Increase Your Amazon Income with Great Product Packaging

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The most successful Amazon FBA sellers are the ones who understand that the key to success is by setting your brand apart from the competition. And one of the easiest ways to set your brand and products apart on Amazon is through your product packaging.

 

Why is Amazon product packaging important?

Product packaging gets you noticed in Amazon’s search results

The Amazon results page is incredibly competitive. So how do you make your product stand out and earn more clicks and sales than others?

Give it noticeable, memorable packaging!

First, Amazon requires all product photos on its site to be just the product’s image on a white background. For this reason, many savvy product branding experts recognize that certain colors — particularly neon yellows, oranges, and blue — show up well on Amazon’s white background.

In addition, clean, simple designs look best on mobile as well as desktop. This is important because 53% of e-commerce traffic comes from mobile devices (SmartInsights).

Consider the following image:

The bright red makes the product stand out. 

Furthermore, you see clear, strong labeling. A big, bold “MEAT CLAWS” gives you a good idea of what the product does, and the Grillaholic’s brand logo is clean, simple, and visible. 

The product packaging also features some helpful value statements (“Dishwasher safe” and “Shred or handle meat”), but no unnecessary information is included, keeping the visual uncluttered and simple.

Product packaging helps you build a recognizable brand

The Nike swoosh. The Coca-Cola cursive. McDonald’s “golden arches.” Each of these images signals a brand’s identity to a consumer.

And while many Amazon sellers don’t quite have the reach of Nike or Coke, you can build a visual identity around your products to help draw attention and recognition among your customers.

Much of this has to do with your packaging. 

Apple is an excellent example of on-brand product packaging. They could just hand us an iPhone in a simple, plastic shell with a data sheet, but they’ve gone the extra mile to give us a nice, sturdy white box with a simple clean design.

The product fits perfectly into its box, and aside from a charging cord and headphones, there are few bells and whistles. All in all, the packaging purveys the concepts of simplicity and sophistication, which is exactly what Apple wants you to think of its brand. 

For more info on creating a recognizable brand, check out our series on building an e-commerce brand.

 

Amazon product packaging requirements

 

 

Before you start designing your product packaging, it’s important to know Amazon’s terms of service with respect to what you can and can’t do regarding product packaging.

In addition to product-specific requirements, there are also certain items that all products must have in order for it to be sold by Amazon.

FNSKU

The Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit (or FNSKU) is the scannable label that helps Amazon’s fulfillment network employees and robots efficiently find, pick, pack, and ship your products. 

If your product has a barcode you must place the FNSKU over the barcode.

You can get FNSKU labels once you create an inventory replenishment order for your product.

During the setup phase, simply select ‘Merchant’ for the ‘Who labels?’ column. Then, click the orange ‘Print labels for this page’ button. It will download a sheet of FNSKUs that you can print or send to your supplier to place on the boxes.

 

 

‘Country of Origin’

U.S. Customs requires that all goods imported into the U.S. have a visible ‘Country of Origin’ on the product’s packaging and often the product itself. 

 

 

Specific legal requirements

Some product categories have specific legal requirements for the packaging.

For example, toys must have age ranges printed on the box. Or, if the packaging includes a small bag, there must be a choking hazard label printed on it. 

How to determine the legal requirements specific to your product

Here are a few ways to learn about the specific legal requirements for your product:

  1. Do research online. You can do a search online for the product requirements in your category. Websites like nist.gov offers information on packaging for you to review. Amazon also offers details on product packaging requirements for their fulfillment centers.
  2. Review your competitors’ products. The easiest and most inexpensive method of finding out your specific legal requirements is to purchase and investigate products similar to the ones you hope to create. Ideally, your competitors should have all of the requirements in place.
  3. Consult a logistics or customs expert, like Freightos or Flexport. This might be the most expensive method of finding out your legal requirements, but it’s also the one that will ensure the information you have is correct. Your supplier may also have resources to assist you.

