Would you pick up a book from a library shelf, if the cover was plain, dull and uninviting?
How would you feel if your mate appeared in an important date in a embarrassing, unacceptable outfit?
Annoyed, disturbed, disappointed at least, right?
If you nod your head at the moment, it’s time to turn your attention to the package of your product, as your potential amazon sellers would feel EXACTLY the same, when they check your product images just to see a booooring package, or even worse, when they receive the product they bought,with their hard earned money, in a teared box or a dusty poly bag.
Feeling the cringe?
Hopefully yes; and as an Amazon seller you should make sure that your customers won’t feel the same when they lay their hands on your product!
YOUR PRODUCT PACKAGE SHOULD BE CAREFULLY DESIGNED WITH 3 GOALS IN MIND
- MEET AMAZON’S REQUIREMENTS
- PLEASE- IMPRESS YOUR CUSTOMERS
- PROMOTE YOUR BRAND AND BUSINESS
IMPORTANT: If you are looking at the big picture, all 3 goals are equally important and none should be left behind!
GOAL #1 – MEET AMAZON’S REQUIREMENTS
This is definitely the first and most important thing your product package should achieve: to be accepted in Amazon’s warehouse!
After all those days waiting for your product to be ready, the last thing you want to hear in that something has slipped your attention and Amazon cannot accept your inventory.
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As it is clearly mentioned in their guidelines:
Important: Failure to comply with FBA product preparation requirements, safety requirements, and product restrictions may result in the refusal of inventory at the Amazon fulfillment center, disposal or return of inventory, blocking of future shipments to the fulfillment center, or charging for preparation or for noncompliance at the fulfillment center.
To save yourself precious time, money and effort you should ensure that Amazon will never reach out to you for any of the reasons mentioned in the above statement.
FIRST OF ALL: Identify in which category your product belongs to
Amazon provides different guidelines for packaging, depending on the product you are selling, with the most popular categories being:
- Packaging adult products
- Packaging baby products
- Packaging batteries
- Packaging glass ceramic breakable and fragile units
- Packaging jewelry
- Packaging pellets, powders, and granular products
- Packaging Plexiglas
- Packaging Plush Units
- Packaging sharp units
- Packaging Small Products
- Packaging apparel, fabric, and textiles
- Packaging Products Containing Liquids
As you can understand, different product need to be packed and shipped in different ways.
It goes without saying that you should carefully check your category and carefully follow all the regulations while your product is still being manufactured, just to supervise this process and make sure that everything has been taken care of before your products arrived in the FBA warehouse.
Below you can check the most popular/ common requirements that apply to the majority of products and you should always keep in mind:
- Having an overall durable package that won’t be easily teared. Or as Amazon states “Must not collapse when medium pressure is applied to any of the sides…”
Make sure your packaged Units can pass a 3-foot drop test onto a hard surface without breaking. A drop test consists of five drops:
–Flat on base
–Flat on top
–Flat on longest side
–Flat on shortest side
–On a corner
- Poly bags with a 5″ opening or larger (measured when flat) are required to have a suffocation warning, either printed on the bag itself, or attached as a label.
- Products sold as sets should have “a label to the Unit that clearly states that the products are to be received and sold as a single Unit.”
For example, “Sold as set”, “Ready to Ship”, or “This is a set. Do not separate.”
- Products that expire must include the expiration date on the master carton in 36+ point font and on the individual Units. Lot numbers alone are insufficient. Expiration dates must be displayed in the format MM-DD-YYYY or MM-YYYY.
- According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, every product “imported into the U.S. shall be marked with its country of origin.”. In simple words, yes, you should always add the “Made In China” disclaimer in your product package!
- Any product MUST have an FNSKU code printed or stickered on it, as that is the only product identification number that Amazon accepts!
And now that’s important, and as amazon’s states:
Note: Your products should be sent to FBA with a scannable bar code and ready to be fulfilled. Any products that require additional prep or labeling upon receipt at the Amazon fulfillment center will experience a delay in receiving and may be subject to charging for preparation or for noncompliance.
If you are manufacturing products and selling exclusively on Amazon, then your product just needs the FNKSU code printed on it to be scanned by Amazon’s system.
If you selling wholesale or if you are launching your existing products on Amazon, those should already have an UPC or EAN code printed on them. Even in this case, that code needs to be covered by an FNSKU sticker, as only one bar code should be visible on your product.
The most cost-effective and hassle free-way to deal with Amazon identification codes, is to add the FNSKU code on your package right away!
