The Frustration-Free Packaging Programs Incentive Expansion

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A child smiles as they open up a package that contains a green toy tractor.

The 2021 Frustration-Free Packaging Programs Incentive Expansion

We're encouraging Vendors through incentives to create and certify packaging that saves space and materials and protects products while in the e-commerce supply chain.
How it works
We are excited to announce that in 2021 we are expanding the Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) Vendor Incentive Program to include the largest-sized Sortable ASINs (dimensions of 6’’ x 4’’ x 0.375’’ to 18’’ x 14’’ x 8’’), as well as expanding incentives for Non-Sortable ASINs. Vendors can earn increasingly greater incentives by: 1) preparing their product to ship without additional packaging by passing ISTA 6A testing and receiving a Ship in Own Container (SIOC) certification, 2) reengineering their packaging to reduce the overall size, and 3) achieving FFP certification by ensuring their packaging is fully recyclable and easy to open. Vendors will receive financial incentives per certified unit shipped between October 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022.
1. Get your current dimensions
First, you will need to determine the dimensions of your product in its current packaging. These measurements do not consider the actual volume of irregular shapes, but the smallest rectangular container that would hold the item. Measure the products total length, width, and height.
  •  Illustration of the measurements of a toaster packaging. Length 18.0 inches, Width 9.0 inches, and Height 12.0 inches.

    With existing packaging

    If it ships with its own packaging, leave the product inside and measure the packaging outer dimensions.
  • Illustration of the measurements of a pink stuffed animal bunny. Length 8.5 inches, Width 4.0 inches, and Height 11.0 inches.

    No existing packaging

    If you are currently shipping products to Amazon without primary packaging, measure the products overall dimensions in a natural resting orientation without compressing.
2. Optimize your packaging
Next, its time to make improvements to your packaging design (or create new packaging if the item currently has none) to make it ready to ship in its own container. The more you reduce the size of your packaging, the more you earn. To qualify for the program, Sortable ASINs cannot increase in overall size, Non-Sortabe ASINs can increase in size by 10%. See how much you can receive using the calculator below.

As you design your packaging, keep in mind it will have to meet the requirements of the certification you choose, either Tier 1 FFP or Tier 2 SIOC. Certification requirements can be found here. For help with designing for certification, find a packaging design agency in the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier (APASS) network.
  • Illustration of the removal of EPS foam insert from the toaster packaging.

    Recyclable materials

    Some Vendors seeking FFP certification will need to find alternative means of padding to replace Styrofoam, bubble wrap, or other materials that aren’t curbside recyclable.
  • Illustration of the pink stuffed animal bunny compressed into a box.

    Product orientation and nesting of parts

    Packaging designers will need to determine how to best save space while protecting products when developing FFP or SIOC packaging. There are creative solutions to reducing space—handles that are reengineered to come apart, liquids that are condensed, toys that are nested better to save space. Thinking about customer usability and storage, as well as reducing wasteful packaging has inspired many to reinvent both product and packaging.
3. How to test and certify
To certify SIOC and FFP packaging with Amazon, it must pass a physical performance test. If the product is not fragile or liquid, Vendors can complete the self-testing drop sequence and submit passing test reports (review instructional videos in self-testing section below). If the product is considered fragile (glass, ceramic, porcelain, clay, liquid, semi-liquid), the ISTA-6A test is required via the Amazon packaging lab or a third-party lab to accurately simulate the journey of a package through the Amazon Fulfillment Network in order to protect customer experience. Learn more
4. Get your new dimensions
Now you’ll need to determine the dimensions of your new certified packaging. This is done just like in step 1, measuring the outer dimensions of the package. Once you have the measurements, you can calculate your incentive amount using the calculator below. Products that can be damaged easily will still need space for padding while providing adequate protection.
  • Illustration of the toaster in the new, resized packaging. Length 14.0 inches, Width 8.0 inches, and Height 9.0 inches.
  •  Illustration of the pink stuffed animal bunny in the new, resized packaging. Length 7.0 inches, Width 4.0 inches, and Height 8.0 inches
5. Enroll your certification
After receiving your certification from step 3, you will need to upload your certification to Vendor Central. For step-by-step enrollment instructions, please refer to the Amazon Vendor enrollment and contact Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document below. Learn more
6. Calculate your estimated incentive
Finally, enter your certification status (FFP or SIOC) and dimensions into the calculator below. Further, if the item is currently incurring prep charges or a chargeback from the Non-Sortable program for not being SIOC or FFP certified, enter these charges as well. Then add the annual sales volume of the product (and any family of similar products that you would certify with it). The output will calculate an estimated incentive amount (assuming 12 months) you would be eligible to receive following certification within the incentive payment timeline. Please note, the window for Vendor incentive payments is between October 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022. The calculator below illustrates SIOC or FFP conversions for previously non-certified products. Values below are for reference only; actual values may vary.

Incentive examples

Without primary packaging, this plush toy previously had a volume of 374 cubic inches. With some minor compression in an appropriately-sized box, the Vendor was able to certify it as FFP and reduce over half of the original volume. These packaging changes resulted in the following Vendor savings: FFP incentive ($0.162) + cube reduction incentive ($0.227) = $0.389 per unit received for one year. The ASIN ships 100,000 units in the next 12 months, so the Vendor earns a $38,860 incentive.

Applying this certification across 10 similar ASINs in the Vendor’s portfolio netted over $350,000 USD in year one.

An illustration showing the bunny before and after as well as the math for the volume and incentive

This broom required packaging that was at least 60 inches long (classified as Non-Sortable because at least one dimension exceeded 18’’x14’’x8’’). By making the handle collapsible, it was able to fit into a box one-third of the previous size, and also made it easier for the customer to store. With an FFP certification, this packaging redesign resulted in the following Vendor savings: FFP incentive ($1.090) + cube reduction incentive ($1.152) + chargebacks avoided ($1.99) = $4.232 per unit received for one year. The ASIN ships 100,000 units in the next 12 months, so the Vendor earns $423,200 incentive.

Applying this certification across 10 similar ASINs in the Vendor’s portfolio netted over $4,000,000 USD in year one.

An illustration showing the broom before and after as well as the math for the volume and incentive

The retail packaging for these screwdrivers spread them out to advertise their features for retail display. By simply condensing them together in an appropriately sized box, this Vendor eliminated over half the volume. With an FFP certification, these packaging changes resulted in the following Vendor savings: FFP incentive ($0.162) + cube reduction incentive ($0.179) = $0.341 per unit received for one year. The ASIN ships 100,000 units in the next 12 months, so the Vendor earns a $34,075 incentive.

Applying this certification across 10 similar ASINs in the Vendor’s portfolio netted over $300,000 USD in year one.

An illustration showing the tools before and after as well as the math for the volume and incentive

Lenox stemware packages show two different packaging variations for wine glasses.
Creating lean protection
How Amazon, Lenox, and Fuseneo partnered to innovate more protection with less packaging.
vendor drop test
Program expansion letter and FAQs
Questions about the program? Review the expansion letter and frequently asked questions.
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