The Amazon Effect – Are Manufacturers Changing Packaging to reflect a new product delivery paradigm?

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I bought a toy on Amazon for Christmas for my two year old son and I was surprised when I opened the plain brown box. Gone was the colorful packaging pictures of happy children playing with the toy and the clear plastic that induces cries from toddlers that they need that toy while rolling down the aisle of the store. In its place came a plain brown box with the toy inside. No laceration inducing clam shell packaging that requires a razor blade or industrial tools in order to open.

Instead, I opened the box and saw this; just a simple box with the toys inside.

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This Fisher-Price “Drillin’ Action Tool Set boasts “Certified Frustration-Free Packaging” with “No clamshells – No wire ties – low waste.”

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I, for one, am grateful to hopefully see the demise of the horrible clamshells, after a sever laceration to one of my fingers from the packaging of a previous toy!

But the implications of this packaging are much wider than a simple consumer package. Obviously, manufacturers such as Fisher-Price (a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel since 1993) are seeing the cost benefits of packaging products in this fashion. The colorful packing is expensive to produce and print. The interior packaging does not require anything more than simple cardboard, like the picture says, “No ties and No clamshell.”

But why the new style of packaging? I think it is a result of the Amazon effect. The manufacturer may now cut out the middleman, such as WalMart, Target, Toys R Us and other retailers, and ship the product directly to Amazon with cheaper packaging which lowers the cost to the consumer.

I haven’t seen this with other products, yet, but I am sure other manufacturers will follow if they haven’t already. Amazon will continue to have effects on all types of brick and mortar retailers as this continues to grow. However, so far, you can’t download an app that will cut your hair, polish your nails, dry clean your clothes and give you a hot cup of coffee with your donut.

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By the way, my son loves the drill!