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Grow Online – Make Your Package Amazon-Friendly

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The fact that e-commerce and Amazon are growing is not news. But the scale of the numbers is startling. 

According to reports by Internet Retailer, e-commerce expansion accounted for more than 40% of all retail growth in the US in 2016. And Amazon alone accounted for almost 50% of this e-commerce growth. In 2016, Amazon reached $80B in revenue in North America and $136B worldwide, up 27% from 2015. Nearly half the US population lives within 20 miles of an Amazon fulfillment center.

From a valuation standpoint, Amazon is worth more than most other retailers combined. These numbers make Amazon too large and important to ignore. 

Amazon curates its own offering of what it sells. But companies can also participate in this juggernaut by joining the Amazon Marketplace, where third-party sellers enjoy Amazon's huge traffic stream by having their products appear in Amazon's product listings. About half of Amazon’s global volume is sold by Marketplace sellers. Further, Amazon Marketplace sellers can choose to have Amazon fulfill products through a service called Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA). The benefits of this are that Amazon holds the inventory, handles shipping and returns, and makes the products Amazon Prime eligible. (Being on the Marketplace and using FBA comes at a charge, of course.)

But not all products are eligible for this Fulfillment By Amazon. Some products are prohibited (like hazardous materials or alcoholic beverages) and others have specific packaging rules that must be met. 

Products containing pellets, powders, or granular substances must be able to withstand a 3-foot drop test without the contents of the container leaking or spilling. The drop test consists of five drops: flat on base, flat on top, flat on longest side, flat on shortest side, and on a corner. If the package cannot withstand the drop test, it must be packaged in properly-labeled poly bags.

For liquids, the detailed guidelines are shown below. The highlights are:

  • All packages need to survive a 3-foot drop-test protocol as described above. Products in glass bottles can be protected in bubble wrap and placed in a corrugate box, but the prepped item still needs to pass the drop test.
  • All packages need to be double sealed (with a tight closure and either a shrink band or a safety seal) or they need to be sealed in a properly-labeled poly bag. 
  • Packages over 16 oz need to be in a poly bag regardless of double seals.

See the table on reverse for more specific guidelines for liquid packaging. 

If your packaging is not suited to these Amazon standards, Berlin Packaging will set you right. We are experts in plastic, glass, and metal containers and closures. We are a one-stop shop for packaging supply – from standard stock shapes to custom designs made to your exact needs. 

Whether you want to optimize your current package for Amazon, or move to a more friendly e-commerce option (like converting to plastic from glass), we will see you from concept to commercialization.

 

Fulfilled By Amazon Rules for “Standard Sized” Items

20 lb. or less or with dimensions of 18" or less on its longest side, 14" or less on its median side, or 8" or less on its shortest side.