In this article, I will show how you can increase your Amazon sales through using design principles proven to keep prospects' attention.
After redesigning the simple packaging I got a product started with,
that product had a 13.8% increase in conversions (sales).
And that was two years ago.
Since then, my team and I went through and redesigned the other products in that brand,
as well as the other 2 my team and I created since 2016.
It's amazing what simply changing the product packaging will do.
Becoming a successful seller on Amazon in 2020 requires excellence in every aspect of the process,
While this article focuses on designing product packaging,
I've recently written a complete guide to Amazon FBA for 2020, putting all the resources needed in one place.
Who I am
While Amazon FBA wasn't my first online business,
I have been involved in selling on Amazon since 2016.
Over the past 4 years I've built 3 multi-product brands,
the last of which recently sold with a 7 figure valuation.
but enough about me.
Here's what you came for:
How to Design Your Amazon Product Packaging (2020 Ultimate Guide)
First, I'll show you the two most impactful rules that Amazon has for packaging and how they impact your product sales.
Amazon's 2 Packaging Requirements
Amazon's Terms of Service (TOS) has specific requirements for product packaging.
The following guidelines should be seen as the fences to stay within in order to participate as a seller on Amazon.
let's consider how to use what Amazon's TOS allows merchants to do to attract additional attention from shoppers as they are scrolling down the lists of item results.
Amazon's 1st Packaging Requirement
First, Amazon's rules instruct sellers to have their product images showing their product with a clean white background so that shoppers can easily view the item with no obstructions.
In light of that requirement,
the most visible product in the results will have the most attractive colors.
Color is the element to be most mindful as you choose your product's packaging.
Now, the consensus among experienced Amazon sellers is that specific shades -
like neon yellows, oranges and blues -
come out quite well on Amazon's mandated pale background.
Additionally, make sure to consider what kind of designs show up best as shoppers are rapidly scrolling on their smartphones.
a reliable research organization,
determined that in 2019,
53% of all global website traffic came from mobile devices.
Know what I mean?
Here's an example:
Search "water bottle" on Amazon
Both of these products come in the search results:
What differences do you notice between their product images?
Look at the main color of each one:
Product "A" is a light blue that nearly blends in with the bleached backdrop.
Product "B" really stands out being a warm red against a white background.
They've also chosen to show that their product features encouraging daily hydration progress markings.
"B" has included their available color choices in their product photo,
further informing the scrolling shopper of the options.
You see the popularity of each by the number of ratings ("A" has 211 and "B" has 751)
I mean, this next observation gets more into the listing optimization stage of Amazon FBA,
but "B" has a lot more ratings and shows up organically because its title is way more optimized than "A"'s.
Amazon's 2nd Packaging Requirement
The second requirement from Amazon is that you need to have an FNSKU barcode.
FNSKU stands "Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit."
Basically it's Amazon's barcode that enables them to keep track of all the items in their warehouses.
Here's the difference between a UPC (Universal Product Code),
which is the normal identifier used, and Amazon's FNSKU (bottom)
If the product you have selected has a UPC code,
you must put Amazon's FNSKU on top of the UPC
(so that the code reader at the warehouse doesn't get confused).
Where do you get the FNSKU code for your product?
You get that code as you set up your product in Seller Central,
you'll be able to get your FNSKU codes.
My suggestion would be that you download them to your computer and
either have them designed into your actual packaging (best idea),
or, send them to your supplier or product manufacturer and they can apply them (second best option).
7 Steps to Getting Your FNSKU Code out of Amazon:
Often generating the code is not the hard part,
finding it afterward in Seller Central is.
Here's how to get the FNSKU Code out of Amazon's Seller Central in 7 Simple Steps:
Step 1: Click on "Manage FBA Inventory"
STEP 2: Locate Your Product
STEP 3: Open the drop down menu on the right side of the item
STEP 4: Click "Print Item Labels"
STEP 5: Click "Print Labels"
STEP 6: Confirm you want your labels printed by clicking "OK"
STEP 7: Either send them in PDF form to your designer or supplier, or apply them to your product yourself.
Once you have acquired your product labels, you'll want to know your country's packaging requirements:
Follow Legal Requirements (Uncle Sam's Statutes and International Edicts)
United States Packaging Requirements
If you are selling in the United States (US),
I recommend you check out NIST.com, it's an excellent resource of up-to-date information that will make sure you have the most recent rules and regulations written by the government of the US of A.
Still have unanswered questions?
Check out what the Federal Trade Commission has to say about how you need to wrap your items when selling them to US citizens.
Mainly what you'll find there though is a series of rules of what you must have written on the exterior of the packaging so that your prospects and customers will know what they are looking at or opening.
United Kingdom's Packaging Requirements
If you are selling in the United Kingdom (UK),
I recommend you check out LawDonut.co.uk, as they have a great FAQ section that provides a series of helpful common queries that will show you what you can and can't do when you are marketing your product to the United Kingdom shoppers.
Germany's Packaging Requirements
If you are a merchant in Germany,
I recommend you look at ionos.com's guide to product packaging, as they take a holistic approach, covering all the legal aspects and upcoming changes in Germany's legal packaging requirements since their new legislation in 2019.
