What is Amazon Compact by Design?

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With the news that Amazon have launched Compact by Design in the UK, today we take a look at what it means for Brands when creating and designing their products.


In essence, products have been designed in the past to sit on shelves in shops and shout “Buy Me”. That’s not the same set of conditions as selling on the Internet where what counts is size, weight and ease of shipping.

“We created Compact by Design to identify products that, while they may not always look very different, have a more efficient design. With the removal of excess air and water, products require less packaging and become more efficient to ship. At scale, these small differences in product size and weight lead to significant carbon emission reductions.”
– Amazon

Amazon have identified six areas where products can be made more ecommerce friendly through compactness:

  1. Less Packaging
  2. Many products have been designed to stand out on a store shelf. Products don’t need eye-catching packaging online and Amazon have identified products without this excess packaging.

  3. Less air in the container
  4. Some Compact by Design products have less air, which can mean less packaging. You can get the same amount of product in a smaller container.

  5. A more efficient shape
  6. Compact by Design highlights products whose shape allows them to deliver the same amount of product while minimising cubic inches.

  7. Less weight
  8. While two containers can hold the same volume, lighter packaging materials make the product more efficient to ship.

  9. Waterless technology
  10. Products can be transformed in exciting, new ways. One example is water-based products that are transformed into solids. This drastically decreases product size and weight.

  11. Concentrated Products
  12. Compact by Design products can be more concentrated than similar products. A concentrated cleaner, when diluted at home, can make many gallons of cleaning solution.

To qualify for Amazon Compact by Design, products must have best-in-class “unit efficiency”. Amazon use product attributes such as item package dimensions, item weight, and the number of units to calculate the unit efficiency of a product. Find out more on the Amazon Compact by Design page.

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