Amazon product packaging nice-to-haves

Once you’ve ensured your product packaging adheres to Amazon’s requirements and Terms of Service, you have the opportunity to focus on branding and visual appeal. You need to consider:

Simplicity of Design

Once in the hands of a shopper, your product should be easy to understand and use. Too many images, words, or sales language on the box can be confusing. Keep it simple!

Visual Appeal

In addition to simplicity, consider making your Amazon product packaging visually appealing. 

Consider how your product would look on a shelf in a store. How can you make it stand out from all of the other products on Amazon and make people stop scrolling and click on your product?

 

warby parker packaging

 

Company Contact Information

Although having your company contact information on your Amazon product packaging is no longer a requirement for brand registry, it’s still nice to have. 

An easy-to-read address, phone number, or email tells your customer that you don’t mind them contacting you. And, depending on where most of your customers live, having a local country’s contact information could appeal to those who prefer to buy locally. 

Product Inserts

A product insert is a card, pamphlet, or any other form of communication delivered with your product that provides useful information to the customer. 

Many sellers use inserts as an opportunity to request a review, direct people to their non-Amazon branded sites, and build email lists. 

NOTE: Amazon has strict requirements for product inserts, which we’ll cover in detail.

 

Amazon product inserts: Do’s, don’ts, and recommendations

 

 

Product inserts can help your Amazon product (and its packaging) convey important information to your customer. It can also serve as a direct follow-up on your behalf, providing proactive customer service and marketing. 

Here are some things to consider for your product inserts.

Amazon product inserts do’s

DO say thank you

This seems like a no-brainer, but simply saying “thank you” to a customer goes a long way. 

DO include instructions

If you sell a product that requires a bit more effort to use, include simple, easy-to-read instructions for them to follow. 

DO list warranty/guarantee information

If your product has a warranty, or you offer a money-back guarantee, include the information on how the customers can make claims. 

Keep in mind that Amazon also offers 100% customer satisfaction. Therefore, you can simply piggyback on their excellent customer service.

DO request a review (neutrally)

It’s okay to ask for a review with a product insert, as long as you follow the rules. So, make sure your review request is neutral and that your customer knows that every experience — good or bad — warrants a review on Amazon. 

For more details on review requests, review the “don’ts” below.

DO add social media/brand links

Amazon allows you to include information for your non-Amazon pages. This includes your social media accounts, blogs, and even your mailing list.

Amazon product insert don’ts

DON’T use manipulative language to get reviews

Telling your customers that you’re “a small, family run business”, or that they should “support products made in America”, and then asking for a product review is seen as manipulative according to Amazon’s terms of service.

DON’T cherry pick your customers for reviews

Asking customers “if you had a positive experience with this product, tell us about it with a product review” on your insert is a BIG no-no. Even saying “if there’s any reason you can’t give us a 5-star review, please contact us” is against the rules. 

Amazon considers these types of insert-copy to be a form of cherry-picking, which violates the product review terms of service.

DON’T incentivize reviews

Offering a gift card, warranty, discount, or any other benefit in exchange for a positive review — or any review, for that matter — is (again) against Amazon’s terms of service.

 

How do I create my product’s packaging and inserts?

Ultimately, how you create your Amazon product packaging depends on you and your level of expertise.

If you’re comfortable using professional design programs like Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator yourself, then by all means create your own Amazon product packaging. 

You can also create your own Amazon product packaging and inserts using less-involved applications like Canva.com.

However, if you lack design skills or would prefer support, consider turning to a professional. Jungle Scout Market hosts a bevvy of Amazon product packaging designers who can create proper product packaging and inserts for a low fee. 

How do Amazon FBA sellers include customized packaging and inserts with their products?

Amazon sellers using “Fulfillment by Amazon” or FBA, have their products shipped directly from suppliers to Amazon’s warehouses, and then on to customers from there. 

So, in order to include customized product packaging, sellers have to turn over their product packaging designs to their suppliers. The supplier is then responsible for placing the design on the product’s packaging and insert.