Particularly, you'll want to pay attention to the differences in requirements between VerpackV (1991-2018 legislation) to VerpackG (2019 to current legislation)
Here's a 3 minute video explaining the difference:
Mexico's Packaging Requirements
If you are selling in Mexico,
Be sure to find the right 'Norma Oficial Mexicana' or "NOM" to be paying attention to.
The rules of packaging and labeling in Mexico aren't simple or straightforward, but rather they are more like a series of broad principles, with some additional rules applicable to certain niches.
Here's a chart to help you get started finding the right rules (NOM's) for your product:
For more official information, you might read this brief 3 page report on labeling and packaging regulations in MX which was written by the USDA and also provides additional resources like Mexico's equivalent to the US Department of Commerce website as well as the Mexican equivalent of the US Department of Agriculture's website. (see the useful URLs in the screenshot below)
Australia's Product Packaging Requirements
If you are a merchant offering your products to Australians,
it's important that you are keen to the packaging and labeling requirements to Australia's sellers.
The number one thing to be familiar with if you are selling physical products in Austraila is
The Australian Packaging Covenant
What is the Australian Packaging Covenant?
Simply put, the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) is an agreement between every level of Australia's government and the entire packaging industry operating in the Land Down Under. This continent-wide Covenant takes physical form in APCO Ltd (Australian Packaging Covenant Organization), which is an independent, non-profit entity formed to administrate the green Covenant for the government and other signatories.
Who does the Covenant apply to?
The APC applies to companies that take part in a supply chain that use packaged items or packaging materials in general and do over 5 million AUD in annual sales. These companies are mandated to decide to between becoming a signatory (essentially stating their agreement to meet Australia's national packaging sustainability goals) or simply agreeing to comply to the equivalent mandates under the National Environment Protection Measure of 2011 (NEPM).
For additional information, read the Australian's Department of Agriculture's official summary of the APC.
(They also provide links with even more information if you're the researching type!)
Design Principles 1: Exterior (Product Packaging)
The 2 Key Design Strategies for Amazon Private Label Products
Keep It Simple
Check out these four top search results for the query "water bottle."
What characteristics do they all have in common?
They all share functional characteristics like:
- Mouths are all narrow.
- Walls are transparent
- Each has a handle near the top
- 3 out of 4 have gauges on them so users can note the amount of water they've consumed
Remember the cliche
"Success Leaves Clues"
(I heard it from Tony Robbins,
but he probably got it from somewhere too)
Look at how the products that are selling well on Amazon are designed.
Notice what features they have and don't have.
Look at both their positive reviews and their not-so-positive reviews.
See what customers appreciate about the item,
but also pay attention to the customers complaints
in order to see what features or benefits could be added to the product or
how the product could be adapted to better meet the needs and desires of users.
When you are having your product packaging designed, consider the different responses your prospect could have to your product and which ones you want to encourage Amazon shoppers to experience.
Different colors evoke different emotions.
Here's 3 examples:
While Red grabs attention (hence Stop signs and warning labels),
Blue is calming and promotes a peaceful feeling (which is why travel agencies promote their offers with tropical imagery featuring clear water.
Green implies stability and endurance. Often times green can convey organic, natural growth or herbal healing.
This color is unique in that depending on its shade, it can imply very positive or very, shall we say, frowned upon, even evil characteristics.
As a negative example,
a common expression is that a person can be "green with envy".
(Remember the movie featuring Ben Stiller?)
On the positive side,
green products are emphasized by many as natural,
the best that people can buy as the items are sustainable,
eco-friendly or freshly-picked.
Want more details on the colors that you are looking to use?
Here's a complete guide to the impact of color in marketing.
It covers the full spectrum of colors with examples.
Check out this sample:
Design Principle 2: Interior (Amazon Product Inserts)
What are packaging inserts?
Put simply, a product insert is a small piece of cardstock paper that is placed on the top of your product after your item has been placed in the box. The insert has marketing/promotional material about your company on both sides. It is normally has the dimensions of a postcard (4 inches high by 6 inches long), but can be as small as a business card (2 inches tall by 3.5 inches wide), depending on the size of your product.
What specifically do you put on these product inserts?
I've seen a lot of different product inserts and
each of them has 3 pieces of vital information.
The Product Insert Triad
1. The Offer (See side "B" of above product insert)
2. Review Request (Check out Side "A" the above product insert)
3. Support Team Contact Information (Focus in on Side "A", under "Unhappy?", the support team's email is there.)
Why consider putting the time and effort into creating product inserts?
In my experience, product inserts have two central benefits:
2 Reasons to Construct Product Inserts
1. Product Reviews
I've written extensively on how to use product inserts to encourage your buyers to leave your product some feedback in the form of a product review.
2. Additional Sales
Every marketer knows that second money is way easier to get than first money.
It's significantly easier to have a buyer purchase again,
than it is to get a shopper to transact the first time.
So if you offer on one side of your product insert a discount on future business,
and on the other side you request that customers leave feedback
so that other prospects can better decide if the product will solve their problem.
As mentioned earlier,
I've put together a complete guide to getting more product reviews.
Hit the blue button below to check out that ultimate guide or
continue to scroll down the page and see the internet business model that enabled me to quit my 9-5
within 6 months of starting that coaching program.