Vox arrived to the week with a fresh article about how Amazon and e-commerce are changing how products are packaged and in some cases how they are made. Amazon is looking for products that can fit better in boxes and can be shipping for less weight. Proctor and Gamble, the making behind most household products including many laundry detergents has launched new versions of it’s products that look like.
Alexa, Order Smart Water
However, laundry detergent isn’t the only thing changing. Coca-Cola, the company behind SmartWater changed it’s default product on the Amazon button service from a 6 pack of it’s water to a flat of 24 increasing Amazon’s margin by 60 cents per bottle. Seventh Generation, the popular plant-based cleaning line owned by Unilever, started advertising bigger packs of dish soap recently.
Amazon is on a quest to increase its margins and that includes putting laundry detergent in wine boxes and selling people more water for more profit. Much of this change has to do with the sheer cost of shipping costs. If Amazon can increase the margins, not only do they get more profit but they also can offset their tremendous shipping costs. This also goes along with Amazon’s move to handle more and more of their own logistics and relying less and less on USPS, UPS or Fedex.
But Is It Good Design for Consumers?
Putting Detergent in a box instead of a bottle and reducing the water in the liquid to make it lighter for shipping all sounds good for Amazon, but what does it mean for the consumer? Time will tell if consumers will enjoy their new boxes of Tide and their bigger packs of water and soap. From an ecological perspective, the boxes are difficult because they are part cardboard and part plastic which will make them hard to recycle, although the use of less packaging is an improvement and there is a possibility of not having to put the box in a box which would save on cardboard.
E-Commerce Is Here to Stay
The biggest thing to learn from these big brands is that they are changing their business and their products to accommodate the rise of e-commerce. Amazon controls half of e-commerce which represents an ever-larger share of shopping. One thing is clear: America has learned to order essential online and it will change the way our homes look and how we experience products.