworthy. Always choose your packaging colors as per the standards of the market. For example, yellow and green are colors of health and positivity, and often used by the sports and organic food industry. Black, on the other hand, is often used by premium cosmetic brands like Elian Russia, Charlotte Mensah and many more. A renowned branding agency like DesignBro can help you with your Amazon product packaging design – something that’s both attractive and in sync with Amazon’s requirements.

3. Contact Details

Although this is no longer mandatory for businesses registered with Amazon, it is always beneficial and recommendable to give customers your official contact details. When a business’s contact details are readily available, it is a strong sign that a company is open to communication with its customers.

4. Product Inserts

Customized product inserts are an excellent way for the Amazon sellers to do proactive marketing and provide customer service opportunities. These inserts are nothing but small pieces of paper or cards containing marketing material about your products/services, often requesting reviews and seller feedback. They often serve as a direct follow-up on your behalf, directing customers to your website and social media pages. These tokens also offer a great opportunity to acknowledge your customers with an emotional message and familiarize them with other products sold by your company.

5. Prioritize Customer Convenience

How many of you would love to open layers and layers of product packaging after receiving a parcel? This would also be an added nuisance for someone who is environmentally conscious and detests paper wastage. Hence, you should always ensure minimal packaging that supports consumer convenience and environment protection. Ergonomic designs that facilitate easy yet sturdy packaging can exponentially improve your customers’ product unwrapping experience.

For example, when Heinz (an American food processing company) changed the packaging for its ketchup range in 2002, sales shot up by a surprising 6 percent. The inverted bottle, along with a vacuum cap, made it easier for the consumers to handle the product. The flipped packaging also prevented formation of crust around the lid.

3 Big Nos for Your Amazon Product Packaging

As a novice Amazon seller, I committed dozens of mistakes with my product packaging that cost me a lot. It was only with time and experience that I got to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Here are a few big Don’ts to consider for your Amazon product packaging design.

1. Using manipulative language to gain reviews

Appealing to your customers with emotional messages like “we are a small, household business”, or that they should “only support American sellers”, and then requesting them for a product review is considered manipulative or scheming as per Amazon’s terms of service. Violating any rule set by the company can lead to suspension or permanent closure of your account, which means zero sales.

2. Encouraging incentive feedback

While you can definitely ask for feedback in your product insert, you must be very careful regarding the language you use for your request. Instead of asking for positive feedback and reviews, try to say neutral. For example, say “We would love to hear your experience with us” instead of “We would be obliged if you could give us a positive review”. Aside from going against Amazon’s Terms of Service, such biased requests sound wrong and unprofessional.

Also, you are prohibited from incentivizing feedback with free coupons or discounts. Of course you can offer coupons or discounts, but not in lieu of a positive review or feedback. Your customer must judge your products neutrally before giving a review. The idea is to keep the trading process transparent and fair.

3. Leading customers elsewhere

One thing that you certainly cannot do is try and deviate customers away from Amazon. While it might be more profitable to lead customers to your own site, if you’re selling something on Amazon, your packaging insert has to go by Amazon’s Terms of Service. This means no ‘call to action’ words or phrases that drive them away, including your social media handles and store email.

Final Thoughts on Amazon product packaging

Product packaging is an integral part of Amazon’s unrivaled business model. While any ecommerce packaging is easily ignored by the end customers, it can eventually make a huge impact when it comes to consumer satisfaction and retention. This goes for all businesses operating on Amazon, particularly those that are launching a private label and building a brand with long-term goals in mind. Everyone looks forward to an unboxing experience, and it’s definitely advisable to not let go of this golden opportunity. What’s more, if your customers love unboxing your products, they’re likely to share it with their network of friends and acquaintances.

While outer appeal is important, one should also consider a packaging design that will be easy to handle. It should be convenient to open, reuse or even dispose. Even the slightest change in design can make an enormous difference in how consumers perceive and recommend your products. Lastly but most importantly, don’t make the mistake of choosing any random color or design for your Amazon packaging. Always seek help from skilled designers who know the ins and outs of every industry.

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