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Ecommerce packaging at its user-friendly best
Inner packaging comprises a corrugated sheet and sturdy shrink film.

Ecommerce packaging at its user-friendly best

A recent delivery from Amazon went beyond frustration free because it also used efficient packaging that resulted in a highly satisfying user experience.

Amazon boasts Frustration-Free Packaging for many of its items and that’s exactly what I experienced with a delivery a couple weeks ago that impressed me in several ways reflective of the innovative, patented packaging used.

The order involved a cartoned air-vent deflector and two packs of pens that were stapled together. The entire package consisted of three materials: An outer box and an inner corrugated sheet with shrink film.

My experience started with opening of the shipping box that had a pre-perforated backside with an easy-to-grab opening tab (shown below). That triangular flap opened amazingly smoothly along the perforations—not always a given with perforations—so the entire box side was accessible. For packaging geeks, the outer box, manufactured by RockTenn (now WestRock), has is an Edge Crust Test of 26lb.

The open box side revealed a shrink-wrapped corrugated sheet that bundled and secured the contents. The inner packaging (shown above) slid easily out of the box, permitting access to the contents that notably were removed without the use of a scissors or knife.

Patented packaging

It was such a nifty package that I wasn’t surprised that it was patented. The outer shipping box was marked with U.S. Patent No. 8,186,513. An online search revealed the patent was granted in May 2012. Two key points from the patent:

  1. Box constructions suitable for packaging, storing and transporting small objects including flat rectangular objects of any size such as books, CD's, DVD's, and the like.
  2. It has been found that the two-piece carton design of this invention reduces the need for a large carton blank inventory since it allows for the use of one set of blanks for cartoning a multitude of product sizes, provides secure packaging for shipment without product damage and without the need for extra protective dunnage and lends itself to high speed automation for the increased volumes that today's direct-to-consumer fulfillment industry requires.

Wrap-up of key points

I’ve been a user of Amazon for a while and this was the first time that I noticed this packaging format, though it’s possible it’s been in use for some months.  In any event, here were the highlights of a package opening process that was silky smooth from start to finish:

  • No scissors, knife or other cutting tool was needed for any step start-to-finish including separation of the shrink film;
  • No pressure-sensitive tape of any kind was used in any of the packaging;
  • After use, it was so convenient to separate the film for disposal and to recycle the corrugated portions of box and pad.

Two thumbs up to Amazon and its packaging vendors on an all-around satisfying experience!

We’d like to hear of your own ecommerce experience to share, whether favorable or not.  Please respond in the comment box below or send me an email at


Interested in packaging innovation? You’ll find two days of packaging conferences and aisles jam-packed with market-expanding ideas at WestPack 2016, Feb. 9-11, in Anaheim, CA.


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