Why Wal-Mart and Target need to join Amazon in moving to frustration-free packaging

6a0133ec87bd6d970b0133f48e8673970b-320wi Last week, in a piece entitled “Amazon, Wal-Mart and frustration-free packaging; a toy industry challenge,” I wrote about Amazon’s push for frustration-free packaging.  Their feedback tells them that the challenge of breaking open clamshells, cleaning up poly bags and bubble wrap and excessive cardboard are the leading complaints from consumers.

Wal-Mart and Target have resisted the change.  I think that every bricks and mortar retailer should be pushing for frustration-free packaging.  Here are some reasons why:

1. The biggest reason for this type of packaging is theft prevention.  Do away with it and the costs of theft will be up but packaging costs will be down.  It might not be a wash but it drives other benefits like number.

2. Consumers will be happier.  I think we sometimes forget that the buying experience does not end in the store.  It follows the consumer home where he or she has to confront the after purchase experience of busted knuckles and frayed nerves.  Consumers blame the manufacturer but their frustration bleeds into their opinion of the store in which they bought the package from hell.  What is the cost of lost business to retailers and manufacturers from this kind of packaging rage?

3. On-line retailers already have an advantage in making a happier shopping experience.  No need to drive a car, a high percentage of in-stock inventory and lower costs are just a few of the benefits of the buying on line.  Add to that an ability to get packaging that is frustration-free and you have an increasing flow of consumers from bricks to clicks.

Bricks and mortar retailers are in growing trouble.  A rising generation of younger shoppers, used to finding what they want on line, is moving to the Internet.  If bricks and mortar retailers continue to ignore these consumers’ concerns over packaging, they may find themselves with fewer customers and as a result shelves full of pilfer proof packaging.

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