Millions of Amazon orders in the US are arriving on doorsteps with decreased packaging, marking a new phase in the company’s delivery transformation.

This move aims to appeal to customers who are concerned about the excessive Amazon-branded boxes they receive and discard regularly. As part of this shift, chief executive Andy Jassy is pursuing innovative packaging strategies to enhance customer satisfaction and address environmental concerns.

Reduced packaging becomes a key focus

Amazon has undertaken a comprehensive overhaul of its logistics network in the past year, streamlining deliveries for increased speed and efficiency.

A significant aspect of this transformation involves the reduction or elimination of extra packaging. This initiative is critical for Amazon to retain its competitive edge, reduce costs and align with its environmental targets.

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Amazon’s first vice-president of packaging and innovation Pat Lindner emphasised the growing importance of packaging innovation to meet evolving customer expectations.

Changing customer experience and challenges

Approximately 11% of Amazon deliveries now arrive without additional packaging, known as “ships in own container,” a choice that customers can make during checkout.

The shift presents challenges ranging from practical to emotional. Amazon needs to collaborate with suppliers to create packaging that is sturdy enough for shipping yet minimal in material. The company must assess whether customers are comfortable with visible deliveries such as large packages of products.

While Amazon’s iconic brown boxes are being reduced, the company believes that eliminating excess packaging will enhance customer goodwill and address their requests for sustainable practices.

Testing, innovation and supplier collaboration

Amazon is leveraging its influence with suppliers and vendors, offering incentives to improve packaging that can withstand shipping demands.

Vendors on the platform can receive rewards for eliminating extra packaging layers. Despite losing some branding visibility due to reduced packaging, Amazon anticipates that this approach will foster customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The company’s packaging evolution follows the success of its efforts to achieve rapid shipping. By regionalising its operations and optimising warehouse networks, Amazon has significantly reduced product travel distance and handling frequency, contributing to its enhanced delivery process.

Through rigorous testing, including AI-driven tests and simulations of various conditions, Amazon determines which items can be shipped with minimal or no packaging.

While certain items such as wine glasses have been successfully optimised for reduced packaging, more fragile items, such as vinyl records, present challenges.