We recommend that you get a sample or copy of the finished product including your packaging so you can check to see if it looks the way you want it to.

 

Amazon Product Packaging is everything!

Hopefully this article helped clarify why Amazon product packaging and inserts are so important. Fingers crossed it also gave you plenty of tips to create effective, high-quality packaging for your products.

Have any other tips to share about Amazon product packaging and inserts? We’d love to hear them! Let us know down in the comments below.

 

Disclaimer: This post was updated on May 28, 2020, to reflect changes to Amazon’s insert guidelines.

 

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61 comments on “Increase Your Amazon Income with Great Product Packaging

  1. Is it against TOS to include a link to my website to register the product for warranty, or a link to download the installation manual?

  2. Hello,

    I need to know is sending gifts along with the product without asking customer to review the product in exchange of the gift violating amazon TOS?

  3. Hello,
    I am going to run a test campaign to check how can I increase my product reviews and in that I’m going to send incentives to the customers prior and post review, i was wondering is sending the incentives to customers with the product is violating the TOS?

  4. Hi, I know this question has been beat to death, but just looking for your thoughts on a more specific example.

    I purchased a competitor product because I saw that some of the negative reviews were, “they buy reviews..”. Upon opening the product I saw they had an insert that said, “Like our Products? Get a Free Bottle.” They then directed you to a unique landing page that was there brand, where you had to provide info such as email, shipping, and amazon order number. They would then send you a free product of lesser value via their own website.

    The last page of that process says “Before you get your Free Bottle, Please Share your Experience.” They had a text field for you to enter the review and then a link to take you back to Amazon and post the review.

    Is this totally against TOS? Or just the last page where they tell you that you can’t get a free bottle until you leave a review? could it be worded differently to not be against TOS? Could you simply separate the page asking for a review from the free product page?

    Thanks you any insight on this!

  5. This article is a treasure trove for information related to product packaging and product inserts. An awesome resource, Greg. Thanks for sharing this. Appreciate your efforts!

  6. It was a really useful article. Just a quick question, is it possible to put an insert in the packaging and suggest the customers to follow us on our social media pages like facebook or instagram? is it against TOS?

  7. Nice Article JS,

    I’m considering using messenger code to help my customers with any issues they have upon opening their package from me. This would essentially take the conversation “off Amazon” in your opinion would this fall inside or outside of the terms of service?

    1. Kai,

      I believe if they make the first move, it’s okay. You can also follow up with the customer’s through Amazon’s messenger system using an automated platform like Jump Send.

  8. The second insert is asking for positive reviews only. I believe that is against TOS.

    “You may ask buyers to write a review in a neutral manner, but you may not ask for positive reviews, ask for reviews only from buyers who had a positive experience, or ask a reviewer to change or remove their review.”

  9. Hello,

    still confused is it allowed to ask for a review on the insert or not?

    How it should sound to be allowed by amazon?

    For example:

    “Thank you again for ordering from us!

    We would love to hear your feedback and tell us what you think in order to improve our services and help future customers make an informed decision.

    Simply log into your account to leave a feedback.

    Our team appreciate for your time.”

    Is ti against Amazon TOS?

    Thank you for the answer

  10. This is a really interesting article.

    Does anyone have information on research backing the review rate improving once an insert has been added to the packaging of a product? The products that I sell have decent packaging but I want to know if there’s been research that shows the improvements on a listing once a review is requested.

    Thanks!

  11. Anyone have insight on social media handles being printed on packaging and/or inserts? Technically I can see how it can be seen as driving traffic away from Amazon, but is it really if we aren’t selling the product through our social media? We were considering having printed on our packaging and inserts @BRANDNAME with our logo and possibly the IG, FB icons as well.

    What if we are asking for customer feedback or to stay in touch on instagram or facebook? We were also thinking asking them to visit or follow us on social media for regular giveaways that we offer, as well as recipes, tips, etc?

