Zappos Is Rethinking Packaging to Make Shopping Easier for Those With Disabilities

Zappos is on a mission to make shopping even easier for today’s consumers. While customers can shop from the comfort of their homes, for some members of the disabled community, receiving purchases in the mail can still be a challenge.

To make mailers such as a simple shoebox easier to open, the e-tailer participated in “The Next Great Package,” a recent design challenge that’s part of the “How Life Unfolds” campaign from The Paper & Packaging, a program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that promotes paper-based shipping materials.

“The Next Great Package” is a three-part video series that documents the journey of innovative engineers and designers as they compete head-to-head to develop solutions to three problems using paper and cardboard as the foundation of their creations. Each submission was judged by company representatives, who considered the assignment, brand solution, design elements and wow factor.

In the first installment, participants were presented with an opportunity to design an easy-to-open shoebox for Zappos, which addressed the needs of those who struggle with everyday tasks. The competitors included mixed-media designer Alex Moncada and structural packaging and graphic designer Asa Davidson.

Davidson, who won the Zappos competition, has a father who is wheelchair-bound, making her especially passionate about the accessibility topic. Her submission features ribbons and magnetic closures. Zappos is reviewing her design to see how it can incorporate the details into its packaging.

“The task of putting our customer first is at the heart of providing good service,” said Molly Kettle, director of the e-tailer’s inclusive line Zappos Adaptive. “We at Zappos are so thankful for the opportunity to challenge the way we all think about service and design.”

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