Amazon Certified Packaging

Are you thinking about your Amazon portfolio of products appropriately?

Dig into the Amazon certification requirement, what it means for your SKUs, and what you can do about it.

Unwrapping Amazon certified packaging

Amazon Frustration Free Packaging has been around for over a decade, and what started out as simply “easier to open, less plastic, less waste” has evolved into a complex system of certified packaging — categories, functionality, different goals.

Amazon renewed its commitment to Frustration Free, with a focus on sustainability (reduced shipping materials), improved e-commerce efficiency, and an overall better customer experience.

Let’s start by understanding what Amazon Certified Packaging (or Frustration Free) really means today.

  • ‘The Classic’ Frustration-Free
  • Ready to ship (no Amazon overbox)
  • Tested to ISTA-6
  • Curbside recyclable materials
  • Easy to open, minimal materials
  • Ready-to-Ship or SIOC (Ships In Own Container)
  • Ready to ship (no Amazon overbox)
  • Tested to ISTA-6

Sellers need to have Amazon certification for any items that are either over 20 lbs or larger than 8”x14”x18” (in any dimension). Amazon is urging all of its sellers to get certified, as Amazon stands to benefit from faster, streamlined shipping processes that reduce the likelihood of product damage and earn points with consumers who want a less frustrating opening experience and more sustainable shipping materials.

If you’re going through a package refresh or considering online retail options, it may make sense to aim for Amazon’s lowest level, Tier 3: Prep-Free Packaging, for products that can be simply placed into a standard Amazon overbox.

If you ship heavy or large items as outlined above then you’ll want to explore Tier 2 or Tier 1 packaging solutions that meet Amazon’s more stringent goals of products that are ready to ships in their own container (“SIOC”) or frustration-free packaging that is SOIC compliant but also made with sustainability considered materials.



Do you have SKUs that are over 20lbs?  SKUs that are large? How much of your portfolio or revenues come through Amazon or e-commerce and which SKUs are they?

Getting Started


Review your online portfolio and determine which level of compliance (Tier 1, Tier 2 or non-compliance) works best for your Amazon SKUs —  and while a portfolio review might initially be about assessing which SKUs need re-designed for compliance, it’s also the time to be thinking about how to provide the best consumer and brand experience when it comes to smart and sustainable packaging.



We believe in taking a layered approach – creating a short-term packaging solution to meet Amazon’s guidelines at the same time as considering long-term branding moves to get to a best in class un-packaging experience. Plan for updates to meet Amazon requirements while still designing for efficiency, with a single SKU that works for both e-commerce and brick & mortar storefronts.

By aligning on packaging for the best online and in-store experience, you may be better positioned to meet internal cost goals and address your e-commerce partners’ requirements, all while speaking to your consumers’ sustainability values. It turns out you can have it all — it just requires some extra (design) thinking.



If you’re in the process of getting your e-commerce packaging certified by Amazon, are you maximizing the redesign effort and minimizing the number of SKUs impacted?  And if you’re already implementing a short-term solve, are you considering solutions that work for long-term brand building as well?

Expand your integrated solution

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Global leader in integrated packaging and marketing production.

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As one of the few brand and packaging design agencies that is an official participant in Amazon’s Packaging Support and Supplier network (APASS), Marks, an sgsco company, know what it takes to get Amazon Certified packaging, and how to strengthen brand through e-commerce experiences.