  12. Thanks for the article. I have packets of instant chicory: 24 separate packets I am sending to FBA in a single box. Each packet is intended to be sold separately. Can I just put 24 inserts into the box and Amazon will know what to do (to include one insert with one packet)? Or do I need to send some kind of instruction to Amazon FBA to make sure they do not just throw away the inserts? I would like not to have to attach/staple inserts to the packets.
    Apologies if this is a dumb question – I am just starting to learn FBA process. Thanks! Dmitri

    1. Hey Dmitri,

      You need to send in your products exactly packaged how you would like them to be sent to your customer. So in your case each packet of instant chicory needs to include any product add ons or inserts. So you would need to repackage them prior to sending to Amazon’s warehouse.

      Hope this helps!
      Kym

  13. Thanks for the great tips! I do have a question however that I think you could probably answer.
    I was wondering, When doing freelance web design,
    do I pay for and manage the domain name and web hosting for
    my clients? Or is that something the client does? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Really, it could work either way. If you end up paying for the domain/web hosting, just be sure to pass along the charges and have a clear contract stating who owns the domain/webspace.

      In my opinion, it’s better to do that kind of thing for the client. Clients can be kinda–how you say–not tech savvy! Haha, so you don’t want to slow down the process by sending them off to purchase a domain or sign up for hosting. The more holistic you can be in anything you do, whether it’s offering services or selling products on Amazon, the better off you’ll be.

  14. Hi!

    Great article! I’m currently looking at options for building my list using an insert with my product to send customers to a landing page. The product is replenishable, so I’m seeing quite a few repeat buyers. As it’s a consumable, I can’t really do a lifetime warranty or anything like that, so thinking of ways to encourage people to sign up.

    One of the options is to offer the customer a discount off their next Amazon order in return for their email address. Is this is against TOS? Technically, I’m not diverting the customer away from Amazon. I’m offering a code for their next Amazon purchase. It’s a grey area and I haven’t really got a satisfactory answer from seller support.

    Any thoughts welcome 🙂

    Many thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Kev,

      You are right it is a bit of a grey area. Here’s my two cents on this:

      When sending emails to your customers, and if you are using something like Jump Send to automated customer emails, you shouldn’t put in any URLs that will divert people away from Amazon. It is ok to ask for honest, non-incentivized reviews in these emails though, and link to the Amazon feedback/review page.

      When creating inserts for your actual product, I have always found it to be OK to include a URL on the insert. From what I can tell with Amazon’s TOS it is indeed a grey area. But we have done this with some of our case study products and had no issues, and many other sellers do too. For example, we ran a giveaway for a product to collect emails and put the giveaway URL on the insert. So I think you would be fine to do what you are suggesting.

      If you imagine, there are lots of big brand products on Amazon that absolutely have URLs on their inserts and packaging 😉

      Hope this helps!
      Kym

  15. Hi there,
    I have heard from some sources that it is allowed to include a registration card inside the FBA product package; the card will offer a free ebook or something if the customer goes to my website and signs up. Is it allowed to give my website in a registration card like this? Thanks !!

    1. Hey Ryan,

      That’s right you can include a registration card, or “product insert” as we often call it, in with your product. It’s a bit of a grey area as to whether you can put a link to your website on these inserts. I believe Amazon’s TOS states that you shouldn’t put any links in the insert, but then when you consider the fact that pretty much every large electronics product comes with a registration card with a URL I doubt this is ever enforced.

      We include inserts for our case study products, and put a link to the website on these inserts and haven’t had any issues.

      One more thing to note, whilst you should never put a link in a follow-up email to a customer, you could also send ebooks as an attachment using a service like Jump Send.

      Hope this helps!
      Kym

  16. Hey Kim, I believe I found my answer to my follow up question re: where “Made in China” should go on the packaging. I think as long as a customer can see it somewhere, it is OK to go anywhere.

    “Every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article, at the time of importation into the Customs territory of the United States.”

  17. Hi,

    Great article! I have my inserts ready to go, however, I did not put “made in China” on the insert. Can I put this on the label with the UPC code? Also, I want to confirm, I put my web address on the insert. Is this OK?

