That heavy bottled water? Or those bulky, cheap paper towels? Amazon would prefer that you order them in larger quantities — or that the manufacturer take responsibility for shipping them to you.
An increased effort is said to be underway inside Amazon to reduce the number of what it calls “Can’t Realize a Profit,” or “CRaP” items. The Wall Street Journal reports that as the online retailer focuses more on the bottom line, it’s rethinking how it sells products that tend to be priced at $15 or less and are heavy or bulky, and so expensive to ship. And difficult for Amazon to make any money on.
As a result, according to major brand executives interviewed by The Journal, Amazon has been eliminating unprofitable items and asking product makers to change packaging to increase product quantities in a single package.
Examples cited include default Amazon Dash button orders for Coca-Cola’s Smartwater shifting from a six-pack to a 24-pack — with direct shipping from Coca-Cola instead of from an Amazon warehouse — and Unilever’s Seventh Generation brand replacing a three-pack of dish soap with a 6-pack.
Why make the changes Amazon requests? As one e-commerce executive interviewed by The Journal put it, big consumer brands not having a presence on Amazon “is not an option anymore.”