Daily Insights

Amazon Thinks Outside the Box

By: Mackenzie Baker | Oct 16, 2020

For those that have received recent Amazon deliveries, they may have noticed shapes or designs on the side of their box, such as a large pumpkin outline. To help entertain consumers and give its boxes a new look, Amazon has made those shapes AR-applicable, meaning consumers can color them in or turn the pumpkins into a jack-o-lantern, which will come to life using a new Amazon app. Amazon Augmented Reality lets users scan a QR code on their box to see their drawings appear in 3D on their smartphones. Once on the app, users can further decorate their designs, such as changing the color of their pumpkin, adding decorations, or turning to selfie mode, which overlays the design on a user’s face. Different designs and activities are linked to different boxes, with viewers able to see 3D images like bats flying around or dinosaurs running on the surface of a box depending on their QR code. 

Amazon quietly rolled out its new app and box activity before Halloween, but could use the upcoming holiday season to further build buzz around the boxes and swap out its AR pumpkin for holiday-themed designs. Merging its physical boxes with a mobile app could raise interactivity rates and transform Amazon’s packaging from recyclable trash into an engaging brand experience. Additionally, the boxes and app open up an additional opportunity for engagement, which could help Amazon reach loyal consumers in a new way and expand its mobile portfolio, according to a Gartner report. As the box activity uses a separate app from the traditional Amazon app, the tech titan may have to do extra promotions to raise awareness. However, as more people discover the activities and share their designs on digital and social media, the app adventures could spread by virtual word of mouth. Amazon’s 3D boxes are its second venture into AR recently, having debuted its “Room Decorator” tool in September, which allows users to overlay Amazon furniture in their own home. By leaning into AR experiences during the Coronavirus pandemic, Amazon could strengthen engagement with homebound consumers and set the stage for future immersive experiences. 

As Prime Day just passed, many consumers could receive their new purchases in an AR-fused box. By adding the digital experience to its boxes, Amazon creates an additional opportunity to engage consumers and set its packaging apart from delivery competitors.