    Thanks.

    Risa

    1. Hey Risa,

      The made in China label needs to go on the packaging itself I believe. In some circumstances you may need to put it on the label on the product (for example I think textiles have different rules).

      You shouldn’t need to put made in china on the insert, but on the product packaging itself.

      It’s totally cool to put your web address on the insert too – big brands absolutely do this and third party sellers can too 🙂

      Hope that helps!
      Kym

      1. Hey Kym,

        Great to hear from you! I am learning so much from you and your million dollar learning experience!

        You listed two parts of packaging: 1) the label on the product and 2) the insert.

        Do I need both? I was only planning on doing an insert – no label. If just an insert is OK, does “Made in China” need to be visible on the outside of the packaging?

        Thanks.

        Risa

        1. Hey Risa,

          Some products won’t have a label on the product itself, for example our Jungle Stix product. So we would put the “Made in China” note on the outer packaging. Inserts are usually for specific marketing messages (i.e. to seek reviews, repeat purchases or send your customer to a giveaway or website). You don’t need to put where the product is made on an insert so long as you comply with the rules on having it on your packaging for your particular product.

          Just make sure you do your research before deciding to ensure you are not required to also add a label to the product itself. It can vary by product type and which marketplace you sell in.

          Many thanks,
          Kym

          1. Hi Kym,

            Thanks. I found this page, https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=200243250#prep, and I did a bunch of other searches. I don’t believe my product needs any special packaging.

            However, I’m having trouble finding information on what exactly should go on the label/insert.

            My product is packaged in a clear box, so I figured just an insert with the product name would be fine.

            I’m guessing that “Made in China” needs to be seen on the outside of the packaging. Is that correct? Does it matter whether it’s on the front or back of the package?

            And just to clarify, it should NOT go on the label with the UPC sticker, right? (I should have printed this on the insert but it is too late). Is adding another small label that says, “Made in China” the way to go?

            Thank you SO much!

            Risa

      2. Hi Kym,

        Gen says “Encouraging the customer to go to your website, and leave a review on amazon, is against the Terms of Service” but you say “It’s totally cool to put your web address on the insert too – big brands absolutely do this and third party sellers can too”. Which is it?

        1. Hey Joe,

          You are right it is a little confusing. As always with Amazon TOS rules, some of them we would never advise going against, whilst others, we know that most FBA sellers bend them a little, and big brands likely don’t adhere to them at all.

          In the case of product inserts, if you are the brand owner of your product, then there is usually a little leeway that you can leverage. The main thing is that Amazon do not want to see evidence of you diverting customers away from the Amazon shopping platform. We use a website for our Jungle Snugs case study product insert without any issues. The website is not ecommerce and only has information about the product.

          I believe contact information for customer support is also OK to put in your inserts and packaging.

          If you imagine buying some Sony headphones, their packaging and product inserts will absolutely have information such as a website, warranty information and so on.

          In terms of reviews, it’s fine to ask for an honest review from your customers on the Amazon platform, so long as you never incentivize that review by giving a discount or special offer.

          Hope this helps!

          Kym

  18. Hi,

    I’m really enjoying this blog discussion! I’m creating a product that will be packaged into a bubble wrap bag for protection. To highlight my brand, I’m creating a 4×6 inch Thank You Card insert that will have our logo.

    On the insert, I’m encouraging customers to leave a review. I’m also directing them to my brand’s website if they’re are interested in more products (or to contact us if they have any questions or problems with their order).

    In terms of Amazon’s policies, is it ok to direct them to our brand’s website?

    Thanks!
    Justin

  19. I designed a sticker to go on the removable safety seal for the product, that 1.) Thanks them for leaving a review, so othere can fin us. 2.) Tells them we have information and contests on our Facebook page (no page url given). Would this violate Amazon TOS?