How can you get your FNSKU Code? Easy-peasy:
Amazon Seller Central > Manage Inventory > Click Edit On Your Listing > Choose “Print Item Labels”
Once you click on that, you will receive a PDF file with a barcode and an Identification Number, like the example below:
This FNSKU code, or Amazon Barcode as it is usually named, is just what you need to send to your manufacturer to be added on your product!
For a more detailed guide on how to create your listing and get the FNSKU Code, just click here!
I hope you are not tired already from reading about requirements, as there are more to come!
According to Amazon:
“All other barcodes on the package must be covered, including the manufacturer barcode. Failure to do so can cause delays in processing and may result in unplanned prep service fees.
- Put the correct barcode on each item.
- Cover all other visible barcodes.
- Place the barcode on the outside of any prep materials.
- Do not place the barcode on a curve or corner of the package.
- Allow 0.25 inch between the edge of the label and the edge of the packaging.
- Ensure that each item in a case pack has an Amazon barcode, and any barcodes on the case have been removed.”
Your manufacturer should already know all those details. Yet, as better safe than sorry, it is highly recommended that you check these extra labeling/printing requirements with your manufacturer to make sure that everything has been successfully arranged!
ATTENTION: If you have a listing with variations -let’s say 3 color variations- a DIFFERENT FNSKU Code is required for each color!
GOAL #2 – IMPRESS YOUR CUSTOMERS
As Phil Rist has said:
“Shopping is a sensory experience.”
When customers add a product in their carts (physically or digitally), they are not just trying to bring another item home. They are having an E X P E R I E N C E from the moment they land on your listing on Amazon, till your product arrives at the front door and they get to hold it in their hands.
People shop because it engages all their senses and it feels extremely good when they touch the product they searched for, spend money on and waited to receive.
You, as a seller, have the unwritten obligation to make your customer feel good and reward them from choosing your product over your competitors’. Not only should your images look great, your description to be engaging and your price to be competitive, but your product package should make them fall in love with your product at the first sight.
If you want to win your customers for life, you have to make them feel good.
And there is no better way to achieve this, other than offering your product in –at least decent, if not awesome- package, that increases the feeling of perceived value!
NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE is happy to receive an item wrapped in a dusty poly bag or a poorly made box.
Any person enjoys looking at a beautiful, well made package as that enhances the “feeling good” sensation that the art of shopping offers!
One example should make this point clear:
Would you rather offer as a present an elegant watch in a plastic bag or a “decent” watch in a beautifully made box?
What would make a better impression to the recipient of the gift? Well, I guess we agree on that!
Set The Bar High – Leave Your Customers Jaw-Dropped, For Your Benefit!
If you believe in the magic of shopping, you should do your best to offer an unforgettable experience to your customer; rest assured that your efforts will be rewarded!
Among dozens of ways to make your product package stand out, you should:
=> Step in your customers’ shoes and consider their needs!
**Selling beauty products? – An elegant pouch to keep the product in place would be great!
**Selling gardening products? – A sturdy package to store the product when not in use would work wonders.
**Selling products in the “adult” category? – A discreet, high end package would do the trick!
=> Ask a graphic design to create a killer package for your product, keeping always in mind your target audience!
Well, your manufacturer could probably provide a plain white boring package for your product, but is this what you are looking for?
The most cost effective way to create an awesome package would be to:
- First contact your supplier and ask them to provide the package templates they usually work with. The simple reason why you should prefer your manufacturer’s template over creating a new one from scratch, is just because you can be 100% sure that they will be able to create that package risk and hassle free! (And definitely at a lower cost too)
The most common packaging options, depending on your product and the supplier are:
- Cardboard folding boxes
- Blister and clamshell packaging
- Bottles with labels
- Clear plastic polybags
- Consider what you want/need to have on your package (which among others should include: the FNSKU barcode, the country of origin, the name of the product, the logo and your brand name). Enrich it with some appealing graphics or images. To keep it budget-friendly, you may keep most of the box white and add some minor colorful details; or just ask your manufacturer what the cost of production would be depending on the packaging method/ design you choose to follow.
- Search for a graphic designer in Fiverr or Upwork, as those are among the most affordable online platforms where you can get a great product package design done for less than $30. If your budget allows, you may consider hiring the designers of the 99 Designs, who are known for creating fascinating packages. Yet, as their rates start at $449, the decision is yours!
=> Add any important product related information in your package!
- If your product consists of more than one item, you can explicitly say in your product package what is included in it, like:
1 x Hair Brush
1 x Hair Conditioner
1 x Hair Shampoo
1 x Hair Clip
1 x Hair Care Tips Leaflet
You may also want to add extra details like: color, size, materials.
- Any certification mark (or conformity mark) looks great in any product and definitely attracts the customer’s attention!
