There are just under 250,000 results for the search term “Wrap rage,” which is also called package rage. This is defined as the anger, frustration and general feeling of outrage that occurs when one is faced with the task of opening a package. From CD and DVDs, to sausages, toys, medicines and more, if it’s packaged, it can drive a human to the hospital, just trying to get it open. In one year 67,000 British people were injured while wrestling with packaging. Who does the counting? Consumer Reports even introduced the Oyster Awards, a Hall of Shame for extreme examples of hard-to-open packaging. And though one might be tempted to say, get over it already, it’s just packaging, you know it’s a problem when you realize a cottage industry sprang up around tools and strategies for opening packages. There are the ZipIt, Package Shark, Open-sezz.me and OpenIt among the contenders in this category.
Now no less than Amazon.com is leading the call for “frustration-free” packaging. Wrap rage generates a large volume of the complaints received at Amazon.com’s headquarters. Brick-and-mortar retailers need packaging such as the notorious, big, hard plastic clamshell, to display products attractively while also making it pilfer and child resistant. But this argument does not hold for Online retailers where shoplifters aren’t cruising the warehouse aisles. While Amazon introduced user-friendly packaging in 2008, the larger retailers did not follow, possibly because of the capital investment required to change everything from packaging materials to packaging machinery. Some manufacturers are opting for separate packaging strategies for e-commerce and traditional retail stores but this is a tough sell until there is a great demand for it.
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