Amazon's frustration free packaging and Geek Porn

I wrote about Amazon's frustration free packing and argued that it was great way for Amazon to capture greater profits. Why ship items in fancy packaging when the consumer has made the purchase decision without looking at the packaging? They hold the packaging in their hands for only 10 seconds: the time between the item arriving in the mail, it being unboxed and then the packaging disposed of. But is frustration free packaging good for everything?

According to Business Strategy (from the Economics perspective, which is the Kellogg perspective), there are two types of goods in the world: experience goods and search goods. For experience goods, the quality of the good is ascertained after the product has been bought. With search goods, the quality can be ascertained before the purchase. Experience goods tend to be expensive items: cars and televisions, for example. Search goods tend to be cheap items: pencils and cutlery, for example. Amazon tends to sell experience goods.

I argue that packaging is part of the experience of any good. As such, with experience goods, packaging is important. In fact, unpacking of experience goods has almost become a ritual, called Unboxing. Wikipedia defines it as follows:
Unboxing is the unpacking of new products, especially hi-tech consumer products. The whole process is captured on video and later uploaded to the Internet. The term has been labeled a new form of "geek porn."
The proof is in videos that float around on YouTube of people unpacking goods. Unless Amazon can offer superior - or exclusive - products in it's frustration free packaging form, I think it will struggle in many large product categories.

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