Have you ever received an online order in an unexpectedly large, bulky box, only to open it up and find a much smaller (and non-fragile) product inside? The product could have easily been shipped in its original Product Packaging, while remaining fully in-tact. So, what gives?
Amazon recognizes this problem and has attempted to begin to solve it through the Ship in Own Container (SIOC) Program which launched back in 2020 as part of their Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) Initiative. They’ve recently expanded the program guidelines, allowing more products to be enrolled in SIOC – which we will unpack here.
What is the SIOC Program?
The SIOC Program allows Vendors to enroll their eligible products to be shipped in their “own container” meaning their original packaging. This helps to cut back significantly on unnecessary plastic and paper waste from product packaging.
The program also brings costs down for Vendors, because Amazon no longer charges additionally for packaging materials such as bubble wrap or wrapping paper when enrolled. As a bonus, customers receive their order in a box with your branding, which helps to build your image and brand awareness and loyalty.
How do I know if my product(s) are eligible?
As mentioned earlier, Amazon has recently made updates which expanded eligibility allowing more products to be enrolled. Previously, the program only accepted boxed products (no bagged products).
Now, items with Flexible Packaging, meaning products shipped in “flexible” materials can be enrolled. There are requirements for what types of flexible packaging types are accepted, so we recommend reviewing the full guidelines here.
How to Enroll:
Each of the following steps must take place to have your products added to the program:
- Before Getting Started: Confirm Your Eligibility
- Self-Certify: Complete Amazon “Drop” Testing Process
- Enroll: Use the Enrollment Template
Why vendors should consider enrolling in SIOC
Enrolling your eligible products into the SIOC program is much a more sustainable option than having Amazon add additional boxes and packaging for no reason – which can be wasteful and harmful to the environment.
We recommend Vendors to spend some time figuring out whether this program would make sense for you, whether your products are eligible for SIOC, and considering enrolling to cut back on your carbon footprint and less of a negative environmental impact while selling on Amazon.
If you are a client looking for additional information, contact your strategist or if you are interested in learning more about how Retail Bloom can assist your brand efforts in online marketplaces, schedule a consultation with our team.
For more updates on marketplaces, visit our full Marketplace Updates content gallery.