Passion for Packaging Innovation

Amazon and other retailers continue driving frustration-free packages


Clam-shell packages, and other hard to open packages designed to eliminate shrinkage in retail outlets have been the source of increasing consumer complaints in recent years. Most of them require tools such as scissors or box cutters to open. They are almost impossible to open without tools.

In a recent article, the NY Times reports that every year 6,000 Americans head over to emergency rooms because of injuries related to hard-to-open packages. Since the leading internet retailer Amazon does not have a brick and mortar store front to worry about inventory shrinkage, it has been pushing for easier to open packages, under a ‘frustration-free’ package drive.

Other companies are also joining in, like Sony, Microsoft, and Best Buy. There is, however, rather limited information available as how these companies are comparing different package designs to improve their usability. Questions remain as to how they assess other parts of package functionality, as for most of these companies, this is not a core-competency area. While companies like Microsoft may have large groups of usability professionals working for them, it is likely that they have been outsourcing package design and usability assessment work as computer usability and package usability have little in common, stemming from the fact that involved products, considered purchase products, one-use products, and low involvement products tend to have different usability perspectives.

Head over to NY Times for the their recent article.

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