=> Think of creative ways to ADD VALUE in your package!
Adding some helpful copy in the product of your package would cost you NOTHING but would make such a great impression on your customers. This would actually could be the one thing you were looking for to set your private label product apart from all those similar products sold everyday on Amazon!
Depending on your product, that could be:
- A recipe for kitchen-home category products
- Instructions of use for technical products (SUPER important: Great for avoiding bad reviews!)
- Ideas of how to maintain the product’s good conditions (ie. How to wash a towel, how to iron any fabric-made product, how to wash a set of dishes/ cups)
- Tips and tricks on how to enjoy the product to the utmost (ie. Use a watermelon slicer for other fruits or ingredients)
A Devils’ Advocate would ask: Why the hell should I care about my amazon product package? They will throw it away eitherway.
Well, that’s partly true, but take a moment to think of how your business will be benefited by offering an awesome package to your customer:
- You can add the image of your great package in your Amazon Listing. Customers will definitely prefer a product in a beautiful package, ESPECIALLY if the product is a great gift idea.
- Thanks to your great package, you can price your product in a slightly higher price.
- You can use your special package as a great selling point in your listing, like the following seller:
- First impression does matter. A customer left satisfied with the presentation of your product is more likely to leave a positive review on your listing!
- If you provide all the required info on your product package, like instructions, customers are LESS likely to leave a negative review, complaining about such minor things, like in the following real life example:
PRO TIP: If you are not sure about your product package, you can either order a couple of products from your top Amazon competitors, or if you are looking for an even more cost-effective solution, you can simply visit a physical retail store and check similar products and how they are packaged and private labelled by big and trustworthy brands!
GOAL #3 – PROMOTE YOUR BRAND AND BUSINESS
Make Your Social Presence Strong – Get More Sales Effortlessly!
For those sellers who are looking at the long picture and do their best to establish a trustworthy brand that will past the test of time, the following ideas will be rather helpful.
While Amazon has made sure that none seller will get the contact details of any customer, the product package offers you the priceless chance to reach DIRECTLY to your customers and try to engage with them!
Among the easiest ways to do that, is to encourage your customers to follow any of your social media pages, by adding the logos of those networks and your social media names:
Make sure to keep your social media name short and clear like:
You can also add a catchy tagline or any funny saying that may attract your customer’s attention like:
** Check Our Pages – Contact Us Anytime!
** Oh Shoot! Now You Know Our Name, You Should Follow Us!
** Having a Good Time With Your New (product)? Share An Image With Us Like Dozens Have Done Before!
(For once again, your target audience will determine how funny, conservative or bold such taglines should be)
By getting more followers/ friends on your social media you have the amazing opportunity to reach them whenever you wish, without worrying about amazon’s limitations and strict guidelines.
When your customers become your social media friends, you can:
- Promote future products easier
- Offer special coupons and discounts, run promotions
- Ask for reviews or feedback without violating amazon’s guidelines
- Prove to future customers that your brand is trustworthy as hundreds of people follow it
- Easily add them to your email list, which has been proven to be the most valuable marketing tool of all times!
For a super detailed guide on how to build your email list, you can also check this article!
REMEMBER: To keep your customers engaged in your social media pages, you have to post relevant content, helpful articles, funny memes or anything that could attract them!
DO NOT spam them with dozens of posts every day; you will lose them!
Provide Stellar Customer Service – Prevent Negative Reviews
What is an unsatisfied customer’s first reaction?
Hm, possibly post a negative review on Amazon, as that is the only place where he/she can complain or share their opinion about your product.
Well, if on your package you provide contact details as well as a perfectly clear statement showing how much you care about your customers, it is certain that many customers will contact you directly instead of rushing to your listing page, leaving a negative review that will always stay there, hurting your overall sales and rating.
“Contact us ANYTIME, for ANY QUESTIONS. We will be right here to help you, 24/7”
Some Final Notes:
What to add IN my package?
– If your product package is relatively small and cannot fit all those details, or if you just prefer simple packages, you may consider adding some extra details IN your amazon product package.
For products that require detailed use or maintenance instructions, you may add a short card manual or leaflet highlighting those points your customers need to know.
(PLEASE make sure that the instructions are clear and written by a native speaker of English, because you know, 1 star reviews hurt!)
– Adding a Product Insert (also known as Insert Cards), that asks the customer to leave a positive review, offers a coupon code for the next purchase or just thanks the customers for choosing the product is always a good idea, especially if you are interested in building your very own, valuable email list!
The sad paradox about product packages:
This is the FIRST thing a customer will notice upon receiving the product and at the same time this is usually the LAST thing an Amazon seller cares about.
Well, what’s your take on that?