  20. Hello to you
    Thanks for the great content.
    I have a question about the product packaging:
    1. Do i order the packaging from the supplier who makes the product for me and he is responsible for its arrival Or I’m supposed to order the package and make sure it reaches the supplier

    1. Hi Erez,

      You can order your packaging from a third party supplier, however your product supplier likely deals with a variety of packaging for your product, so that may be easiest. So get the template from the supplier and send it off to a package designer. Hope this helps!

      Gen

  21. On the insert card example it seems clear that you are intending to direct all positive reviews to the product page. Also send all potential negative reviews to contact you.

    My understanding is that this would now violate amazon terms. I don’t think you are supposed to do this in email follow ups so I would think that would include any product inserts.

    I’m just looking for clarification on this as it’s a great strategy if still within amazon’s rules.

    1. Hey Logan,

      Only incentivized reviews are banned, that means offering free product or a discount and requiring a review in return. You are still able to ask paying customers to leave a review if they liked the product, but you should never incentivize this.

      You can read more this here & here!

      Hope that helps!
      Kym

  22. My current product presentation leaves much to be desired. It is just the product, a poly bag and the UPC label slapped on it. I want the experience of receiving and opening my package to be different than what it currently is. I want to differentiate my self and build a brand, not only sell a product. So what I want to understand is, once I designed my package through someone like Erick and Virtuous Graphics, how do I get the package itself done? Who do I contact? And how do I get it to my product manufacturer so he packages my products using this new package design? I would like to understand the logistics behind it all so I can know how to best approach this.

    1. Hey Rodolfo,

      Great news that you are thinking of adding value to your product with improved packaging. Are you going to add any inserts? 🙂

      The most straight forward route is to ask your manufacturer to package your product using these new designs. If this is how you want to proceed, it may be worth checking their capabilities before you commission any design work.

      Another option is to have the products packaged in the country of sale once you have imported them. Many sourcing companies offer this service, or you can use a packing and prepping service. The main benefits to this option are that your supply chain is harder to follow (can help prevent getting hijacked), and you can probably get higher quality packaging. But obviously this adds a step into your logistics and will also come at a cost.

      Hope that helps, thanks for reading!
      Kym

      1. Thank you so much, Kym. That’s wonderful to know. No inserts yet for my next batch, although I changed the package a bit and got my brand logo on the package this time, but I might include some inserts for my next order. I’m getting there 😉

        Thank you for letting me know and for providing the details and different options, I have been going nuts over this for the past few days(especially after reading this article lol).

        1. Rodolfo,

          It’s Erick from VirtuousGraphics. Most Chinese manufacturers are surprisingly well connected and often have a “go-to” paper supplier; that can do your packaging.

          Shoot us a message at [email protected] and we can better assist you should you have any difficulty finding a packaging supplier

  23. Hi Everyone. I am just getting started with my FBA business. I have chosen a product and now need to find packaging and a manufacturer. Do the manufacturers do the packaging there? If I need to find someone separate to do the packaging, does anyone have any suggestions as to who to contact?

    Also, I have a company name, but do I need to create unique packaging for each product that is related to the product itself and possibly put the company name in smaller print somewhere on the label?

    I appreciate any help anyone can give me.

    Sincerely,
    Heather Appell

  24. Hi there, I was looking all over if it is allowed to do this if you’re using Fulfilment By Amazon. Are you allowed to use the inserts and alter the packaging still or is it not allowed to advertise your own website since Amazon is doing the logistics process?

    1. Hi Joanne,

      Sure – you’re allowed to do this. You can present your product packaging and inserts any way you like.

      For example, imagine if you bought a Sony TV on Amazon, it would still come with a warranty card and the Sony website on the packaging or inserts.

      Hope that helps.
      Thanks for reading,
      Kym

  25. If anyone has any questions related to product photography, product packaging; or would just like a free 20min consultation for me to look over on one of their listings. I’d be happy to provide my 2 cents on how to increase their conversion rates through their photos.

    – Erick Rodriguez
    Just shoot us a message at [email protected]

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